How to Change Margins in Google Docs


- Written by Puneet

In Google Docs, or in any other document, margins are important when you want to print your documents. And the best part is: In Google Docs, you can change margins if you want to.

Changing margins can significantly impact the layout and readability of your document. Margins can affect the readability of a document. Custom margins can help achieve a unique.

What are Margins?

Margins in Google Docs refer to the space between the page’s edge and the text’s main body. Margins are typically used to define page areas that remain free of text. They can be adjusted to control the layout and readability of your document. You can set margins for the page’s top, bottom, left, and right sides.

Steps to Change the Margins in Google Docs (Page Setup)

To adjust margins in Google Docs:

  • Open the Google Docs File – By opening the Google Docs document whose margins you want to adjust. Navigate to Google Docs, find the document in your files, and open it.
  • Select Page Setup: Once your document is open, click the “File” tab at the top of your screen to open a dropdown menu. From there, select “Page setup”.
  • Adjust the Margins: In the Page Setup dialog box, you’ll see fields for the top, bottom, left, and right margins. You can adjust these by typing in the new values. The default unit of measurement is inches, but you can change this to centimeters or points by clicking on the dropdown menu next to the margin fields.
  • Save to Apply Margins: After adjusting the margins, click the OK button to apply these changes to your current page.

Double-check your document after adjusting the margins to ensure that the formatting still looks correct. If necessary, you can go back and readjust the margins.

Note – You cannot adjust or apply different margins for each page in the document. When you change the margins, it goes for the entire document. As Google Docs is a web-based application, when you change the margins, it only changes for that document, not for the entire application. And if you want to have a specific margins for the all the documents, make sure click on the “Set as Default” in the “Page Setup”.

Adjusting Margins in Google Docs with the Ruler

Adjusting the margins of a document in Google Docs using the ruler is quite easy. Here are steps on how to do it:

  • Activate the Ruler – When you open a new Google Doc file, the ruler might not be activated in the document, but you can still activate it from the View > Show Ruler menu.
  • Check with the Doc’s Layout: Once your document is open, take a moment to check the Google Docs layout. At the top of your document, you will notice a horizontal ruler running across the width of the page. This ruler is a handy tool that enables you to measure and adjust the width of your page from the left margin to the right margin.
  • Identify the Margins on the Ruler: On the ruler, you will notice two downward arrows (Left And Right) representing the text area of your document; the area outside represents the margins. The left arrow represents the left margin, while the right arrow represents the right margin.
  • Review Changes: After making these adjustments, make sure to review your document. Scroll through each page to make sure the new margins do not negatively impact your text or any other elements in your document.

One benefit of this method is that you can adjust the left and right margins separately, allowing you to customize the layout of your document.

But there is a problem with this method, which is that you can only change the margins for the top and bottom, not for the right and the left side of the document.

But it is still a good way if you want to change the margins quickly for the document.

Preview the Change in Margins

After changing the margins, click OK to close the Page Setup window. You can use the Print Preview to check how the document will look when printed or downloaded in PDF form. Click on File > Print or press Ctrl + P (Cmd + P on Mac) to view the print preview.

Default Page Margin in Google Docs (One Inch)

The default page margins in Google Docs are set at 1 inch for all the sides (top, bottom, left, and right). This margin setting is commonly used as it is a standard margin size for many professional, academic, and personal documents.

This 1-inch standard provides a clean and readable layout generally accepted in academic and professional formats, such as MLA, APA, and many business communications.

Change Margins in Google Docs in Mobile (iPhone)

  • Once your document is open, locate the icon for the three horizontal lines at the top right corner of the screen. It is the menu button. Tap on it to open the settings menu.
  • In the settings menu, scroll down until you find the “Page setup” option. Tap it to open the page setup options.
  • You will see an option labeled “Margins” in the page setup interface. Tap on it to access the margin settings.
  • You can adjust the margins for your document’s top, bottom, left, and right using the custom option or use the predefined margin from wide, default, and narrow.

After you have adjusted the margins, save your changes. To do this, tap on the checkmark icon at the screen’s top left corner. Your new margin settings will now be applied to your document.

How Changing Margins Can Help You

  • Adjusting margins can affect a document’s page count. Narrower margins may reduce the number of pages, while wider margins may increase it.
  • If you want to bind the documents, allow additional space in the margin that will be bound, especially from the left side of the documents.
  • Use margins to enhance the document’s visual appeal. Adequate margins can make a document look more professional.
Last Updated: April 27, 2024