Forcing margin on only first page of automated reference list

Occasional Contributor

I am writing an academic paper and my required format calls for a 2" top margin on the first page of new sections and a 1" top margin on all other pages. I am having trouble implementing this with my reference list. I used Word's Source Manager to store all of my source information to help with in-text citations and to auto-generate my reference list. It seems that, since the reference list is not normal text but an all-or-nothing section, partially formatting it doesn't work as easily as normal text. When I try to format just the first page by selecting only the references on that page, the entire list shows as selected. This means when I change the margin to 2", the whole reference list gets a 2" margin. I tried selecting only the "Reference" header and applying the margin, but that separates the list from the header across difference pages. Does anyone have a solution to this?

6 Replies

Hello @SamtheEngineer ,

I assume you work with sections. Have you tried 'First page different' feature of the sections? I think this might be what you are looking for. Below is only an example of a way. You will need to set the 'after' on the first page's header paragraph to match your requirements. It's a neat workaround. Of course, the text there is just for demonstration, you don't need to write anything there.

Let me know if you need more info. Lenka



When I try this solution, I change all of the pages. Is there an additional setting to only change one page. I see that you "checked different first page" box, but when I alternate from looking at the header on my reference page to looking at the header on the previous or any other page, that box is still checked. How can I edit the header (or top margin) of ONLY one page?
best response confirmed by SamtheEngineer (Occasional Contributor)

Hello @SamtheEngineer ,

Unfortunately, you can't.

Like margins, which even though you click 'This section only', they apply to entire document, meaning to every first page of a header. I raised this as an issue with Microsoft, creating a ticket Case #:29073215:

  • However, "Different first page", "Different odd & even page", or even the page set-up, i.e. margins, although marked "This section" always change the entire document. Please advise how to allow sections to utilise these options independently."

They closed the ticket with this info:

  • "Assessment / Recommendations:
    The current Business impact provided was discussed with the escalation team and the feedback was that at the current time this change would carry a high-risk regression and potential major impact, it was not accepted."


So, we have to think of workarounds.

I wrote academic papers too. They will not check how you have your headers/footers set, only how the layout looks like when printed, or PDFed. So, I recommend to set a new style, like I did, called '1st par of 1st page' (for example) and give its paragraph some points before. This will place the start of the text well below the margin.


It's a simple and elegant solution. Lenka




Which means that you need to give your Reference list's title a unique style. This title then will be placed below the margin. The picture shows how. You see two Biblio contents. One has a normal Heading 1 style, the other has a unique style applied, beginning way below. Hope this helps.




Thank you! This, along with a few other tricks got the job done.