How to Fix ‘Bottom Margin Bigger’ Issue in Google Docs

Thick bottom margins can be annoying when you need precise margins for your work. Most word processing software uses the widow/orphan control feature.

In Google Docs, the feature is active by default. It makes your text look better, but you may get bigger margins.

What is a widow? 

Imagine a paragraph that begins at the end of a page and occupies one line at the top of the next page. That line on the second page is a widow. By default, Google Docs will move some lines from the first page to the second page to prevent widows. Unfortunately, this transfer leaves thicker margins on the previous page.

What is an orphan? 

An orphan occurs when the first line of a paragraph sits at the end of a page. Google Docs will move this line to the next page. A transfer like this will leave the last line empty. The empty last lines make the bottom margins appear bigger.

The widow/orphan control prevents widows and orphans. There is no way to turn this feature off in Google Docs. However, the workaround below can give you slimmer bottom margins.

2 ways to fix bigger bottom margin in Google Docs:

  • Set document margin size
  • Minimize header/footer

Method 1: Set document margin size

Step 1: Open a new or existing document.

Step 2: Select Page setup.

Select File. Next, scroll down and click on Page setup.

Step 3: Reduce margin size.

Under Margins, reduce the bottom margin size.

Unfortunately, headers and footers may interfere with the margin size you have set. Learn below how to reduce the header/footer size.

To minimize the header/footer, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Adjust the header.

Double-click the header/footer and select Options. Next, select Header format.

Reduce the footer margin to 0. This way, the header/footer will not interfere with the margin you set in the Page Setup.

Wrapping up

Stop worrying about big margins when you use Google Docs. The above methods will help you get around widow/orphan control. 

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