Margins On the Screen Don't Match Printout

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 8, 2016)

1

David has his document formatted with a 1" margin on each side. However, when he is working in Print Layout view, he doesn't see the one-inch margin at the top of the page. Instead, his text starts right at the top of the page on the screen. When David prints the margins look OK, but it frustrates him that they don't look right on the screen.

The most likely cause of this is that you have whitespace suppressed on your display. Follow these steps to make the adjustment:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and later versions display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Display at the left side of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The display options of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Show White Space between Pages in Print Layout View option is selected.
  5. Click on OK.

There is a shortcut you can use to turn the display of whitespace on or off. In fact, the shortcut is easy enough that it is entirely possible to turn it off without even realizing that you've done so. (This is probably what happened in David's case.) All you need to do is scroll through your document until you see the small gray line between pages. If you position the mouse pointer over this gray line, it changes to a double-headed arrow. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The double-headed arrow shortcut.

Double-click at that time, and your margins reappear. Double-click the gray area again and the margins disappear.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11850) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

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

Counting Filtered Rows

The filtering capabilities of Excel are indispensable when working with large sets of data. When you create a filtered list, ...

Discover More

Adding Comments to Your Document

If you would like to add non-printing notes to your document, the Comments feature is one way of doing that. Here's how to ...

Discover More

Adding a Password to a User Account

Passwords on user accounts are a great way to enhance security for a computer system. Here's how you can add a password to ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Showing Text Boundaries for Pages, not for Paragraphs

Word allows you to configure how your document is displayed rather extensively. One configuration that has been around quite ...

Discover More

Resetting a Function Key

Function keys are often used, in Word, for common operations. You can, if desired, change the way in which a function key is ...

Discover More

Getting Word to Remember the Default Date and Time Format

One way to insert the current date into your document is to use the Date and Time dialog box. The Default button in the ...

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. 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 seven minus 1?

2016-10-11 19:48:41

Amy

I turn the whitespace off frequently; always when I'm using a Word document on a projector or conference monitor -- that way, attendees can have a great view of the working document. Also really helpful to turn off the whitespace when working with tables that cross pages. This is one of the few shortcuts I've memorized! I do make a point to turn the whitespace back on before saving, so someone else opening the document isn't puzzled by how it looks.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu 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.