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Word documents open with one-inch margins by default. You can adjust the page margins by choosing one of Word’s predefined options, or you can specify the exact height and width of the margins yourself. Here’s how.

Change Page Margins in Word

Open Word and head over to the “Layout” tab. Here, select “Margins” in the “Page Setup” group.

Select Margins in Page Layout section

Once selected, a drop-down menu will appear. Here, you’ll find Word’s list of predefined margin settings.

predefined page margins

Go ahead and choose an option if you see one that matches what you’re needing. Once selected, the page margins will change based on those specifications.

If you weren’t able to find an option that fits what you’re looking for, you can customize the page margins yourself down to the tenth of an inch by selecting “Custom Margins” at the bottom of the drop-down menu.

Custom Margins

The “Page Setup” window will now appear, in which you’ll automatically be in the “Margins” tab. Under the “Margins” section, you can adjust the top, bottom, left, and right margins by clicking the up and down arrows next to each option. This increases or decreases the page margins by 0.1-inch increments.

Adjust page margins

You can also adjust the gutter margin. The gutter margin is generally used in facing-pages layouts (known as “Mirrored” in Word) and refers to the area of the page that is rendered unusable or unviewable due to the binding process.

Setting the gutter margin works the same way as setting the page margin. Simply adjust the margin by selecting the up or down arrow next to the option.

Set gutter options

Once you’re done, select “OK” to apply the changes.

Set a Custom Margin as the Default

If you’re finding yourself using the same custom margins over and over, instead of setting the margins each time you open Word, you can just set your custom margins as the default.

To do so, select “Margins” in the “Page Setup” group of the “Layout” tab. In the drop-down menu that appears, select “Custom Margin.”

Select custom margins option

In the “Page Setup” window that appears, customize your margins and then select “Set As Default” in the bottom-left corner of the page.

Set as default

A dialog box will appear letting you know the changes will affect all new documents based on the NORMAL template. Select the “Yes” button.

Warning message

Now, next time you open Word, it will automatically open with the set custom margins.

Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall Gunnell is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer at LINE Corporation in Tokyo, Japan.
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