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  1. #1
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    I've been struggling with this one for a while now, and I keep thinking there has to be an ingenious solution that just hasn't occurred to me yet.

    Creating a letterhead template with the "Different first page" option is easy-peasy when the only thing you're changing is the header itself -- i.e., you have letterhead on the first page and the name of the recipient, the date, and a page number code on all subsequent pages (no different page formatting on the continuation pages). I've done it for several clients. Works great. No problems there.

    But lately I've run across a couple of organizations that use letterhead where the first page margins (either at the top or at the left side) differ from the margins used in the rest of the pages. "Different first page," of course, is useless for changes in page formatting; instead, you need to insert a next-page section break at the bottom of the first page. Doing so works, but it's inelegant in a template because ideally you want to set up something that can work for a single-paged letter as well as for a multi-page letter, and you want it to appear as a single page when the user opens a document based on the template. Inserting a section break at the bottom of page 1 makes that impossible. It also creates potential problems because of the fact that the formatting for the sections is contained in each section break, so if someone wants to type a one-page letter and deletes the section break at the bottom of the first page, the formatting of the second section will be applied to the first page of the letter. That will confuse even Word-savvy users.

    What is the best way to handle that situation? I was able to finesse the issue at a client's site recently by convincing them to use the same top margin on the first page of the letterhead and all continuation pages, which allowed me to use the "Different first page" option without inserting a section break at the bottom of page 1 (and I did a little tweaking to get everything to look just right). But clearly that won't work in every case.

    I welcome your suggestions.

    Jan
    Author, Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2016,
    Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2010​,
    and Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Office Word 2007

    For Word and WordPerfect tips, visit my blog at http://compusavvy.wordpress.com

  2. #2
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    There is no perfect method to deal with this so I can see your dilemma. I would avoid section breaks and use a Different First Page with:
    1. Empty paragraphs in the first page header to push the page content down on that page only
    2. A white floating graphic element with text wrap turned on to push page content across the page

    The problem will be to get the user to turn off the different first page for a new section if they insert a section break themselves.

    The ultimate solution would be to include macros to:
    1. Fix headers and footers if the current situation is not what the user wants
    2. Provide a means of toggling the visibility of first page letterhead content should the user be printing the document when the pre-printed letterhead is unavailable (eg if you want to send the document to someone outside the company)
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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  4. #3
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    Andrew,

    Thanks for your reply -- both for validating my concerns and for giving me some unconventional ideas for managing the different page margins. I'll have to do some experimentation to see how well the empty paragraphs and floating graphic work. At one firm, the company uses a graphic logo (created by a designer) so it's not easy to manipulate, but it could work.

    I've been immersed in Word 2007 for so long that I've forgotten whether Word 2003 works the same way. My intuition tells me that the "Different first page" option is more difficult to use in Word 2007 in some respects, although I also have the impression that earlier versions didn't allow you to have a "Different first page" header without also having a "Different first page footer" -- and they seem to be separable in Word 2007. Or am I misremembering?

    Jan
    Author, Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2016,
    Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2010​,
    and Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Office Word 2007

    For Word and WordPerfect tips, visit my blog at http://compusavvy.wordpress.com

  5. #4
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    The different versions of Word work the same as far as I know. The earlier versions had a first page special which forced a different header AND footer. I haven't noticed that Word 2007 is any different - how do you get to separate those in Word 2007?
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

  6. #5
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    Thought I had seen situations where the "Different first page" option could be applied separately to the header or the footer. I'm not able to get that to work in my tests just now, though, so I might have been mistaken.

    Jan
    Author, Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2016,
    Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2010​,
    and Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Office Word 2007

    For Word and WordPerfect tips, visit my blog at http://compusavvy.wordpress.com

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