Margins in Microsoft Word determine the boundaries of a page that Word uses to position content.

In this article, you will learn about all the 3 easy ways to change margins in Word.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Change margins from the Preset Margins

There are preset margins in Word that you can use to change the current margin for your document. Let’s see how in the following instructions.

To change margins in Word using the preset margins, go to the Layout tab or Page Layout tab on the ribbon, in the Page Setup group, click on the Margins button to display the gallery of preset margins. Then click on one of the preset margins to apply it to your document.

Below is a step by step guide with screenshot:

  • Click on the Layout Tab.
Page Layout or Layout Tab: Change margins in Word
  • In the Page Setup group, click the Margins drop-down button to display the library of preset margins.
Preset Margins to change to
  • Click on one of these margins to change from the current margin.

Below are the descriptions of what the various preset margins does for your document:

  1. Narrow: The narrow margin allows you to squeeze more text on your page. This option makes the margin very small (only half an inch on all the four sides).
  2. Moderate: The moderate margin option also lets you squeeze a little more text on your page. Both the top and bottom margins of this preset is set to 1 inch each and the left and right margins have 0.75 inches each.
  3. Wide: This margin preset leaves a very small room for text on the page. The top and bottom margins are set to 1 inch each and both the left and right margins are set to 2 inches each.
  4. Mirrored: This margin makes the left and right pages behave differently with the inner margins slightly wider than the outer margins. This preset is useful for double-sided documents such as books and magazines. It is called mirrored because the margins of the left page are a mirror image of those on the right page.

This is how you may change margins in Word using preset margins.

Change margins using Page Setup

Some may not find suitable for them any of the preset margins in the gallery. If that’s like you, you can launch the Page Setup dialog box to set-up you own custom margins for your document.

To change margins through the Page Setup dialog, please obey the instructions below:

  • Go to the Layout or Page Layout tab.
Page Layout or Layout Tab: Change margins in Word
  • In the Page Setup group, click Margins and select Custom Margins at the bottom of the drop-down box.
Customly Change margin through Page setup

The page setup dialog box will appear.

Page Setup dialog with the Margins tab displayed
  • On this dialog box, under the Margins group, specify the length of your margins using the Top, Bottom, Left and Right controls.
  1. Top: Use the Top margin control to set the distance between the top of the page and the first line of text. The default length is 1 inch.
  2. Bottom: Use the Bottom margin control to set the distance between the bottom of the page and the last line of text. The default length of the bottom margin is set to 1 inch.
  3. Left: Use the Left margin control to set the distance between the left edge of the page and the start of the text. The default width for this margin is 1 inch.
  4. Right: Use the Right margin control to set the distance between the right edge of the page and the end of the text. The default width for this margin is also 1 ich.

When you are changing margins in Word from the gallery of preset margins on the Layout tab, the margins you select will apply to the current section (which is usually the same as your entire document, if the document has no several sections.)

If you are dealing with Word documents of more than one section, you can change the margin on the entire document by press Ctrl+A to select everything before apply the preset margin from the gallery.

However, the Page Setup dialog box also gives you a more precise option with the Apply To drop-down list. With this control, you can set margins to the whole document or you can make separate margins for separate sections.

Adjust margins using the ruler tool

The third option to change margins in Word is to utilize the ruler tool in Microsoft Word.

You can use the horizontal just beneath the ribbon to set the left and right margins of your document. With the vertical ruler on the left edge of the Word window, you can set the top and bottom margins of your document.

Below are the steps to adjust margins in Word using the ruler tool:

  • Show the ruler on your Word document.

To show the ruler tool in Word, go to the View tab, in the Show group, select the Ruler check-box.

show ruler in Word
  • After displaying the ruler tool, adjust the top and bottom margins by drag the boundary between the shaded and unshaded areas in the vertical ruler at the left side of the document window.
  • You can similarly drag to resize the left and right margins on the horizontal ruler.

See screenshot:

adjust margins in Word using ruler

This is how you may adjust margins in Word using the ruler tool.

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