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: Missing Top and Bottom Margins.

Missing Top and Bottom Margins

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 5, 2020)

4

Rodney notes that when he opens a new document in Word the on-screen display of the pages shows the correct left and right margins, but not the correct top and bottom margins. The "pages" of paper shown on-screen in Print Layout view show no top and bottom margin at all. Rodney is wondering why this is happening.

What Rodney is seeing is actually a feature of Word that hides white space (including headers and footers) at the top and bottom of a page. This feature provides a way to display more real information on the screen and is particularly useful if you have a document that uses a lot of white space at the top and bottom of the page.

If you move the mouse pointer to the top or bottom border of the on-screen page representation, you'll notice that it changes to a small icon that has two arrows facing each other vertically. If you double-click on the mouse when the pointer is in this condition, Word toggles the display of the top and bottom white space.

If you prefer, you can also change the settings by using Word's dialog boxes:

  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. At the left side of the dialog box, click Display. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Display options of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. Set or clear the Show White Space between Pages in Print Layout View checkbox, as desired.
  5. Click OK

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13149) 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: Missing Top and Bottom Margins.

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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Comments

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What is eight more than 6?

2021-08-04 13:59:03

michael rathsack

Thank you very much. No one had any idea how to fix this.


2021-01-30 23:28:55

Bethany Moore

Thanks so much - this fixed my whitespace issue in about 5 seconds and now I know how to do it myself going foward. Thanks for the expert advice!


2020-12-23 17:34:21

Kristen Smith

Feedback-this was EXTREMELY helpful. Exactly what I was searching for. Thank you for being clear and concise.


2020-12-05 17:47:04

MW

This isn't a "Margin" comment exactly, but something related that I've encountered and solved: When I open a multi page Word doc, I like to see the individual pages clearly separated with a gap between the end of one page and start of the next as I scroll through the pages.

One day that gap 'suddenly' disappeared, and no amount of googling, help, tips, or inquiries of Word proficient users etc. would return the answer or method to get it back.

Luckily I happened to mention my frustration to an Office macro programmer who provided the easy trigger to toggle the gap on and off:

Put your mouse in that gap or on the line between any two pages and a screen tip appears: Double-click to hide or show that gap.


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