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How to Change Page Number Margins in Word

Microsoft Word allows you to insert page numbers either to the footer or header of a document. However, a little known fact is that these page numbers are inserted along with a small margin above and bottom of the number.

The default size of these page number margins is usually 1.25 cm on both the top and bottom. As a result, they increase your page margins which may be undesirable if you’re using narrow or custom size margins.

Fortunately however, these page number margins can be adjusted the same way we do for other headers and footers.

Steps to Adjust Page Number Margins in a Word Document

  1. Insert page numbers as you normally do.
  2. Double-click a page number to reveal the Header & Footer Tools tab.
  3. Go to the far right of the ribbon where Header from the Top and Footer from Bottom values are shown.
  4. If the page numbers are inserted in the bottom of the page, adjust the Footer from Bottom value to decrease or increase the margin.
  5. If the page numbers are inserted in the top of the page, adjust the Header from the Top value to decrease or increase the margin.

Insert Page Numbers in a Narrow Margin

If your Word document is using narrow margins, then you’ll notice that the page margin has become larger after inserting page numbers.

To restore your narrow margins, you need to decrease the values of Footer from Bottom if the page numbers are inserted to the bottom, and Header from the Top if they are the top of the page.

Setting the respective value to zero will remove the page number margin completely hence preserving the original narrow margin.


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Kelvin Kathia

Kelvin Kathia is a writer that's passionate about sharing solutions to everyday tech problems. He's the founder and editor of Journey Bytes, a tech blog and web design agency. Feel free to leave him comments or questions regarding this post, or by leaving him a message on the contact page. If you found his content helpful, a donation is much appreciated.