Text at the top of the page is unaccountably indented
If text at the top or bottom of every page is indented even though the paragraph doesn’t have an indent, the cause could be an empty frame left over from a deleted page number. Being invisible, such a frame could have been inadvertently dragged into the area of the page normally devoted to the main body of the document. Since the frame remains anchored to a paragraph in the header or footer, it appears on every page, interfering with the flow of the main body text.
When you use Insert | Page Numbers in Word 2003 and earlier, the page number isn’t inserted directly in the header or footer paragraph as it would be if you clicked the Insert Page Number button on the Header and Footer toolbar. Instead, it is inserted in a frame anchored to the header or footer paragraph. Once you insert page numbers this way, they can be rather difficult to get rid of. Here’s how to do it properly:
But suppose you have already deleted the page number and have just the empty frame left? How do you know where to click? If you have nonprinting characters displayed, you should see a paragraph mark; click by it, and the frame border should appear. Or, if you check the box for “Text boundaries” on the View tab of Tools | Options, you will see a dotted line around the frame even when it is not selected (see the figure at left). You can then use steps 3–5 above to delete the empty frame.
Although the Insert | Page Numbers command makes it very easy to apply page numbers to simple documents, the difficulties associated with changing your mind about their placement are just one reason why it is often preferable to insert a page number with the Insert Page Number button on the Header and Footer toolbar instead.
This article copyright © 2002, 2016 by Suzanne S. Barnhill.