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How to edit margins in Google Docs

Document processors have preset margins. This is a good thing because when it comes down to printing a document, the last thing you want to worry about it how the print is going to look. Poorly set margins can make a document look bad, and they can result in ‘overrun’ text if the margins are outside the page.

margins in Google Docs

Margins in Google Docs

Google Docs is an online document processor but the documents that you create in it can be printed, and/or saved as PDF files. As such, margins are as important in a Google Docs document as they are in a Microsoft Word document. The margins in Google Docs are set automatically. Users get an A4 size page with 1-inch margins on all sides. You can change this.

Edit margins in Google Docs

When you edit margins in Google Docs, you can do it on a per-document basis or apply it to all documents. If you’re going to use custom margins for select documents, it is a good idea to set the margins before you begin creating your document. You can edit them any time you want but having to adjust images, table widths, etc., afterwards can take up more time.

  1. Open the Google Docs document you want to edit margins in.
  2. Go to File>Page Setup.
  3. In the margin fields, increase or decrease margins from the top, bottom, left, and right.
  4. Click Ok to apply the change to the current document.
  5. Click Set as default to apply the change to all documents that you will create in Google Docs.

The Page Setup box doesn’t give users a visual look at how much writing space they have after editing margins. If you need a more visual method for editing margins in Google Docs, use the rulers.

  1. Open the Google Docs document.
  2. At the top, you will see rulers and sliders for where the margins are set.
  3. Click and drag the sliders to increase or decrease the margins.
  4. You will also see rulers on the side with sliders for managing the top and bottom margins.

If you do not see rulers, go to View>Show ruler.


1 inch margins are fairly standard in documents and document processors, however, some academic publications might have different margin requirements. Likewise, publishing magazines will also specify the font type, size, and margins for submissions which is why it’s always good to know how to change margins in Google Docs. Margins are not tied to a paper size. You can apply the same margins to different paper sizes.

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