How to change margins in Google Docs - edit and adjust margins
Learn how to change margins in Google Docs, and make adjustments and edits on PC, Mac, iOS and Android with the help of this guide.
When using Google Docs, you can make a number of adjustments to your text to make it look more aesthetically pleasing. One of the many adjustments you are allowed is to change the margins of your document. But how exactly do you do that? We have listed below the detailed steps on how to change margins in Google Docs.
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What is the use of margins in Google Docs?
The blank space surrounding your Google Docs document is what is referred to as margins. This space is entirely blank, with no text or images, and is mainly used for aesthetic purposes, to make sure that the text doesn’t collide with the edge of the document. Also, if you want to print out a document and frame it or bind it, the margins will help you avoid any mess.
Note that margins are not the same as indents. Indents are the spacing between the margin and the first word in a line. So when you indent the first word in a para, the text on the indented line will start at an inch from the edge - as you’ll have a margin that is half an inch thick and then a half-inch indent. Also, you can have just a single margin but different indents, based on how you need the document to appear.
To read more on indents and learn how to make a hanging indent on Google Docs, do check out this article.
How to change margins in Google Docs on PC or Mac
When making use of a laptop or desktop device, it is fairly easy to adjust the margins in Google Docs. You can do so in either of the following two ways:
- Using the ruler
- Using the page setup option
We have elaborated on both these methods below:
How to change margins in Google Docs using the ruler:
- Ensure that the ruler is visible on your Google Docs tab. If it’s not, go to ‘View’, check ‘Show Ruler’
- On the ruler, the grey zone depicts the margin. Consider the left margin. Place the mouse pointer over the grey zone in the top ruler and move it left or right as you wish. Moving the left margin to the right will leave a bigger area to the left of the text, and vice versa.
- Follow the same process for the right margin. Move it right or left to decrease or increase the space to the right of the text as you wish.
- You can set margins to the top and bottom of your document, too. The vertical ruler, located at the left edge of the tab, can be used to adjust the top and bottom margins in a similar fashion as the right and left margins.
- You would also need to adjust the indents on the page as per your need, since these change when you move the margins.
- To do this, you can drag the first line indent and the left indent shown on the ruler. These are represented by a blue rectangle and a blue triangle respectively.
How to change margins in Google Docs using page setup:
- To set precise measurements to your margins, you can make use of the page setup option. For this, open your document and go to File -> Page Setup.
- You can now set the values for the Top, Bottom, Left, and Right margins and press ‘OK’ to apply.
Changing margins on iPhone and iPad
- To change the margins of the page on an iPhone, click on the three dots at the top right of the screen. (This is the ‘Menu’ option, you can do this directly on an iPad). Next, go to the ‘Page setup’ section.
- Now, you can choose whether you want custom, wide, default, or narrow margins for your document.
- Custom: You can enter specific values, similar to the ‘Page setup’ option on a computer.
- Wide: Two-inch right and left margins and one-inch top and bottom margins are applied.
- Default: All four margins will be an inch wide.
- Narrow: All four margins will be half an inch wide.
Changing margins on Android
Unfortunately, the Google Docs app presently doesn’t allow changing margins on an Android device. If you open a doc and click on the pencil to go to ‘Edit’ mode, you can go to the menu (the three dots at the top right), and see that the ‘Page setup section’ lacks this option.
However, it does allow you to change the orientation, size, and color of the page. You can find detailed instructions on how to go about these changes here:
You can however change the margins in Google Docs on Android by opening the desktop app in a browser:
- Go to your phone’s browser, for instance, Google Chrome. Now open the menu and select the ‘Desktop site’ option.
- Now, make sure that you’re logged in to your Google account and open docs.google.com in the browser.
- Open the Doc you were working on, or a new one. Here you can follow the same steps as you would on PC or Mac, i.e, either make the ruler visible and drag it, or go to ‘File -> Page setup’ and set the margins.
- The former option may lead to manual error and isn’t easy given the small screen size of a phone, so the latter option is probably better in this case to ensure precision.
Can you adjust margins for a single page in Google Docs?
Similar to the above query of how to change margins in Google Docs on Android, the option for changing margins on a single page in Google Docs is also not possible. You’d have to apply the change to the entire file.