How to Change Your Margins in Google Docs: A Step by Step Guide


Marcelo Beilin  (Updated Jun 7, 2022 )

This article shows you how to change margins in Google Docs. The margins in your document are the spaces between the text and all edges of the page.

These spaces are used to create a balance between text and white space, making your document more readable. They also take into account the limitations of many desktop printers that are not designed to print all the way to the edge of a page.

The default margins in Google Docs are one inch from each edge, but you can change them to fit the needs of each document or even a part of your document. This article will show you what you need to do to change margins in Google Docs step by step.

How to Change Margins in Google Docs

There are two methods to change margins on your document: using the Page Setup menu from the top navigation and using the document ruler.

Method 1 — Using the Page Setup Menu

Click on "File" and then "Page Setup"

When you click on the File pull-down menu (top left of the screen), and then select “Page Setup,” the following window will pop up:

page setup full

The section labeled "Apply to" will default to "Whole document" as shown above if there's nothing previously highlighted in your document, and alternatively to "Selected content" if you have highlighted text, as shown below:

page setup partial

Set the margins

Now, let’s look at the section labeled "Margins" on the right-hand side of the popup screen.

To set your margins, choose how many inches you would like each of your margins to be (Top and Bottom, Left and Right) and type this number inside each box. If you didn’t highlight any text prior to opening the Page Setup panel, then the margins will apply to the entire document.

If you don't know what size margin is best for your document, choose one inch all around.

Click OK when finished.

Method 2 — Using the Ruler

Before you use this method to set margins, make sure that your Google Docs ruler is visible. To do so, click the “View” pull-down menu from the top navigation and make sure that “Show Ruler” is selected.

Changing the left and right margins

To change the left margin of a chosen paragraph, place your cursor anywhere inside the paragraph and then click and drag the margin indicator (blue downward-pointing arrow) along the horizontal ruler on top of the screen:

left adjustment

If you want to indent the paragraph instead of changing the entire left margin, position your cursor above the left margin indicator and click and drag the small blue line above the downward-pointing arrow along the ruler instead:

first line adjustment

To change the right margin, click on the right margin indicator (blue downward-pointing arrow) and drag it along the ruler:

right adjustment

Changing the top and bottom margins

To change the top margin for the entire document, position your cursor on the dividing line between the white and grey sections at the top of the vertical ruler on your document's extreme left then click, hold and drag the mouse up or down:

top margin adjustment

Finally, if you want to change the bottom margin for the entire document, position your cursor on the dividing line between the white and grey sections at the bottom of the vertical ruler on the extreme left of your document then click, hold and drag the mouse up or down:

bottom margin adjustment

Wrapping Things Up

As you can see, by changing margins in Google Docs you can make your document more presentable and create a good balance between the text on your page and the white space around it, making the reading experience less straining to the eye.

It is a very simple process that takes less than five minutes to complete!

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About the author

Marcelo Beilin is a Digital Marketing Consultant and blogger who helps clients take their traffic and online revenue to the next level.

He also helps readers find the perfect tools to earn online income at

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