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: Making Wider Footer Margins.

Making Wider Footer Margins

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 23, 2013)

Word provides you with complete control over how your margins are set in a document. You can even change margins in the middle of a page, if desired. You may be wondering how you can set different margins in a header or footer, however. Specifically, how can you set margins that result in a wider print area for a header or footer than for the main body of the document?

There are several approaches that you can use when solving this problem. The first (and perhaps the simplest) is to simply set the paragraph indents for the footer. Remember that paragraph indents are additive in relation to margins. Thus, if you have a one-inch left margin and you have a 0.2-inch paragraph indent, the effective margin (on the printed page) is 1.2 inches. Besides setting positive paragraph indents, Word also allows you to set negative paragraph indents. Thus, if you have a one-inch left margin and you set a –0.2-inch paragraph indent, the effective margin is now 0.8 inches. In other words, your footer is now 0.2 inches wider than the main body of your text.

Another potential solution is to place a text box in the header or footer area, making sure that the box extends into the normal margin area of the page. You can then place text within the text box as necessary. (You can format the text box so that its default border doesn't print, if desired.) If the text box is truly within the header or footer area, it is treated as a part of the header or footer and will repeat on every page, as configured.

A third solution is to place a single-row table in the header or footer. The width of the table can be adjusted so that it extends into the left and right margin area, just as you did for a text box. You can then remove the border around the table and insert your text, as desired.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (631) 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: Making Wider Footer Margins.

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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