How to Change Margins in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing the margins in Word is a simple task that can give your document a clean and professional look. By adjusting the margins, you can control the amount of white space around the text, which can help make your document easier to read and more visually appealing. Here’s a quick overview of how to do it: Open your Word document, go to the Layout tab, click on Margins, select one of the preset options or click on Custom Margins to enter your own measurements, and click OK to apply the changes.

Step by Step Tutorial: Changing Margins in Word

Before we dive into the steps to change margins in Word, it’s important to understand that margins are the blank spaces that border the top, bottom, left, and right of your document. They serve as a buffer between the text and the edge of the page. By customizing them, you can make sure your document has the exact look and feel you want.

Step 1: Open your Word document

Open the Word document you want to adjust the margins for.

When you open your Word document, it will display the default margins set by Word. However, these may not be suitable for every document you create, so knowing how to change them is crucial.

Step 2: Go to the Layout tab

Navigate to the Layout tab in the Word ribbon.

The Layout tab is where you’ll find all the page setup options, including margins, orientation, size, and more. It’s your go-to spot for adjusting the appearance of your document.

Step 3: Click on Margins

In the Page Setup group, click on the Margins button.

The Margins button will show you a list of preset margin options such as Normal, Narrow, Moderate, and Wide. These presets are a quick and easy way to adjust your margins if you’re not looking for something specific.

Step 4: Select a preset option or click on Custom Margins

Choose one of the preset margin options or click on Custom Margins for more control.

If the preset options don’t fit your needs, selecting Custom Margins will allow you to enter your own margin measurements for the top, bottom, left, and right margins.

Step 5: Enter your own measurements (if necessary)

If you clicked on Custom Margins, a new window will open where you can enter your desired margin sizes.

This step is where you can get precise with your margins. Make sure to consider the requirements of your document, whether it’s for a school paper, a business report, or a book layout.

Step 6: Click OK to apply the changes

Once you’ve set your margins, click OK to apply them to your document.

After clicking OK, you’ll see the changes reflected in your document. It’s always a good idea to check that everything looks right and make any necessary adjustments.

After completing these steps, your document will have the new margins you’ve set. This can drastically change the appearance and readability of your document, so it’s worth taking the time to get it right.

Tips for Changing Margins in Word

  • Always consider the purpose of your document when setting margins. Different types of documents have different standard margins.
  • If you’re creating a document that will be bound, like a book or report, remember to allow for extra space in the binding margin.
  • Use the preview window in the Custom Margins dialog box to get an idea of how your new margins will look before applying them.
  • Remember that changing margins can affect the pagination of your document. You may need to adjust other elements like headers, footers, or page breaks.
  • If you’re using Word’s preset margin options and find them not suitable, don’t be afraid to customize your margins to fit your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I change the margins for just one page in Word?

To change the margins for a single page, place your cursor at the beginning of the page, go to the Layout tab, click on Margins, select Custom Margins, and in the new window, click on the Apply to dropdown menu and select This point forward.

Can I save my custom margins as a preset?

Yes, after setting your custom margins, click on the Set As Default button in the Custom Margins window to save your settings for future documents.

Why can’t I change the margins in Word?

If you’re unable to change the margins, it could be because you’re using a template with locked margins, or you might not have permission to edit the document. Check the document’s properties or consult with the document creator.

Will changing margins affect my document’s layout?

Yes, changing margins can shift the text and other elements in your document. Always review your document after adjusting margins to ensure everything is in place.

How do I view the current margin sizes in Word?

To view the current margin sizes, go to the Layout tab, click on Margins, and then click on Custom Margins. The current margin sizes will be displayed in the Page Setup window.


  1. Open your Word document
  2. Go to the Layout tab
  3. Click on Margins
  4. Select a preset option or click on Custom Margins
  5. Enter your own measurements (if necessary)
  6. Click OK to apply the changes


Changing margins in Word is a straightforward process that can significantly impact the overall presentation of your document. Whether you’re working on an academic paper, a business report, or a creative project, mastering the art of margin adjustment is a valuable skill. By following the steps outlined in this article, you now have the know-how to customize your document’s margins to perfection. Don’t hesitate to experiment with different margin sizes to see what works best for your needs. And remember, a well-formatted document not only looks more professional but also enhances readability, ensuring your content shines through. So go ahead, give it a try, and see how a simple margin change can elevate your Word documents to new heights!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy