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Word margin issue
Word margin issue  
I would like to adjust the header margin of a letterhead template I downloaded. There is a watermark in the header and I am not sure if this is what is causing the issue.
When I try to decrease the header margin size, it seems to only increase, or revert to the original size.
I would like to use less information in the return address box and have the document text sit higher on the page.
I downloaded the original document from Microsoft at:

Okay, I downloaded this template, and it is typical of templates created by people who don't really know how to use Word, but I confess I cannot figure out what is going wrong with it. It isn't created the way I would create it, but I can't see what is causing the header area to be extended even when the text box (which is anchored in the document body) is removed; I looked to see if the top margin was set to a negative amount (and one time I did find -0.25", but I couldn't replicate that on further visits to the Page Setup dialog). So I can't tell you how to fix this template, but I can tell you how to create it properly.

1. Create a new blank document with top, bottom, and side margins of 1.25".

2. Set the header margin to about 0.75".

3. Activate the header in the document you created based on the downloaded template and select the background graphic.

4. Ctrl+C to copy it.

5. Activate the header in the new document you just created and Ctrl+V to paste the graphic. It should paste in just right, but if any adjustment is needed, the layout is Behind Text, centered horizontally, and vertically 0.5" from the top.

6. Type your letterhead in the header area. Don't bother with a text box; just type it in. You can center it, if desired, or right-align it, or add a left indent to place it toward the right (but left-aligned) as in the original template. If you want to emulate the letterhead of the original template, copy the text in the text box but not the text box itself and paste it into your header. You may have to format the font to get the original look.

7. After you have the letterhead set up to your satisfaction, you can double-click in the document body to activate it and type there.

8. Note that the header area will expand to accommodate your contents and push the document body down below the 1.25" top margin, so you may need to add some Spacing After to the last line of the letterhead; you can also use Spacing Before, if desired, to push the header down instead of increasing the header margin. You will want to do this if you are creating a two-page letter template (with a plain second sheet), using the First Page Header for your letterhead (for more on this see
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Suzanne S. Barnhill


I've been using Word for Windows since version 2.0 (1992), and the more I learn about it, the more I realize how little I know. But I may know a few things that you don't, and I'll help if I can. I answer many questions every day in Microsoft's peer support forums and as a result have been awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) designation by Microsoft Corporation. You may be able to find the answer to your question at the Word MVPs' FAQ site or at my own Word FAQ site, so please check those first! Please, no questions about VBA (macros), Registry editing, networks, or complex merges, as I have no experience with these aspects of Word, nor do I have any experience with Word for Mac. Please indicate which version of Word you are using; if you are not sure, see "What version of Word do I have?".


I have a master's degree in classics (Latin), which is surprisingly helpful, though I no longer teach. The things I am proudest of: Having raised two children to maturity, both Merit Scholars, both college graduates (one a philosophy major!), one Phi Beta Kappa (from Harvard!); having been made a Paul Harris Fellow by my Rotary club; having been designated a Microsoft MVP.

Rotary Club of Fairhope, Friends of the Fairhope Public Library

B.A. (Latin), Agnes Scott College, 1966; M.A. (Classics), Emory University, 1972.

Awards and Honors
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award every year since 1999; many Rotary honors

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