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: Creating a Letterhead Template.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 21, 2014)
One of the common tasks people perform in Word is to write letters. Many companies use preprinted letterhead for the first sheet of a letter, and then regular paper for subsequent sheets. If you do this, you may be wondering about the best way to format a document that can then be used as letterhead template.
The best way to go about this task depends on the orientation of your letterhead. If your letterhead is across the top margin of the first page, then you will take a different approach than if your letterhead is along the entire left margin of the first page.
If your letterhead is across the top margin of the first page, what you essentially need to do is provide a way for the margins to be different on the first page than on subsequent pages of your document. This can be done by using section breaks and setting margins differently in each section, but such an approach can lead to unforeseen problems. The best way is to "play" with the headers in the document to get the spacing you want. Follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Margins tab of the Page Setup dialog box.
Figure 2. The Layout tab of the Page Setup dialog box.
Figure 3. The Paragraph dialog box.
You can now use the template as the basis for your future letters, and the letterhead on the first page is automatically compensated for.
If your company's letterhead is oriented along the left margin on the first page (as is the case in many legal firms), then you need to take a different approach to creating the template. Follow these steps, instead:
Figure 4. The Colors and Lines tab of the Format Text Box dialog box.
Figure 5. The Size tab of the Format Text Box dialog box.
Figure 6. The Layout tab of the Format Text Box dialog box.
Figure 7. The Advanced Layout dialog box.
Since the text box you entered was anchored on the first-page header paragraph, the text box appears only on the first page. The text wraps around it, and your margins appear to return to normal on subsequent pages.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9406) 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: Creating a Letterhead Template.
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