What Is a Margin in Microsoft Word 2007?


Like other word processing applications, Microsoft Word 2007 contains a variety of paragraph formatting tools including the ability to indent sentences, automatically wrap text at the end of the sentence and justify text. The application, available for Windows systems, also lets you set the margins within a document to your liking. The margin setting is accessible via Word 2007's "Page Setup" and applies to each page within your document.


  • A margin in Microsoft Word 2007 is one of the outer blank spaces around the edge of your document. The margin sets outside of the printable area and you cannot directly type in a margin. But you can insert page numbers, headers and footers into a margin using Word's "Insert," "Headers and Footers" option. The margin adds white space around your document similar to a mat around a picture.

Margin Defaults

  • The word processing application automatically sets a margin default value of "1 inch" on the top and bottom of your document; and a "1.25-inch" margin default value on each side of your document. The application's default gutter value is "0" inches. The gutter is a margin setting for binding pages together to form a booklet. The gutter gives an extra amount of white space on the top of each page or the inner margins of two facing pages that accept the binding method -- glue, saddle stitch or other form of binding pages together. The white space is needed so the binding method doesn't cut into your booklet's text or graphical elements, including pictures, clip art, charts.

Margin Warning

  • If you set Word 2007's margin setting for "0 inches" on all sides, the application will give you a warning, "One of more margins are set outside the printable area of the page", when you attempt to print your document. This error does not prevent you from printing but your printer may cut off portions of your document's text or graphics. Word 2007 includes a "Fix" option along with the warning message that automatically increases the margin setting for one or more sides.

Accessing Page Margin Setting

  • To set your document's margin setting, click the "Page Layout" tab on Word 2007's main toolbar then click "Margin" in the "Page Setup" group. Click the margin setting you want from the "Margin" dialog box --- "Normal," "Narrow," "Moderate," "Wide," "Mirrored," "Office 2003 Default" or "Custom Margins." The "Custom Margins" setting lets you manually specify margin values for the "Top," "Bottom," "Left" and "Right" sides of your document.

Viewing Word 2007 Margins

  • To view your document's margin setting, click the Microsoft Office button in the upper left-hand corner of the screen then click "Word Options." Click "Advanced" then the check box next to "Show text boundaries" under the "Show document content" heading. Your document's margins will appear as dotted lines on the screen.

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