How to Make a Header Row in Google Sheets (2 Easy Ways)

A Google Sheets header row is important and helps label and organize the data. It makes understanding and interpreting the data easy, especially when working with large data sets.

Fortunately, creating a header row in Google Sheets involves only a few simple steps.

In this post, I’ll give you a quick rundown of how to insert a header in Google Sheets and how to add time, workbook title, and page numbers to the header.

How To Make A Header Row In Google Sheets

Let’s imagine that you have a Sheet filled with data like this:

The screenshot shows the initial data that we will be working on. There are 3 columns filled with data but there are no headers

First up, you need to decide where you need to make a row a header in Google Sheets.

Generally, this will be row 1 for most of us.

Step 1: On the far left, you will see the row number for each row on your Google Sheet. Right-click on the row number that should be right below the future header row

Step 2: Since you wish to create the header row right above it (for example), you can click on Insert 1 row above from the dropdown menu.

The screenshot shows how to Insert one row above the row selected. First arrow points on the row number, second arrow on the 'Insert 1 row above' menu item which is 5th from the top

This step will create a new blank row above your sheet’s data.

Step 3: All you need to do is to fill it with the required labels like this:

The screenshot highlights a new row added at the top of the worksheet

Step 4 (Optional): In the end, you can also change the background color, so the header row stands out:

The arrows on the screenshot show the process of adding a background to one row. First arrow points to the row number to highlight the whole row, second one points to the bucket icon that opens a color palette

BTW since we are speaking about background colors – check how to alternate every other row in Google Sheets

How To Make A Header Row Sticky

Making a row ‘sticky’ refers to freezing it in place. Thereafter, while scrolling down, you can see the sticky header row at all times.

  1. To make a sticky row header select the row by clicking on it
  1. Next, click on View and hover your cursor over Freeze, which will open up a drop-down menu.
  1. You can select the number of rows/columns you wish to freeze. Click on Up to row 1.
There are three numbers on the screenshot, and they show the steps the user needs to take to freeze one row. The first one is to click on the 'View menu' item, next one it to click on the freeze submenu item and select the amount of rows required to freeze

Once you select it, you can scroll through the spreadsheet while the header row remains frozen at the top.

P.S. I’ve written a more detailed guide on how to freeze a row in Google Sheets, so make sure you don’t miss it.

How To Add A Header And Title In Google Sheets For Print

There are a few options in the print menu that will take care of this.

Step 1: To add a header and title, click on File from the options menu and scroll down to Print, which opens the print menu.

The First arrow points to the File menu item, which is first from the left, and the second arrow points to the 'Print' menu item, which is the last one in the submenu that has opened

Step 2: Once you are at the print options, you will see a list of tabs. Click on Headers & Footers.

The arrow on the screenshot shows where to access the 'headers and footers' tab. It's the last item on the right-hand side.

Step 3: This will open up a drop-down. Find and click the Edit Custom Fields option near the bottom of the menu. 

The arrow on the screenshot shows where to find the 'edit custom fields' option under the 'headers and footers' menu tab

Step 4: This opens the editor, and you can now add a header and a title of your choice in any three header tabs.

The screenshot highlights the top section where a user can add a custom header to the document

How To Include The Page Number In The Header

You can add page numbers to headers using the header and footer options.

Step 1: Press CTRL + P (Windows) or Command + P (Mac) to open print options and click on Headers & Footers.

The arrow on the screenshot shows where to access the 'headers and footers' tab. It's the last item on the right-hand side.

Step 2: Next, scroll down until you find Edit Custom Fields and click it.

The arrow on the screenshot shows where to find the 'edit custom fields' option under the 'headers and footers' menu tab

Step 3: This will open up the header editor. Click on the section you want the page number to be on.

Step 4: From the small menu on top, click on the page number, which is the first option.

This will show you several styles you want the page number to be in. Select something you like, and that’s it.

The screenshot shows where to find an option to add page numbers. It's the first icon from the left side.

Step 5: Click the confirm button in the upper right corner and Print your sheets.

The arrow shows where to find the confirm button. It's on the top right side of the document

How To Include A Workbook Title In The Header

The process of adding the workbook title is pretty much the same. 

Step 1: Click on File and click on Print while you’re scrolling down. 

Step 2: Click on Headers & Footers next to the print options, which will show the same options.

Step 3: Check the box next to the left of the Workbook title option to include the title in the Sheets header, and click Next. Make your final adjustments to the print settings (if you wish to) and click Print.

The screenshot shows where to find title icon that will add a workbook title or sheet name to the header print menu

How To Include The Date And Time In The Header

Step 1: To include the date and time, Google Sheets header row, click File from the options menu, and select Print which opens up the print menu.

Step 2: This window will include a few options. Below the Headers & Footers tab, you will see tabs such as Current date and Current Time

Step 3: Check the boxes next to these options, and Google Sheets will include the date and time in the header when printed. 

The screenshot shows where to access

Step 4: Click Next and make any final adjustments/edits to the print settings.

Step 5: And finally, click Print.

My Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are two different ways to create a header in Google Sheets. The first assumes that you want to make the first row a header in your actual worksheet, and the second one relies on the fact that you can insert a header in print mode.

You can use two simultaneously if you want your document to be easy to work with and organized when someone prints it.

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