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: Controlling Where a Full-page Border is Printed.

Controlling Where a Full-page Border is Printed

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 30, 2019)

In other issues of WordTips you learn how you can add a full-page border to a document. Using full-page borders can cause some problems, however. For instance, when you print out your document, you may discover that one (or more) of the sides of your border don't print out.

If you encounter this problem, the reason is because Word is trying to place the page border in an area that your printer considers a non-printable area. With very few exceptions, printers have non-printing areas around the edges of a piece of paper. Non-printing areas on the left and right of the page occur because the printer has to "grip" the paper somewhere, and in those areas where it is being gripped, the printer can't print. Non-printing areas on the top and bottom of a page occur because the printer cannot maintain accurate control of the page as it first enters the printing area or just leaves it.

If you want to adjust where a full-page border is printed on a page, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Borders and Shading from the Format menu. Word displays the Borders and Shading dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Page Border tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Page Border tab of the Borders and Shading dialog box.

  4. Use the controls in the dialog box to specify how you want the border to appear.
  5. Click on the Options button. Word displays the Border and Shading Options dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  6. Figure 2. The Border and Shading Options dialog box.

  7. Use the Measure From drop-down list to specify whether your measurements are going to be calculated from the edge of the paper or from the text on the page.
  8. Use the controls in the dialog box to specify where on the page the border edges should be printed.
  9. Click on OK to close the dialog box.
  10. Click on OK to close the Borders and Shading dialog box.

There are a few things to keep in mind as you specify where you want your full-page borders printed. When specifying the location of the borders in step 6, you can specify any value between 0 points and 31 points. This means that the maximum distance for the borders is 31/72 of an inch, or less than half an inch from the paper's edge if you specify that borders are calculated Edge of Page (step 5). If your printer cannot print within the last half inch of the paper, for instance, you won't see the bottom edge of the full-page borders.

To get around this, try changing the way the border is calculated so it is Text (step 5) and then play with different positioning settings. This may take a bit of trial and error. If you still can't get just the results you like, then you can forego using a full-page border and simply place a large rectangle AutoShape (with no fill) on your page. You then have full control over where the sides of the rectangle are printed.

If you would like more information on full-page borders and why they may not print, check out this page at the Word MVP site:

http://wordfaqs.ssbarnhill.com/BottomsDontPrint.htm

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1686) 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: Controlling Where a Full-page Border is Printed.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Making Pictures Show in Word

What are you to do if you can't see all the pictures you know are in your document? The answer may lie in where those ...

Discover More

Creating Custom Labels

There is a whole passel of labels pre-defined in Word. You are not limited to this passel, however; Word allows you to ...

Discover More

Selecting Just the Word

Double-click on a word and Word selects it, plus some. It also selects any trailing spaces after the word. Here's a ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Previewing Before You Print

Print Preview is a feature built into Word that allows you to see what your printed output will look like before you ...

Discover More

Printing Field Codes

Field codes allow dynamic information to be included in documents and can be a great boon. At some point you may want to ...

Discover More

Printing a Document's Mirror Image

If you need to print the mirror image (backwards) of a document, you may think you are out of luck in Word. There are ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one less than 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.