Description of the "White space between pages" option in Word

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In Microsoft Word, you can hide the white space at the top and bottom of each page and reduce the amount of gray space that appears between pages in print layout view. Gray space to the left and right of the page is not affected. This behavior is controlled by the White space between pages option.

When you select the White space between pages option, Word controls the white space of any newly created documents as well as the current document according to the following rules and special cases:
Behavior                        Explanation

Per Window                      When the option is set and multiple 
                                documents are open at the same time,
                                the document with focus is affected; other
                                open documents are not affected. 

Per Document                    When you save and close a document, the 
                                setting is retained in the document. 
                                If the document is open when you create 
                                a new document, the new document acquires 
                                the setting. For example, if white space
                                is hidden in the document you open,
                                white space will be hidden in new
                                documents you create.

Per user option                 Set on a per user basis. The setting is
                                stored in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER registry 
                                key with other Options settings.

Backwards compatibility         If you open the document in Word 2000 or
                                Word 97, the setting is ignored. However, 
                                because the setting is stored in the 
                                document, you can edit the document in 
                                Word 97 or Word 2000, save the file, and
                                this setting will not be lost when you
                                reopen the document in Word 2002 or in a later version. 

Special zoom behavior           When you zoom to show more than one page 
                                in print layout view, the white space in 
                                the document will be displayed 
                                regardless of the state of the option. 
                                The "White space between pages" option is 
                                unavailable (dimmed). Adjusting the Zoom 
                                percentage to show one page returns the 
                                view to the previous state.

Special page element behavior   Adding a page border, page numbers, header, 
                                or footer resets the "White space between 
                                pages" option. To hide the white space,
                                click to clear the "White space between
                                pages" check box. 

Special process behavior        When finding or replacing text or when 
                                proofing the document in the foreground,
                                if Word finds an item in the header or 
                                footer area, Word switches to Normal view 
                                and displays the item in a pane below the 
                                document. The state of "White space between 
                                pages" option does not change.



In Microsoft Word 2002 and in Microsoft Office Word 2003, you can use either of the following methods to show or to hide white space:
  • On the Tools menu, click Options. Click the View tab and then click to select or clear the White space between pages check box.
  • Rest the mouse pointer over the gray area above or below a page and then click when you see the Hide White Space or Show White Space pointer.
In Microsoft Office Word 2007, use either of the following methods to show or to hide white space:
  • Follow these steps:
    1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Word Options.
    2. In the left pane, click Customize.
    3. In the Choose commands from list, click All Commands.
    4. Click White Space Between Pages, click Add, and then click OK. The White Space Between Pages option will appear on the Quick Access Toolbar.
  • Rest the mouse pointer over the gray area above or below a page and then click when you see the Double-click to hide white space or Double-click to show white space
If you are hiding the white space, page breaks are still visible and noticeable in the document.


Article ID: 297564 - Last Review: January 31, 2007 - Revision: 2.1
  • Microsoft Office Word 2007
  • Microsoft Office Word 2003
  • Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition
kbhowto KB297564

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