Use special paper for first page while printing

Very often, we need the first page of a printed document may be different: Letterhead, special legal stamp papers, glossy cover page, etc. Here is how you use special paper for first page while printing in Word.

Different First Page

Why would the first page be different?

Here are some common scenarios.

  1. For long reports special letterhead may be used (covering letter, or company branded page)
  2. Legal documents have judicial or non-judicial stamps which occupy at least 1/3rd of the page from top.
  3. Proposals to customers etc. the first page needs to be different or special.
  4. Research work or college assignment submissions also need the cover page to be of higher quality.

In most cases, this paper is separately procured or printed in bulk. In addition, the margins for the first page will usually be different than rest of the pages.

Another norm is that first page does not have page numbers or it may have a different header/footer.

In short we need to inform Word as well as the printer to treat the first page differently.

Informing Word that the first page is special

Create the document as usual. However, the first page margins need to be different. If margins are changed for the first page, it changes the margins for the whole document.

The first step is to inform Word that the first page is special. How do we do that?

The simplest way is to double click in header or footer region. Now a new tab appears. Enable the checkbox Different First Page. Double click on the main page outside the headers to close the Header editing mode.

Different First Page

Now the headers and footers of first page are different than the rest of the pages. I am assuming that we don’t want page numbers on the first page . This is already taken care of. Go to the next page header or footer and customize it as required. First page is not affected.

Next step is to change the margins for the first page. Go to View tab and enable Ruler. From the ruler you can easily change margins by dragging at the current margin marker.

Increase margin

Configure the printer

Go to Page Setup. How? Layout (or Page Layout) tab – Page Setup Group – click on that inconspicuous arrow at the bottom right corner.

Page Setup launch button

Now the Page Setup dialog opens. Go to the Paper tab and choose separate trays for the First Page and Other pages. Just imagine the amount of thinking what has gone into creating this great software.

special paper for first page - tray selection

One more step before you can use special paper for first page while printing!

Warning – Test it first

Make sure that you load the tray properly. Test it out once. If you choose the wrong tray, lots of special and costly paper will be wasted.

Actually, while testing put regular paper in the First Page tray and just scribble on it. We just want to check that the correct tray has been configured. That way you do not need to waste a single page of special paper!

Other uses for Different First Page

The Different First Page option can be used for every section. If you are writing complex documents, reports, thesis or books, each chapter should be in a separate section. Configure Different First Page for the first section you create and it will automatically be carried forward to other sections. If you don’t know about Word Sections, read these 5 articles from my blog: Knowledge Pack: Word Sections

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