Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Chopped Off Page Borders.

Chopped Off Page Borders

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 2, 2020)

1

Gwen is having problems printing her page borders. It seems that the left and right borders print fine, but the top and bottom portions don't print at all—they are chopped off on the printout.

There are a number of things you can check, any of which could be causing the problem. The first thing to check is whether you have the document formatted for A4 paper but are actually printing on letter-sized paper. This can cause some weird behavior, unless you instruct Word to do some automatic document conversion for you:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or later versions, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Advanced at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Scroll down until you can see the Print section. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Advanced settings in the Word Options dialog box.

  5. Make sure the Scale Content for A4 or 8.5 x 11" Paper Sizes option is selected.
  6. Click OK.

Another thing to check is to make sure that the page border is formatted to always display in front of anything else on your document. Follow these steps:

  1. Display the Design tab of the ribbon (Page Layout tab in earlier versions of Word).
  2. Click the Page Borders tool in the Page Background group. Word displays the Page Border tab of the Borders and Shading dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  3. Figure 2. The Page Border tab of the Borders and Shading dialog box.

  4. Make sure the desired border is selected and specified for the document.
  5. Click the Options button. Word displays the Borders and Shading Options dialog box. (See Figure 3.)
  6. Figure 3. The Borders and Shading Options dialog box.

  7. Make sure the Always Display in Front check box is selected.
  8. Close all the dialog boxes.

You should now be able to print like normal. If this doesn't work, it could be because your printer cannot physically handle printing as close to the edge of the paper as your borders require. For instance, a default installation of Word prints headers and footers at one-half inch from the top and bottom of the paper. If you didn't adjust this position, then the page border prints even closer to the paper's edge than this—approximately 5/16 of an inch. Some printers, however, can't print anything this close to the paper's edge.

The solution is to adjust the position of your headers and footers, allowing the page border to move further from the paper edge.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7917) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Chopped Off Page Borders.

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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What is three less than 3?

2021-02-04 11:15:23

Rachel

Thanks for the great tips.

I tried everything you suggested and it still didn't work for me. I then got another word doc I have and printed it to see if I was getting the same issue with the content being cut off at the bottom.

I went into the Ribbon menu: Layout and compared each of those settings in the line item by item: Margins, Orientation, Size.
At the size is where I found my issue: In the doc that was printing correctly it had it set at: 8.5 X 11" which is what my paper size is.
In the Incorrectly printing doc it had that set to: Legal Paper at: 8.5 x 14" <<<< This was my issue.

I wanted to share it with you, so that you add it to your very well documented Tips above.
Thanks for a great page/Forum by the way.

Rachel


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