The purpose of inserting headers, footers, dates, slide numbers and other objects into documents is to make it easier for the reader to find specific information contained in your document. Headers and footers are often the last items considered when creating a document for print or online viewing. They are, however, useful devices for reading and navigating documents.
Headers, which are typically located within the top 1-inch space of a page, often contain information such as the title and author of a document, while footers typically contain page numbers. Footers, which can be found in the lower 1-inch margin space, can help to orient a reader by providing information such as section numbers, page numbers or slide numbers (in the case of PowerPoint documents). These types of reference items are especially useful when compiling sections such as a table of contents or an index. Without page numbers it may be nearly impossible for a reader to find sections referenced in a table of contents or keywords or phrases listed in an index.
While hypertext formats such as HTML and electronically published documents can directly link to pages and sections of a document through the use of hyperlinks, page numbers and document headers remain helpful devices for external citation and reference.