Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Controlling Where a Full-page Border is Printed.

Controlling Where a Full-page Border is Printed

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 28, 2015)

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. Display the Page Layout tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the Page Borders tool in the Page Background group. Word displays the Borders and Shading dialog box; the Page Border tab is already 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.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10390) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word 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. ...

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