Change page margins

Page margins are the blank space around the edges of the page. In general, you insert text and graphics in the printable area inside the margins (margin: The blank space outside the printing area on a page.). When you change a document’s page margins, you change where text and graphics appear on each page.

You can change the page margins either by choosing from one of Word’s predefined settings in the Margins gallery or by creating custom margins.

In this article


Choose page margins using predefined settings

  1. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Margins. The Margins gallery appears.
    Margins gallery in the Page Setup group on the Page Layout tab
  1. Click the margin type that you want to apply.

If your document contains multiple sections, the new margin type will only be applied to the current section. If your document contains multiple sections and you have multiple sections selected, the new margin type will be applied to each section you have selected.

 Note   To change the default margins, click Margins after you select a new margin, and then click Custom Margins. In the Page Setup dialog box, click the Set As Default button. The new default settings are saved in the template on which the document is based. Each new document based on that template automatically uses the new margin settings.

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Create custom page margin settings

  1. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Margins. The Margins gallery appears.
    Margins gallery in the Page Setup group on the Page Layout tab
  1. At the bottom of the Margins gallery, click Custom Margins. The Page Setup dialog box appears.
    Page Setup dialog box
  2. Enter new values for the margins.

 Notes 

  • To change the default margins, click Margins after you select a new margin, and then click Custom Margins. In the Page Setup dialog box, click the Set As Default button. The new default settings are saved in the template on which the document is based. Each new document based on that template automatically uses the new margin settings.
  • To change the margins for part of a document, select the text, and then set the margins that you want by entering the new margins in the Page Setup dialog box. In the Apply to box, click Selected text. Microsoft Word automatically inserts section breaks (section break: A mark you insert to show the end of a section. A section break stores the section formatting elements, such as the margins, page orientation, headers and footers, and sequence of page numbers.) before and after the text that has the new margin settings. If your document is already divided into sections, you can click in a section or select multiple sections and then change the margins.
  • Most printers require a minimum width for margin settings, because they can't print all the way to the edge of the page. If you try to set margins that are too narrow, Microsoft Word displays the message One or more margins are set outside the printable area of the page.

To prevent text from being cut off, click Fix to automatically increase the margin width. If you ignore the message and try to print the document as it is, Word displays another message asking whether you want to continue.

The minimum margin settings depend on your printer, printer driver, and paper size. To learn about the minimum margin settings, check your printer manual.

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Set margins for facing pages

Use mirror margins to set up facing pages for double-sided documents, such as books or magazines. When you choose mirror margins, the margins of the left page are a mirror image of those on the right page. That is, the inside margins are the same width, and the outside margins are the same width.

  1. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Margins.
  1. Click Mirrored.
     Margins Gallery with Mirrored option highlighted

 Note    To change margin widths, click Custom Margins at the bottom of the Margins gallery. Enter new values in the Inside and Outside boxes.

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Add a gutter margin for bound documents

A gutter margin adds extra space to the side margin, top margin, or inside margins of a document that you plan to bind. A gutter margin helps ensure that text isn't obscured by the binding.

Illustration of mirror and gutter margins

Callout 1 Gutter margins for binding
Callout 2 Mirror margins for facing pages

To set the gutter margin, follow these steps.

  1. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Margins.
  1. Click Custom Margins.
  2. In the Gutter box, enter a width for the gutter margin.
  3. In the Gutter position box, click Left or Top.

 Note   The Gutter position box is not available when you use the Mirror margins, 2 pages per sheet, or Book fold option. For those options, the gutter position is determined automatically.

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View page margins

Word can display lines in your document to represent text boundaries.

  1. Under the File tab, click Options.
  2. Click Advanced, and then select the Show text boundaries check box under Show document content.

The page margins appear in your document as dotted lines.

 Note   You can view page margins in either Print Layout view or Web Layout view, and the text boundaries do not appear on the printed page.

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Applies to:
Word 2010