How to Change Microsoft Word Margins in Office 365: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing the margins in Microsoft Word in Office 365 is a breeze! Simply open your document, go to the “Layout” tab, click on “Margins,” and choose from preset options or customize your own. After you adjust the margins, your document will have a fresh new layout.

After you change the margins in your Word document, the text will reflow to fit within the new margins. This can give your document a cleaner look and make it easier to read.


Margins in a Word document are like the frame around a picture; they can enhance or detract from the overall presentation. Whether you’re a student formatting an essay, a business professional preparing a report, or someone creating a flyer for a community event, knowing how to adjust margins in Microsoft Word is a handy skill. Microsoft Word in Office 365 provides users with a user-friendly interface and a variety of options for customizing document margins to fit their needs.

Adjusting margins can make a document look more professional, help conform to formatting guidelines, or simply make it easier on the eyes. It’s important to understand how to change margins in Word because it’s a fundamental aspect of document design that impacts readability and presentation. This article is relevant to anyone who uses Microsoft Word, whether for personal, academic, or professional purposes.

Related: 1 Inch Margins in Word: How to Guide

Step by Step Tutorial to Change Microsoft Word Margins in Office 365

Before we dive into the steps, it’s crucial to know that changing margins can restructure the layout of your document. This could mean your text might move around, or those perfect alignments you had set up might need some tweaking.

Step 1: Open the Layout Tab

Begin by clicking on the “Layout” tab in the ribbon at the top of Word.

The “Layout” tab is where you’ll find all the page setup options, including margins. It’s your go-to place for anything related to the physical structure of your document.

Step 2: Click on Margins

In the “Layout” tab, find and click on the “Margins” button.

Here, you’ll see a list of preset margin options like “Normal,” “Narrow,” and “Moderate.” These presets are designed to meet basic needs, but don’t worry if they don’t fit yours – there’s a way to customize them.

Step 3: Select a Preset or Customize Margins

Choose a preset margin or click on “Custom Margins” at the bottom of the list.

If none of the presets work for you, “Custom Margins” will take you to a new window where you can input exact measurements for each margin.

Step 4: Adjust Margins and Apply

Enter your desired margin sizes and click “OK” to apply the changes to your document.

Be careful with your adjustments; even small changes can significantly alter your document’s layout. Always double-check your final document to ensure everything looks just right.


Enhanced ReadabilityAdjusting margins can make your document easier to read by providing ample space for the text.
Professional AppearanceThe right margins can give your document a more polished and professional look.
CustomizationYou have the freedom to customize margins to fit specific requirements or personal preferences.

Enhanced Readability: A document with appropriately set margins is not only visually appealing but also more readable. The right amount of white space helps guide the reader’s eye and reduces strain.

Professional Appearance: Margins are a subtle but powerful tool for improving the visual impact of your document. Proper margins create a frame for your content, making it look organized and intentional.

Customization: Every document has different needs, and with the ability to customize margins, you can ensure that yours is perfectly tailored to its purpose.


Layout DisruptionsChanging margins can cause disruptions to your document’s layout, requiring further adjustments.
Formatting GuidelinesSome documents must adhere to strict formatting rules, leaving less room for margin customization.
Printer LimitationsSome printers cannot print to the edge of the paper, limiting how narrow you can make your margins.

Layout Disruptions: When you adjust margins, elements like images, tables, and text boxes might shift out of place. This can result in additional time spent reformatting your document.

Formatting Guidelines: If you’re writing for academic or professional purposes, there might be specific margin requirements you have to follow, which can limit your ability to adjust margins for aesthetic purposes.

Printer Limitations: If you’re planning to print your document, it’s essential to consider the printer’s capabilities. Some printers require a minimum margin for proper printing, which could affect your margin settings.

Additional Information

When you’re working with Microsoft Word margins in Office 365, remember that your changes affect the entire document, unless you specify otherwise. You can set different margins for different sections by using section breaks. This is particularly useful if you’re working on a document that has multiple parts with varying formatting needs.

Another tip is to consider the purpose of your document. If it’s a formal report, you might want to stick with the standard one-inch margins. But if it’s a creative project, playing around with wider or narrower margins could add a unique touch. Always keep in mind the readability and the final presentation of your document when adjusting margins.

And don’t forget about the gutter! If you’re planning to bind your document, you’ll need to account for the gutter margin, which provides extra space for the binding without affecting the readability of your text.

Finally, remember to save your document after making changes to the margins. There’s nothing worse than perfecting your layout only to lose your work!


  1. Open the Layout Tab
  2. Click on Margins
  3. Select a Preset or Customize Margins
  4. Adjust Margins and Apply

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I set different margins for different pages in a document?

Yes, you can! Use section breaks to divide your document and then apply different margins to each section.

What’s the difference between margin and padding in Word?

Margins control the space outside the border of an element, while padding refers to the space inside the border, between the border and the actual content.

How do I apply new margin settings to my entire document?

When you adjust margins from the “Layout” tab, the new settings will automatically apply to the entire document unless you have section breaks.

What are the standard margin sizes?

The standard margin size is usually one inch on all sides, but this can vary depending on the purpose of the document or specific formatting guidelines.

How do I know if my printer can print with the margins I set?

Check your printer’s manual or settings for its printing capabilities. You might need to adjust your document’s margins to ensure it prints correctly.


Changing the margins in Microsoft Word in Office 365 is not rocket science, but it does require a bit of know-how. Whether you’re looking to enhance readability, meet formatting guidelines, or just give your document a more polished look, adjusting margins is a skill worth mastering.

Remember to consider the purpose of your document and any printing limitations before making changes. With a little practice and attention to detail, you’ll be setting up your Microsoft Word margins like a pro in no time!

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