MS Word: how to increase distance between header and main text

You have this great header in your document, but is so close to the main text, you wish there was some more space in between. There is no obvious way to do it, not even if you resort to the ruler, which you shouldn’t do any way.

Here is how you increase –or decrease– the empty space between your header and the main text. Open the Page Setup dialogue (from the Page Layout menu) and go to the third tab (Layout), where you see Header settings, referring to the distance of your header from the edge of the paper.

Please note: your header will keep this distance whatever the size of your margin may be. For example,

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if you set your header to be 2 cm away from the edge, and your margin as tall as 1 cm, then your margin will seem like it were 2 cm, since Word will add automatically the space required in order to avoid putting your body text at the top of your header!

Therefore, to increase the distance between header and body text, first decide where your header should be, then increase your margin until it passes your header distance as much as you need: the header remains unmovable to its predefined distance, while extra margin height is actually added below the header!

In the previous example, if I wanted the main text to have a 5cm distance from the header (not from the edge of the page), I should set my margin to 7cm, adding 5cm to the 2cm distance of the header from the edge.

To decrease the distance between header and body, just decrease the height of the margin, getting it closer to the height of your header.

The same way you can increase or decrease the distance between footer and body text.

* Check also the best free MS Word productivity macros, and these posts about Creating different headers or footers for odd and even pages, what to do If Word adds blank space above a heading, even at the top of a page, how to Use the StyleRef field to insert in headers your Chapter Title automatically