If you have ever written a paper for a high school or college teacher, then you know just how rigid many of them can be when it comes to page layout. Their restrictions typically involve preferred settings for title pages and bibliographies, but can also extend to involve the formatting of each page. Among the page formatting options that many audiences will demand is a specific margin. While their reasoning for keeping margins standard typically involve preventing students from needlessly extending page counts, proper margins can also help in keeping a paper more visually appealing.
Outside of a scholastic setting, however, page margins are also helpful for fitting as much information as possible on one page. This is especially beneficial in situations where a lot can be gained by minimizing the page count of a document, such as when you are creating a resume. You can freely change the margins of your Word 2010 document at any time until you find a setting that you prefer.
How to Set Page Margins in Word 2010
Word 2010 includes several different options for simplifying the setting of your page margins. The default setting is called Normal and features a 1 inch margin on each side of the page. There are also preset options to make the margins smaller or larger and, in most cases, one of these options will be suitable for your needs. However, there is also the option to set custom margins, which can allow you to customize the document as much as is necessary.
Begin changing your page margins in Microsoft Word 2010 by double-clicking your document file to open it in Word.
Once the document is open, click the Page Layout tab at the top of the window. At the top of this view is a horizontal bar, called the ribbon, that features most of the options that you will need to modify the layout of your page.
Click the Margins drop-down menu in the Page Setup section of the ribbon, then choose the margin option that suits your needs. If none of the presets offer an option that you prefer, click the Custom Margins option at the bottom of the menu.
Verify that the Margins tab at the top of the window is selected, then enter your custom margin settings into the fields at the top of the window. Note that if you choose a small margin setting (generally anything less than .5 inches) you may receive a warning when you go to print the document that there is a problem with the margins being outside of the print area. Some printers may still be able to print anyway but, if your document does not print correctly, you may need to increase the margin size.
After you have entered margin settings on this menu, click the OK button at the bottom of the window to apply the settings to your document. If you decide later that you do not like the layout of your pages with the current margin settings, you can return to this menu to change them. Note that changing margin settings can affect the page count of your document, as reducing or increasing the margin size will increase or decrease the amount of text that can fit on each page.