130 ofﬁce 2004 for macintosh: the missing manual
When you start with a blank document, Word provides a one-inch margin at the top
and bottom of the page, and a stately one-and-a-quarter inch margin at each side.
Most people never change these settings. In fact, in its own, almost accidental way,
Microsoft has dictated the standard margin formatting for the world’s business cor-
respondence. But if you learn how to work with margins—as well as paragraphs and
indentation—you can give your document a distinctive look, not to mention ﬁt much
more text on a page.
You can adjust the margins of a Word document in either of two ways: by entering
exact measurements (in the Formatting Palette or the Document dialog box), or by
dragging the margins directly onto the ruler.
To use the numeric option, choose Format→Document→Margins tab, or click the
Document title bar on the Formatting Palette. There you’ll ﬁnd individual boxes that
let you specify, in inches, the size of the left, right, top, and bottom margins.
To set your margins by dragging, which produces immediate visible feedback, you
must be in Page Layout view (View→Page Layout).
• Left, Right, Top, Bottom. To set margins by dragging, point to the line where the
ruler changes from white to striped, without clicking. (The striped area is outside
the limits of the margin.) When the cursor changes to a box with double arrows,
drag the margin line to any point on the ruler you wish (see Figure 3-13). Now
you can change the margins on both the horizontal and vertical rulers.
Tip: You may ﬁnd it extremely hard to adjust the left margin, since the trio of indent markers (Figure 3-7)
lies directly on top of the blue/white boundary. Let the cursor hover until the Left Margin screen tip appears
and the cursor shape changes as shown in Figure 3-13. You may even ﬁnd it worthwhile to move the ﬁrst-line
indent handle out of the way while you adjust the margin.
• Header and Footer. Headers and footers (see page 217) appear within the normal
margins. For instance, if you’ve set the bottom margin for 1", you can have the
page number (footer) appear a half-inch from the edge of the paper—half an inch
below the bottom of the text. To do so, set the Footer margin for 0.5", as shown in
The house-shaped controls in the top
ruler set indents (page 120). Drag the
blue/white boundaries (circled) in
either ruler to adjust the margins.
chapter 3: formatting in word 131
Tip: When you’ve got your margins just the way you want them, you can make that setting the default for
all new documents you open. Just choose Format→Document and click Default at the lower left of the
Document dialog box.
Gutters and Mirrors
Word’s gutter and mirror margin features make margins work when your document
is destined to be bound like a book.
In an open book, the gutter is the term for the inner margins where the pages attach
to the spine. Usually, the gutters have to be wider than the outer margins to allow
room for the binding and the spine. (You may want to talk to your publisher—the
ﬁne people at Kinko’s, for example—to learn about margin requirements.) Word
can add this extra space automatically. For instance, if you set a gutter space of 0.25",
Word will add a quarter-inch to the gutter margin on each page.
Another useful tool for book margins is the mirror margin feature, which is designed
to let you set up margins that are uneven on each page, but reﬂected on each two-page
spread (see Figure 3-14).
A quick way to open this dialog
box is to double-click on the ruler
located along the top-left side of the
page. The gutter is an extra area for
binding; the mirror margins feature
is handy when you want the outer
and inner margins to be uneven.