How to change margins in Google Docs

Today, we will show you how to change margins in Google Docs. When Docs first started gaining popularity, we – like so many other people – started to wonder why we needed a replica of Word. Could there be so much difference in how we type up a document?

Granted, Microsoft has made some decent changes in the latest update but it still doesn’t match Google Docs. Aside from cloud sharing, Google Docs got a ton of features so much easier to use.

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One of these features is the margins and adjusting them. This is a sample document in which you’ll learn how to change margins on Google Docs. If you have ever tried to change one margin and the entire document moved – your pain will soon be over.

First, we are going to look at how to change margins for the whole Google Doc. Following this, you will learn how to change margins for specific paragraphs. As you are reading this article, it’s a good idea to have Google Docs open. This way you can practice each of the steps and create a new Google Doc with just a few short paragraphs.

How to change margins in Google Docs

Method 1

So, you have a new Google Doc with a few paragraphs written. The first step is to open “File” and scroll down to “Page setup”.

How to change margins in Google Docs

Once you have clicked on “Page setup”, a new window will appear. You have the choice to switch from Portrait to Landscape, select your paper size, and even the page color. On the right-hand side, there are margin options.

How to change margins in Google Docs

Remember that the settings are set in inches. For the Europeans reading this article, 1 inch equals 2.54 centimeters. It’s not always easy to visualize an A4 document on your screen. For this reason, here are some examples:

How to change margins in Google Docs

This is an image with the top set at 1 inch. We also changed the left and right to 3 inches:

How to change margins in Google Docs

The left margin is set at 0.5 inches and the right at 1 inch. We also set the top margin to 0.5 inches.

By clicking “OK”, you will change the margins for the document you are working on. When you select “Set as default”, you will change the settings for all your Google Docs. But don’t worry. Now you see how easy it is to change, you can select new default margins whenever you need to.

Method 2

There are margin bars on the Google Doc itself. To move the top margin (to move the text closer to the top), the margin bar is to the left.

How to change margins in Google Docs

If you put your cursor in the margin bar over the line between grey and white, an arrow will appear. When you see this arrow, you can drag the top margin to the height you wish. However, the left and right margins are a little trickier.

How to change margins in Google Docs

We will talk about the blue arrow in the next part of the article. But you will see that the change in grey to white is directly under the blue arrow. If you run your cursor over this area, you need to make sure it says “Left Margin”. A black arrow will appear and with this arrow, you can change the left and right margin of the whole Google Doc.

How to set margins in Google Docs – Paragraphs

Sometimes, long documents look a bit boring with just one margin. You might want to reduce the margin for important information or quotes. In the sample Google Doc, there are just two sentences, but the idea is the same for paragraphs.

In the next image, you can see the two arrows marked A. These are the margins we set using the “Page setup”. They are set at 3 inches on the left and 1 on the right. The 1st and 3rd paragraphs are set at these margins.

How to change margins in Google Docs

If you put the cursor at the beginning of a paragraph, you will see that two blue arrows appear in the margin bar, marked B. Click and drag these arrows to adjust the left and right margins of your selected paragraph.

For each margin you want to change, you can just put the cursor at the front of that paragraph and move the arrows to get the layout you desire.

Margins vs Align

Changing your margins doesn’t modify your alignment. Usually, we type with the text aligned to the right. You can still set different margins for paragraphs and then change the alignment.

For example, in the image below, we have set the 2nd paragraph to smaller margins and aligned it to the right, rather than the left.

How to change margins in Google Docs

Wrap Up

And that’s is, now you know how to adjust margins in Google Docs! From personal experience, we prefer to create a practice Google Doc and have a play around with the margins and layout. It only takes a few minutes to master this.

It’s better to do it when you have a few spare minutes than to leave it for an important document. Under pressure, it’s easy to become frustrated with changing margins on Google Docs when it doesn’t have to be.