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

Unselecting a Chart Item

When formatting a chart, you select elements and then change the properties of those elements until everything looks just the ...

Discover More

Inserting the Author Name

Did you know that Word tries to keep track of who the author of a document is? This information can be easily added to the ...

Discover More

Disabled Macros

Do your macros seem to be disabled on your new machine? It could be because of the security settings in Excel. Here's where ...

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 (ribbon)

Changing the Startup Directory

When you start Word, it makes an assumption about where your documents are stored. If you want to force Word to change that ...

Discover More

Horizontally Viewing All Your Text

If you are viewing a document and your text runs off the right side of the document window, it can be a real bother to scroll ...

Discover More

Displaying ScreenTips

ScreenTips are those small, yellow boxes that appear when you hover over different objects in Word. You have complete control ...

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. 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 6 - 0?

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.