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: Setting the Distance between Text and Borders.

Setting the Distance between Text and Borders

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 10, 2012)

One common formatting effect within Word is the application of borders around a paragraph. Word allows you to apply borders to all four sides of a paragraph—you can even have the borders be different from each other, if desired.

After applying border formatting, you may decide that you need some more room between the actual border lines and the text within the paragraph. You can easily adjust this distance by following these steps:

  1. Select the paragraphs you want to affect. (If you only need to format a single paragraph, just make sure the insertion point is within that paragraph.)
  2. Choose Borders and Shading from the Format menu. Word displays the Borders and Shading dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Borders tab of the Borders and Shading dialog box.

  4. If you had not previously done so, make sure you select the borders you want to appear around the paragraph.
  5. Click on the Options button. Word displays the Borders and Shading Options dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  6. Figure 2. The Border and Shading Options dialog box.

  7. Use the Top, Bottom, Left, and Right controls to specify, in points, the distance between the respective border and the paragraph text.
  8. Click the OK button two times.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (148) 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: Setting the Distance between Text and Borders.

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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