With Google Docs you can make all kinds of adjustments to your text. This way you can customize the look of your documents so they look great on your screen and on paper. One of the features that you can adjust to your preferences are the margins. But how exactly do you change margins in Google Docs?
In this article, we’ll give you a detailed guide on how to change margins in Google Docs using different platforms.
What are margins in Google Docs used for?
The margins refer to the empty space around your Google Docs file. The margins contain no graphics or text, and their primary purpose is to prevent text from bumping into the edges of your document. As a result, the aesthetics of your document are improved by the margins preventing the text from extending too far and making your document more difficult to read. In addition, when inserting bindings for all kinds of printed documents, you may need to adjust your margins to specific sizes to prevent the binding unit from interfering with the text.
Margins should not be confused with indents. The last term refers to the distance between the margin and the first line in a paragraph. For example, your indent might be set to half an inch and your document might have margins of one inch, meaning the text starts 1.5 inches from the edge of the document. Another important distinction is that you can have multiple different indents in the same file, while you can only have one margin setting.
Change margins in Google Docs on your computer
Changing the margins in Google Docs on a computer is perhaps the easiest way to make this adjustment. Viewing the document on a large screen can make handling some of the features we describe here much easier. There are two ways to change margins in Google Docs:
Change margins in Google Docs with the ruler
Here’s how to access the ruler in Google Docs and use it to change your margins:
- If the ruler is not visible on your desktop, enable the feature by pressing the View > Show Ruler.
- You can start with the left margin of your file. Place the cursor anywhere above the gray area of the program at the top of your screen in the left portion of the ruler. This way, you’ll see the ruler’s pointer change into a two-way arrow.
- Start by clicking and dragging the gray area to the right part of your desktop to increase the margin. Instead, move the pointer to the left to get a smaller margin.
- You can do the same with your other margins – bottom, top and right. Drag the pointer in the gray area according to your preferences. The top and bottom margins in Google Docs are on the left, represented by the vertical ruler.
- At the end of your margin you will see a triangle pointing down and a blue rectangle. These icons represent the left indent and the first line indent, respectively. You should also place these indents, as your indent icons will move along the margins.
- By default, there are no indents in your document. However, you can change this by dragging the first line indent about an inch to the right of the document.
Change the margins in Google Docs with the Page Setup option
The alternative to navigating the ruler is to use the Page Setup option. This feature allows you to enter accurate dimensions for your documents. For example, you need to do the following to set margins of one inch:
- With your document open, go to File > Page Setup.
- Type the dimensions for your left, right, top, and bottom margins in the boxes below the margins section.
- Touch Okay to apply the changes.
Change margins in the Google Docs app on an iPhone or iPad
Google Docs is extremely easy to use on iPhones. To change the margins, complete the following steps:
- Open your Google Docs file and go to the Menurepresented by the three dots in the top right corner of the screen.
- Go to the Page settings section and press margins.
- Choose whether you want a custom, wide, standard, or narrow margin setting for your document.
- Custom margins allow you to enter specific dimensions for your documents.
- The wide margin setting applies two-inch right and left margins, accompanied by one-inch top and bottom margins.
- Using default margins means that all four of your margins will be set to one inch.
- Finally, the narrow margins setting provides half-inch margins for all four sides.
Change margins in the Google Docs app on Android
Unfortunately, Android does not 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 customize the look of your documents. For example, you can change the color, size or orientation of the page using your Android phone. Here’s how to do it:
- Open an already existing file or create a new Google Docs file with the New knob.
- Navigate to the edit area symbolized by the pen icon in the right part of the screen.
- Select Page Settings.
- Select the setting you want to adjust. For example, 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.
- Make the desired change and return to your document.
Another useful feature that you can use on your Android is to edit a file in the Print Layout Mode. This allows you to see how your file will look when printed and make any adjustments to improve its appearance before actually printing it. Here’s what you need to do to access the edit option:
- Open a Google Docs file.
- In the top right corner of the screen, press Moresymbolized by the three vertical dots.
- turn the print layout mode on.
- press the edit option, marked by the pen symbol
How to change to 1-inch margins in Google Docs
Many circumstances may require Google Docs users to change their margins to one inch. For example, professors may require this adjustment to make it easier to annotate in the margins. In any case, here’s how to set all four of your margins to one inch:
- Open a Google Docs file or create a new one with the New knob.
- Go to the File > Page Setupthis will open a new window.
- Enter the desired values for your margins in the boxes. In this case, you must set the values for all four margins to one or 2.54 if your unit is in centimeters.
- press the Okay 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 this:
- If you can’t see the ruler on your screen, press View > Show Ruler to bring the ruler to the screen.
- As described in the first section of this article, start by clicking and dragging from the gray area to the right part 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.
- To adjust the margins for individual paragraphs, select the desired section and start repositioning the indicators to set the margins to one inch. This process is called paragraph indentation.
Change single page margins in Google Docs
While it would be a useful feature, Google Docs doesn’t allow you to change the margins for just one page of your document. Nevertheless, we have already mentioned a way to indent your paragraphs. Therefore, in some cases, this option can make up for the shortfall.
How do you change top and bottom margins in Google Docs?
Changing the top and bottom margins is no different than setting the rest of your margins in Google Docs. The easiest way to do this is by using the Page Settings choice.
As described above, you need to go to: File > Page Setup, there you will see the boxes for all four margins, including the top and bottom. Type the size of the margins you want in the boxes and press the Okay button to save your changes.
If you already know how important margins are to your Google Docs files, setting them up will now be much easier for you. Therefore, do not always rely on standard margins, as they can sometimes be insufficient for your specific document. Instead, check the margin requirements carefully and use the Page Setup option or the ruler to adjust your margins, just like we discussed in this article.