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: Printing Close to the Edge.

Printing Close to the Edge

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 1, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Word supports any printer you can install for use with Windows. In most instances you can take full advantage of the features of the printer. This depends, of course, on the printer driver you are using to communicate with the printer. (It is the printer driver that makes printer features accessible to Windows programs, such as Word.)

If you try to print a document with page margins that are set too small, you may see an error message indicating, "One or more margins are set outside the printable area of the page. Choose the Fix button to increase the appropriate margins."

This error message pops up because the printer driver knows how close to the edge of the paper you can print with your printer. For instance, most laser printers cannot print closer to the edge of the paper than a quarter inch. Some printers require even more "dead space" at the edge of the paper. This is required because the printer uses this "dead space" to mechanically grip and guide the paper through the printer.

If you see the error message indicating your margins are set outside the printable area, you have two choices. You can either click on the Fix button and let Word make the change, or you can stop the print job and adjust the page margins yourself.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (838) 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: Printing Close to the Edge.

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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