Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 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: Missing Top and Bottom Margins.

Missing Top and Bottom Margins

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 10, 2021)

Rodney notes that when he opens a new document in Word the on-screen display of the pages shows the correct left and right margins, but not the correct top and bottom margins. The "pages" of paper shown on-screen in Print Layout view show no top and bottom margin at all. Rodney is wondering why this is happening.

What Rodney is seeing is actually a feature introduced in Word 2002. The feature allows Word to hide white space (including headers and footers) at the top and bottom of a page. This was done so that more real information could be shown on the screen and is particularly useful if you have a document that uses a lot of white space at the top and bottom of the page.

The problem is, it is easy to turn this feature on without even knowing it. If you move the mouse pointer to the top or bottom border of the on-screen page representation, you'll notice that it changes to a small icon that has two arrows facing each other vertically. If you click on the mouse when the pointer is in this condition, Word toggles the display of the top and bottom white space.

It's easy to hide the white space by clicking on the top or bottom page border without even knowing it. Then, not knowing what you've done, it's unclear how to get the white space back. You can also change the settings by using Word's menus and dialog boxes. Follow these steps:

  1. On the Tools menu click Options. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the View tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The View tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Set or clear the White Space Between Pages checkbox, as desired.
  5. Click OK.

Additional information on this feature and how it is used in Word can be found at these pages:

  • http://sbarnhill.mvps.org/WordFAQs/WhiteSpace.htm
  • http://support.microsoft.com/kb/297564

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3925) applies to Microsoft Word 2002 and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Missing Top and Bottom 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Aligning Cells when Importing from CSV

When you import information from a CSV text file, Excel formats the data according to its default settings. Wouldn't it ...

Discover More

Converting Numbers to Strings

When creating macros, it is often necessary to change from one type of data to another. Here's how you can change from a ...

Discover More

Inserting and Copying Rows

Want an easy way to insert a new row in a worksheet and copy everything from the row above? (You end up with two ...

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)

Changing Dialog Box Pull-Down List Item Order

When selecting options within menus, Word frequently displays additional options in dialog boxes. While customizing the ...

Discover More

Getting Help in Dialog Boxes

Dialog boxes are prevalent in a program like Word, and they can contain dozens (if not hundreds) of options. This tip ...

Discover More

Folder Locations for Add-Ins

Add-ins can be stored in a number of different places on a computer system. This tip explains the many different places ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 5 - 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.

Videos
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.