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: No Space Before at the Top of a Page.

No Space Before at the Top of a Page

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 6, 2016)

When you define characteristics for a particular paragraph style, one of the settings you can make is for Word to leave a certain amount of vertical space before the paragraph. (This is done on the Indents and Spacing tab of the Paragraph dialog box.) William was wondering if there was a way to set Word 2000 to cause a style, particularly a heading, to ignore the space before setting when that paragraph is at the top of a page.

Word, by default, should suppress the extra space before a paragraph when it is at the beginning of a page, when that paragraph is just part of the normal flow of text. If something is done to alter that flow (such as using a manual page break, a column break, or a section break before the paragraph), then Word treats the vertical spacing differently. In those cases, it still adds the space before instead of suppressing it.

You can change how Word handles the space before by modifying the compatibility options in Word. Choose Options from the Tools menu, then display the Compatibility tab. If you scroll down through the options in the dialog box (they are listed alphabetically), there are several that begin with the word "suppress." You can fiddle with these options to see what effect they have on the vertical placement of your text at the top of a page.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (364) 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: No Space Before at the Top of a Page.

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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