(Legacy) Microsoft Word 2003: Page Formatting Options

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This article is based on legacy software.

This document describes page formatting options that will affect your entire document.

Adjusting Document Margins

Adjusting Document Margins: Ruler Option

Using the Ruler line is a quick way to adjust margins. This method can be used to adjust the left or right margins.

  1. If the Ruler is not displayed, from the View menu, select Ruler

  2. From the View menu, select Print Layout

  3. Move your cursor to the Ruler line and position it over the margin you want to adjust 
    The cursor takes the shape of a double-headed arrow.
    double headed arrow over rule

  4. Click and hold the mouse button and drag the margin to the desired location
    To see the margin measurements, hold down the [Alt] key while dragging the margin.
    Left and right margins can be adjusted from the horizontal Ruler line. Top and bottom margins can be adjusted from the vertical Ruler line.

Adjusting Document Margins: Dialog Box Option

When adjusting the margins for your entire document, use the Page Setup dialog box.

  1. From the File menu, select Page Setup...

  2. Select the Margins tab

  3. In the Margins section, adjust the margins as needed

  4. Click OK

Numbering Pages

Word provides two options for numbering pages. The first option adds a page number to each page of your document in either the header or footer. The second option, using the Header and Footer toolbar, is more appropriate for documents with multiple sections and allows you more control over the page numbering.

Numbering Pages: Dialog Box Option

  1. From the Insert menu, select Page Numbers…
    The Page Numbers dialog box appears.
    page numbers dialog box appears

  2. From the Position pull-down list, select a position for the page number

  3. From the Alignment pull-down list, select an alignment for the page number

  4. OPTIONAL: If you want the number to print on the first page, select Show number on first page

  5. OPTIONAL: If you want to change the starting page number or the type of numbers (perhaps from Arabic to Roman),
    1. Click FORMAT... 
      The Page Number Format dialog box appears. 
      page number format dialog box
    2. Make the appropriate changes
    3. Click OK

  6. Click OK

Numbering Pages: Toolbar Option

Using the Header and Footer toolbar is appropriate for documents with multiple sections and allows you more control over the page numbering. For more information, refer to Creating Headers and Footers.

Inserting Page Breaks

Word has two types of page breaks. The first is a natural page break. These occur when the information has filled an entire page and needs to flow onto the next. When you are working in Normal view, natural pages breaks will appear as a dotted line.

The second type is forced, often referred to as a hard page break. Forced page breaks occur when the user inserts a hard page break. In Normal view, these are indicated by a dotted line with the words Page Break in the middle of the line.

Inserting Page Breaks: Menu Option

  1. Place the insertion point where you want the new page to be inserted

  2. From the Insert menu, select Break...
    The Break dialog box appears.

  3. Under Break types, select Page break

  4. Click OK

Inserting Page Breaks: Keyboard Option

  1. Place the insertion point where you want the new page to be inserted

  2. Press [Ctrl] + [Enter]

Removing Page Breaks

  1. If paragraph markers are not shown on your page, on the Standard toolbar, click SHOW/HIDE show or hide button

  2. Select the page break

  3. Press [Delete]

Preventing Extra Blank Pages

While there is not a Word feature that prevents extra blank pages, you can help reduce blank pages by reviewing your document. If your document ends in a forced page break and there are blank lines after it, another page of the document will print.

To prevent this extra page, delete the blank lines between the page break and the end of document marker (a heavy horizontal black line).