How to Set Margins on a Bound Report

You can set the margins in just a few moments on the computer.
You can set the margins in just a few moments on the computer. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Professional margins are just one aspect of the overall appearance of your report. Margins provide white space, which makes the report appear more readable. If the margins are too small, the report appears to be text-heavy and discourages readers. If the margins are too wide, you give the appearance of trying to mask skimpy content. The appropriate margins for a bound business report are 1 1/2 inches on the left side and 1 inch around the other sides.

Open the document in your word processing program. Click the "Page layout" tab and select the option for "margins."

Select the option for "Custom" margins. Most word processing programs do not allow you to have asymmetrical margins like what you need for a bound report.

Adjust the left margin so it is set at 1 and 1/2 inches. This margin has to be wider to accommodate for the binding, which will cut into the white space on the left margin. Having a larger margin makes the report appear more professional and prevents the text from being obscured or cut by the binding.

Ensure that the margins at the top, right and bottom are set to 1 inch. This is the standard business margin for non-bound documents.

Select the option for "Book fold" if you plan to print on the front and back of the pages. This will set the margins on the even pages to be 1 1/2 inches on the right margin and 1 1/2 inches on the left margin for the odd pages. This way, each page appears to have a standard 1-inch margin all around each page, whether is is bound on the right or the left.

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