The margin is the distance between the text in your document and the edge of the document.
Changing the margins allows you to adjust how much of the space in your document you want the text to use.
Every document in Google Docs has a default setting for the margins. However, you can change these default settings and customize your margins. You can change the margins for the left, right, top, or bottom of your document.
You can also decide whether you want to change the margins for the entire page or just for a few paragraphs in your document. If you want to use these margins for future documents as well, you can make the new settings default.
In this article, we will be talking about the two broad ways in which you can change the margins in your document. We will also be taking you through the steps of changing the margins for each of these methods.
Note that we will specifically be talking about how to create a 1-inch margin but the steps we provide can be used for creating margins of any length/width.
Let’s get started.
Two methods of changing your margins
As we’ve mentioned earlier, you can either change the margins for the entire page or just for a particular paragraph or paragraphs.
This is what a 1-inch margin will look like if you apply it to the entire page:
This is what the margin will look like if you only apply it to specific paragraphs (the headings) :
Changing the margins for the entire page is useful if you want to have consistent margins throughout the document.
You can also make these settings default to ensure that all future documents also have these margins. This reduces effort on your part as you don’t have to change the default settings for each and every document you create.
On the other hand, changing the margins just for a particular paragraph or a few paragraphs allows you to distinguish the different aspects of your document.
For example, you can have a 1-inch margin just for the headings in your document so that you can distinguish them from the rest of the text.
Another reason why creating 1-inch margins is useful is that they allow you to make the best use of the space in your document without compromising on readability.
This is especially beneficial if you are printing out the document as it allows you to save sheets and ink.
Method 1: Changing the document margins
Now that we know the two ‘types’ of margins and why 1-inch margins are useful, let’s move on to the first method: changing document margins. All you have to do is follow the steps below.
Step 1: Open your Google Docs document.
To start off, open the document whose margins you would like to change. You can do this by going to the Google Docs homepage (at docs.google.com) and selecting a document under ‘Recent documents.’ Make sure you are signed in to your Google account.
You can also create a new blank document or choose an existing template.
Step 2: Click on the ‘File’ tab.
Once you have opened your document, you can see the Google Docs toolbar at the top left corner of the screen. The ‘File’ tab is the very first option. Click on it to see the ‘File’ menu.
Step 3: Click on ‘Page setup.’
This is generally the second last option in the ‘File’ menu. Click on it to open the ‘Page setup’ window.
Step 4: Customise the margins.
In the ‘Page setup’ window, you will see the option to change the top, bottom, left and right margins of your page. Change the default margins to 1.
Note that you don’t have to keep the same margin for all four sides. For example, you can have 1-inch margins only for the top and right sides of your page and 2-inch margins for the remaining two sides.
You can also change other aspects of your page in the ‘Page setup’ window, such as the page colour and orientation.
Step 5: Click on ‘OK.’
To apply the changes to your document, click on ‘OK.’ Click on the ‘Set as default’ button to make these settings the default margins and apply them to all the future documents.
Once you’ve completed this step, you should see the new margins for your pages. Keep in mind that the new margins are applied to all the pages in your document.
Method 2: Using rulers to change margins (both document and paragraph margins)
Another way to change your document and paragraph margins is by using the rulers on your page.
Below are the steps for using this method.
(Optional) Step 1: Select ‘Show ruler.’
Follow this step if you don’t already have rulers on your page. If you can see the rulers, you can skip this step.
To see the rulers, click on the ‘View’ tab in the toolbar and select the ‘Show ruler’ option.
Step 2: Adjust the arrows on the ruler.
To change the margins of your page, adjust the blue arrows on your ruler.
If you want to change the margins for the entire page, click Control+A (or Command+A) to select all the text in your document. Then, adjust the position of the blue arrows. If the number above the arrow is 0, then your margin is a 1-inch margin.
However, if you only want to change the margins for a particular paragraph (in other words, you want to indent that paragraph), then highlight that paragraph and adjust the position of the ruler.
Google Docs doesn’t yet have an option to lock the margins. However, you can prevent others from editing your document’s margins. When you are sharing the doc with people, make them only a viewer or commenter rather than an editor. Note that this will prevent them from making any changes to the document, not just the margins.
Let’s summarise what we have learned. We discussed the two ways in which you can change the margins in your Google Docs document- by changing the margins for the entire document or by changing them only for a specific paragraph/paragraphs. Then, we learned the steps for each of these methods and learned about how we can prevent others from editing the margins of the document.
Thanks for reading! We hope you found this article useful.