Margins are the empty spaces surrounding the content of a document stretched to the edges of that page. They give the content some breathing room and make it easier for the reader to consume. And while printing documents, margins ensure no content is being cropped.
All word-processing tools have options to adjust the margin per your requirements, including Google Docs – one of the most popular online tools. Whether you want 1-inch margins or half-inch margins – or just want to change the top or bottom margin, this guide will show you how to set margins with easy steps that include visual references and examples… Keep reading!
What Are Margins Used for?
Word documents use margins for several purposes. Here are some examples:
- Margins make documents look more professional.
- It becomes easier for the reader to extract content.
- Different margins can be used to increase or decrease the word count per page.
- Margins ensure there is enough space between the content and the edges of the page when printed on paper.
- When you print something on letterheads or envelopes, margins help you to leave enough room for the content already present on the letterhead or envelope.
How to Change Margins in Google Docs (Two Ways)
You can change margins in Google Docs in two ways. One is freestyle, and the other lets you precisely choose the margin for your document. Alternatively, you can try the Google Docs pageless feature if you want no margin!
Changing Margins with the Mouse
Here is a step-by-step process of changing margins in Google Docs using your mouse.
- Step 1: Open a Google Doc. It may be a blank or any existing document. You should see a ruler just above the document and below the toolbar.
- Step 2: If you don’t see a ruler, click on the View menu. Then, click on Show Ruler to turn it on. The ruler should now appear.
- Step 3: You will see a blue rectangle on top of a blue triangle facing downward. Hover your mouse over the icon, and the mouse pointer will look like a horizontal arrow with two points.
- Step 4: Click the left mouse button and drag the mouse to the left or right. It will adjust the left margin of your document.
- Step 5: You need to repeat steps 3 and 4 on the right side of the document to adjust the right margin.
- Step 6: To adjust the top and bottom margins, you need to repeat steps 3 and 4 on the vertical ruler. It should be on the left side of the document. That’s it. You have successfully changed margins in Google Docs.
Changing Margins from the Page Setup Dialog
Dragging the mouse to adjust margins isn’t a precise way. If you want to change margins precisely, you need to do it from the Page Setup option. Check how to do that in some simple steps.
- Step 1: Open a Google Doc. Click the File menu and then go to Page Setup. It should be at the bottom of the menu.
- Step 2: The Page Setup dialog box will appear. The left tab called Pages should be selected.
- Step 3: From the Apply to drop-down box, select Whole Document. You can also choose Selected content if you want to apply the margin to a specific portion of the content.
- Step 4: The orientation should be Portrait by default. It means the height of the page will be more than the width.
- Step 5: From the Paper size drop-down box, choose a standard paper size. We have selected Letter (8.5” x 11”) in this example.
- Step 6: There are four text fields on the right side of the dialog box. They are the Top, Bottom, Left, and Right. Google Docs uses 1-inch margins on all sides by default. If you want to change the default margin, you need to input the desired number into those boxes. For example, if you put 2 into the first box, it will set the top margin of that document to two inches. You can also put decimal numbers into those boxes. For example, it is possible to set a 1.25-inch margin.
- Step 7: If you want to use the same margin for all documents, click on Set as default. But if the margin is only for a specific document, skip this step.
- Step 8: Click OK to confirm the margin. And boom! You have set up new margins for your document.
Margins help give your documents a professional appearance. You should carefully adjust the margin of your document depending on the content. Fortunately, Google Docs offers two options to change and set margins. You can change the margin by hovering the mouse on the ruler. Or, you can go to the Page Setup option under the File menu to precisely change your margins.