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 April 7, 2020)


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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What is three more than 4?

2020-04-21 19:05:26


No. This isn't my problem. Only one of my pages has the margin missing. The rest are fine.

2019-12-13 09:08:13


Worked for me. Thank you!

2019-11-16 05:22:38


Your instructions were easy to follow and I am grateful. Thank you so much!

2019-09-20 14:16:19


thank you so much very help full.

2019-09-10 08:24:55


THANK YOU!!! I struggled with this far longer than I needed to...

2019-07-27 17:28:24

Jon Snyder

thank you.

2019-07-16 07:35:56

Jonah Monedo

This tip really helped me.

Thanks Sir Allen

2019-06-07 18:39:39


Thank you!! This is the first time I've been able to look up a question and get an answer that worked the first time i tied it on my own!!

2019-03-07 15:26:50


Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2019-02-03 00:19:19


WOW! exactly the tip I needed. Thanks so much!

2018-12-29 01:03:35


Thank you very much !
-a big help

2018-12-15 18:07:29


Thank you.

2018-12-13 10:46:19


OMG Thank you!!! Somehow the top disappeared and it was driving me bonkers! Now it is back to normal. :)

2018-12-12 16:28:11


Thank you for the instructions! This was driving me crazy! :)

2018-10-14 16:29:59


Thank you! This has been happening to me for a couple of months and I thought my Word was broken, lol! Your fix worked like a charm.

2018-09-11 14:26:21


THANK YOU!!! I had to search for quite a while to find this solution. This is very much appreciated!

2018-07-07 17:05:53


July 2018 and this advice is still a life saver.
Thank you!

2018-06-08 18:08:45

Shayne Dowdie

Thank you. I had been puzzling over this off and on for weeks.

2018-03-14 11:47:35


Thank you so much! This has been driving me crazy. Greatly appreciate your tip

2017-07-21 14:35:24


Thank you, I have been stuck on this for DAYS!

2017-07-16 11:01:03


Thank you!

2017-03-28 04:43:01


thank you

2017-02-24 13:57:46


This is the second tip that has come right up in my google search, and both have been exactly what I need. Thank you so much!

2017-02-18 23:23:58


Super helpful! Thank you very much.

2017-01-06 05:46:24


Thank you very much for your help! This problem has bothered me for some time and I finally found a very easy fix.

2016-10-24 08:03:30

Bharat Singh

Dear Sir, thanks for help. Your post is very hopeful for me.

2016-09-07 11:10:38


Thank you! Such an easy fix for something that was driving me crazy.

2016-08-18 03:17:25


Thank you!! It was driving me crazy! With your help I could fix it!

2016-05-19 04:05:32


Helpful! Thanks :)

2016-03-26 12:38:06



2016-03-23 06:44:31


Thanks heaps 4 weeks only site that solved my issue.

2016-02-04 01:41:34


This has been driving me crazy! I thought there was something wrong with my word program.
Thank you so much!!

2015-08-27 10:10:41


Many thanks for the tip. I had been looking for a solution for weeks but all along wrong tracks: normal.dotm template, default printer page format, etc.

2015-06-10 23:44:05


Wyatt --> "why ett"

2015-06-10 23:40:36


Thank you very much for the tip Allen. By the way, may I have a question please.

How do you pronounce Wyatt?

Like What or anything eles?

Anyway, Thanks :)And to show you my gratitude, I clicked all the links that I think that was ads.

Have a nice day. :)

2015-06-08 01:59:08


Thank you so much! This problem has been disturbing me for years. Thanks!

2015-05-15 11:29:07


This problem has been annoying me for two weeks! Found advice in various Microsoft "Help" forums, but none of them worked or provided links to different versions of Word. This was perfect! Thank you!

2015-04-11 03:36:12


Thank you! Tried three other lots of advice before following yours which worked first up.

2015-01-22 05:08:15


Thanks the tip of double clicking on the top or bottom border sorted. Very hard to find without this.

2014-07-29 15:34:43


Thanks so much for this tip--solved my problem!!

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