Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Understanding Page Sizes.

Understanding Page Sizes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 29, 2017)


You probably know that you can specify a size for the paper on which you print your Word documents. If you display the Page Setup dialog box you can specify a number of different paper sizes that are allowable on your printer. (To display the Page Setup dialog box, choose Page Setup from the File menu.) Make sure that the Paper Size tab (Word 97 and Word 2000) or the Paper tab (Word 2002 and Word 2003) is displayed. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Paper tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

If you want to specify a custom paper size, you can do so by simply adjusting the Height and Width settings in the dialog box. As you do so, notice that the Paper Size setting changes to Custom Size. Word allows you to set any page height and width between .1 inches and 22 inches. (These limits are hard-coded into Word and cannot be changed.) If you want to print documents with larger dimensions, then you need to choose a different program—other than Word—to do your printing.

Be aware that if you specify a custom size for printing, the results may not be exactly what you think they will be. For instance, if you specify a page width of 15 inches, but the printer can only handle paper up to 10 inches wide, then the resulting printout will not be satisfactory, and the printer may actually reject the print job. You should make sure that you specify paper sizes that are within the limits of what your printer can actually handle.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (61) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Understanding Page Sizes.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is six more than 8?

2016-12-13 01:50:23

Meredyth Sawyer

I know how to change the height but I don't understand it. What exactly do the numbers apply to. When I see that the measurement at the bottom of the ruler says a certain number & I want to reduce it a few lines. I decrease the amount of word that fit into a page. Is the height for the printed data, not the page length & how does that work?

2013-04-20 13:53:25


These Wiki pages are good references for international standard paper sizes

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