How to Change Margins in Google Docs

Google Docs lets you make all sorts of adjustments to your text. This way, you’re able to modify the appearance of your documents to make them look great on your screen and on paper. One of the properties you can customize according to your preferences is the margins. But how exactly do you change the margins in Google Docs?

How to Change Margins in Google Docs

In this article, we’ll give you a detailed guide on how to change margins in Google Docs using various platforms.

What Are the Margins in Google Docs Used For?

The margins refer to the blank space surrounding your Google Docs File. The margins don’t contain any images or text, and their primary purpose is to prevent text from colliding with your document’s edges. As a result, your document’s aesthetics are improved in that the margins prevent the text from extending too far and making your document more difficult to read. Moreover, inserting binding for all sorts of printed documents may require you to adjust your margins to specific sizes to prevent the binding from interfering with the text.

Margins shouldn’t be confused with indents. The latter term refers to the distance between the margin and the initial line in a paragraph. For example, your indent may be set to half an inch, and your document may feature one-inch margins, meaning that the text begins 1.5 inches away from the document’s edge. Another important distinction is that you can have multiple different indents in the same file, whereas you can only have one margin setup.

How to Change Margins in Google Docs on Your Computer

Changing the margins in Google Docs on a computer might be the easiest way of making this adjustment. Viewing the document on a large screen can make handling some of the features we’ll describe here much simpler. There are two ways of changing the margins in Google Docs:

Changing the Margins in Google Docs with the Ruler

This is how to access the ruler in Google Docs and use it to change your margins:

  1. If the ruler isn’t visible on your desktop, turn on the feature by pressing the View > Show ruler.
  2. You can start with your file’s left margin. Place the cursor anywhere over the program’s grey zone atop your screen on the ruler’s left section. This way, you’ll see the ruler’s pointer turn into an arrow with two directions.
  3. Start clicking and dragging the grey zone to the right portion of your desktop to increase the margin. Conversely, move the pointer to the left to get a smaller margin.
  4. You can do the same with your other margins – bottom, top, and right. Drag the pointer in the grey zone according to your preferences. The top and bottom margins in Google Docs are located to the left and are represented by the vertical ruler.
  5. At the end of your margin, you’ll see a triangle pointing downward and a blue rectangle. These icons represent the left indent and the first line indent, respectively. You should also position these indents since your indent icons move alongside the margins.
  6. By default, there will be no indents in your document. However, you can change this by dragging the first line indent toward the document’s right by around half an inch.

Changing the Margins in Google Docs with the Page Setup Option

The alternative to navigating the ruler is using the Page Setup option. This feature enables you to enter precise measurements for your documents. For instance, here’s what you need to do to set one-inch margins:

  1. While your document is open, go to File > Page setup.
  2. Type in the measurements for your left, right, top, and bottom margins in the boxes located under the Margins section.
  3. Hit OK to apply the changes.

How to Change Margins in the Google Docs App on an iPhone or iPad

Google Docs is exceptionally user-friendly on iPhones. Take the following steps to change the margins:

  1. Open your Google Docs file and go to the Menu, represented by the three dots located in the screen’s upper-right corner.
  2. Go to the Page setup section and press Margins.
  3. Choose whether you want a custom, wide, default, or narrow margins setup for your document.
  4. Custom margins enable you to enter specific measurements for your documents.
  5. The wide margin setup applies two-inch right and left margins, accompanied by one-inch top and bottom margins.
  6. Using default margins means that all four of your margins will be set to one inch.
  7. Finally, the narrow margin setup will create half-inch margins for all four sides.

How to Change Margins in the Google Docs App on Android

Unfortunately, Android doesn’t allow its users to change their margins in Google Docs. However, you can make many other changes to your Google Docs files on an Android device to adjust the look of your documents. For instance, you can modify the page color, size, or orientation using your Android phone. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open a pre-existing file or create a new Google Docs file using the New button.
  2. Navigate to the Edit section symbolized by the pen icon in the right part of the display.
  3. Select Page setup.
  4. Select the setting you want to adjust. For instance, set the orientation to landscape or portrait, change the paper size (statement, tabloid, letter, A5, A4, A3, etc.), and use a different color for your document.
  5. Make whatever change as you see fit and return to your document.

Another neat feature you can access on your Android is editing a file in the Print Layout Mode. This lets you see how your file will look once printed and make any adjustments to improve its appearance before you actually print it. This is what you need to do to access the editing option:

  1. Open a Google Docs file.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the screen, press More, symbolized by the three vertical dots.
  3. Turn the Print layout mode on.
  4. Press the Edit option, marked by the pen symbol

How to Change to One-Inch Margins in Google Docs

Many circumstances may require Google Docs users to change their margins to one inch. For instance, professors may demand this customization to allow for easier note writing in the margins. In any case, this is how to set all four of your margins to one inch:

  1. Open a Google Docs file or create a new one with the New button.
  2. Go to the File > Page Setup, this will open a new window.
  3. Enter the desired values for your margins in the boxes. In this case, you’ll need to set the values for all four margins to one or 2.54 if your unit is in centimeters.
  4. Press the OK button to apply and save your changes.

In addition, you can also use the ruler to set your Google Docs margins to one inch. Follow these steps to do so:

  1. If you can’t see the ruler on your screen, press View > Show ruler to bring the ruler to the screen.
  2. As described in the first section of this article, start clicking and dragging the grey zone to the right portion of your desktop to adjust the size of the margins. If the number above the indicators is “1,” the margins are set to one inch. You can also check the margin size on the ruler.

  3. If you want to adjust the margins for individual paragraphs, select the desired section, and start changing the position of the indicators to set the margins to one inch. This process is referred to as indenting paragraphs.

How to Change Margins for One Page in Google Docs

Even though it would be a useful feature, Google Docs doesn’t allow you to change margins for just one page of your document. Nonetheless, we’ve already mentioned a way you can indent your paragraphs. Therefore, this option may compensate for the deficiency in some cases.

Additional FAQs

How Do You Change the Top and Bottom Margins in Google Docs?

Changing the top and bottom margins is no different from setting the rest of your margins in Google Docs. The easiest way to do this is by using the Page Setup option.

As described above, you need to go to File > Page Setup, there you’ll see the boxes for all four margins, including the top and bottom ones. Type in the size of the margins you want in the boxes and press the OK button to save your changes.

Final Thoughts

If you’re already aware of how important margins are to your Google Docs files, setting them will come much easier to you now. Therefore, don’t always rely on default margins, as they can sometimes be inadequate for your particular document. Instead, check the margin requirements carefully and use the Page Setup option or the ruler to adjust your margins, just as we covered in this article.

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