How to edit margins in Google Docs

Document processors have preset margins. This is a good thing because when it comes to printing a document, the last thing you want to worry about is how the print will look. Poorly positioned margins can make a document look bad, and can result in ‘too much’ text if the margins are off-page.

edges in Google Docs

Edges in Google Docs

Google Docs is an online document processor but the documents you create can be printed, and / or saved as PDF files. Therefore, 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 will receive an A4 size page with 1-inch margins on each side. You can change this.

Edit margins in Google Docs

When editing margins in Google Docs, you can do it on a per-document basis or apply it to all documents. If you are going to use custom margins for selected documents, it is a good idea to set the margins before you start creating your document. You can edit them whenever you want but if you need to change images, table width, etc, it can take longer after that.

  1. Open the Google Docs document you want to edit borders into.
  2. Go to File> Setup Page.
  3. In the margin areas, raise or lower edges from 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 you create in Google Docs.

The Page Setup box will not give users a visual view of their write space after editing margins. If you need a more visual way to edit edges in Google Docs, use the rulers.

  1. Open a Google Docs document.
  2. At the top, you will see rulers and sliders for where the edges are located.
  3. Click and drag the sliders to raise or lower the edges.
  4. You will also see side controllers with sliders to control the top and bottom edges.

If you do not see controllers, go to View> Show controller.


1-inch margins are common in documents and document processors, but some academic publications may have different margin requirements. Similarly, publishing journals also specify the font type, size and margins for applications which is why it is always good to know how to change margins in Google Docs . Edges are not tied to paper size. You can apply the same edges in different paper sizes.

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