Tips & Tricks

Word Tip – Different Margins in a Multi-Page Document

When you are writing multiple page letters in Word, you sometimes need to allow space for a company letter head on the first page and therefore need a larger Top margin measurement, but you may then need to reduce the top margin space if the document continues onto a second page...  

  • In this example, the top margin is set to 2.5cm for both pages of the letter and when printed on pre-printed Letter headed paper the first page will over write the letter head:


  • To accommodate a pre-printed letterhead, you will need to adjust the Top margin on the first page of the document only, for example in the letter below, the top margin is 5cm on the first page and the second continuation page’s Top margin returns to 2.5cm:


  • This is easy to achieve in Word if you use Continuous Section Breaks.

  • Start by typing up the letter or opening an existing letter.  Place your cursor at the beginning of the letter once finished:


  • Select the Layout Tab, then Breaks. In the Section Breaks section, select Continuous:


  • A Continuous Section Break will be inserted in your document. To see the Break appear on the page, select the Show/Hide tool in the Paragraph group on the Home tab


  • Place your cursor at the beginning of the first page once again. Check the Status Bar at the bottom left of the Word screen and check that it says Section 1:


  • Set the Top margin for the first page by selecting Layout Tab and then Margins, then Custom Margins:


  • Change the Top margin to the measurement you require to avoid printing on the pre-printed letter head. Then click on OK.  We are changing the top margin in this example to 5cm:


  • By sectioning the document into two sections – Section 1 and Section 2, you can now make changes in either section and it will not affect the other section. 
  • N.B: we do not need to change the second section/continuation page to a smaller top margin as it retains the default measurement of 2.5cm as you can see from the finished document below:


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