A margin in Google Docs is a page layout tool that helps to frame and define the type area by separating the primary content from the edge of the page. Before I could create this guide, I had to open Google Docs to see what the default margins were. All the sides were 1-inch margins – top, bottom, left, and right.
Most word processors including Google Docs set the default margin size to 1-inch. As this guide will show, you can change these values to allow for more or less text on the page.
There are two main methods you can use to edit or change margins in Google Docs. One involves adjusting the vertical or horizontal ruler to change the top and bottom margins or left and right margins respectively. The other method involves using the page setup setings.
Without further ado, here are the two most common ways to change margins in Google Docs.
Using Page Setup to change Margins in Google Docs
Page setup in Google Docs refers to the user-defined parameters that help determine how a printed page appears. These parameters may include Orientation, margins, page color, and paper size. To put it another way, it’s a tool that allows users to change and customize the size and layout of a Google Docs document.
The below guide will show you, step-by-step, how to use the page setup to adjust or change margins in Google docs.
- Step 1: Open Google Docs.
To be able to set or change margins in Google Docs, you first of all need to launch your Google docs document where you need to set the margins. You can either open an existing document or create a new one if needed.
Learn where and how to open google docs here.
- Step 2: Go to File > Page Setup
Click on File, a drop-down menu of functions will appear. Look through and locate the Page Setup function, the Click on it to open.
- Step 3: Indicate the size of the Top, Bottom, Left and Right Margins
When you open the Page setup window, you’ll see a lot of options that you can use to make changes to your document. Under the Margins group, specify the size of the margins by filling the top, bottom, left, and right boxes with the number of inches you wish the sizes to be.
By default, the margins are already set to 1-inch each. You can either increase or decrease it to fit your needs.
- Step 4: Click on the OK button
And there you go. A step-by-step instruction on how to use the Page Setup settings to adjust or change margins in Google Docs.
Now let’s look at the second method in the next section.
Adjusting Rulers to Change the Margins’ size in Google Docs
When it comes to adjusting the page layout, the ruler is oftentimes overlooked. Meanwhile, it is very useful for aligning and positioning the text and other objects. They can be used to control the top, bottom, left, and right margins.
I recommend this method only if your document doesn’t have a lot of content or pages. If your document is long or has multiple sections, use the Page Setup method in the previous section.
Below steps will show you how to use the ruler to edit margins in Google Docs.
- Step 1: Launch Google Docs and open the document whose margins you want to adjust.
- Step 2: Go to View > Show ruler
Click on the View tab and make sure the Show ruler is enabled. If you don’t see a checkmark before it, simply click on it to activate the ruler.
Once the ruler is activated you should see it in the document as you can see in the below screenshot.
- Step 3: Adjust the margins with the ruler.
To adjust the margins with the ruler, hover your cursor over either the top or left ruler between the grey and the white area until it changes into a double-pointed arrow pointing in opposite directions. Once your cursor changes to this arrow, click and drag left or right to adjust the left or right margins or drag up and down to adjust the top and bottom margins.
And that’s how you may use the ruler to adjust margins in Google Docs.
What Are 1 Inch Margins in Google Docs
A One-inch margin in Google Docs is a page layout setting in which the space between the main content and the edge of the page is set to 1 inch for all the top, bottom, left, and right margins. By default, most word processors, including Google Docs, set the page margins to 1-inch. So, it is most likely that your Google Docs project is already set to the 1-inch margin.
However, you can check to see whether or not your document is already set to the default margin size. If not, you can change it using any of the two methods above. The inch is just a unit of measurement Google Docs uses to quantify the size of the margins.
To check whether or not your Google Docs is set to 1-inch margins, simply click on the File tab in the ribbon and select Page Setup from the drop-down menu. Once the Page Setup dialog opens, under the Margins group, you should see how many inches your current document was set to.
How to set 1-inch margins in Google Docs
Using any of the two methods discussed in this guide, you can change your Google Docs margin sizes to any width or height including the 1-inch margin.
But to show you by the hand, let me briefly go over how exactly you may adjust your Google Docs margins to 1-inch for all the four sides.
To set 1-inch margins in Google Docs, go to File > Page Setup. The Page Setup dialog box will show up. Under the Margins group, type 1 in each one of the boxes for top, bottom, left, and right margins. Then click the OK button to apply the settings to the document.
How to Remove Margins in Google Docs
There are some instances where you’ll want to remove your Google Docs margins. The most common reason why you may want to remove margins has to do with making space for more text on the page. Either than that, margins are very important in Google Docs or any other word processor and you should never remove them, especially when you intend to print the document.
You can remove margins in Google Docs by setting all the margins sizes to zero inches each. To do so, simply click on the File tab in the ribbon and select Page Setup from the drop-down menu. Once the Page Setup dialog opens, under the Margins group, type zero (0) in the boxes to remove the top, bottom, left, and right margins.
Alternatively, hover your cursor over either the top or left ruler between the grey and the white area until it changes into a double-pointed arrow pointing in opposite directions. Once your cursor changes to this double arrow, click and drag left or right to remove the left or right margins respectively, or drug up or down to remove the top or bottom margins respectively.
Importance of setting Margins in Google Docs
The importance of margins is frequently overlooked. It’s easy to default to half-inch or 1-inch sizes for your document margins, but doing so means you’re passing up an opportunity to make the margins an integral design element of your Google Docs document.
Look at any page in Google Docs and you’ll notice that the first space you see is the margin: They are critical in forming your first impression of the page.
Margin serves the following purposes:
- Margins help to frame and define the type area of a Google Docs page by separating the content from the edge of the page.
- Margins are where you hold the document when it’s printed, and they’re a place for readers to put their thumbs, hopefully without covering the content on the page.
- Historically, margins have been used as a place to jot down notes and they still do so in some types of publications.
- Outside of the type area, the top or bottom margins of the page are also good places to put page numbers and publication information.
For your information, the type area is defined by margins, but they are not absolute. Shapes, text boxes, and pictures, for example, may hang outside the type area and into the margins. Pictures frequently spill beyond the type area, disrupting the page’s rectilinear nature and, potentially, creating a more dynamic layout.
Margins are very important in any word processing document including Google Docs. Without them, your document will look very odd. So always try to adjust or change your document’s margins to suit your needs.
I hope that this guide will help you learn how to adjust or change margins in Google Docs.