Which Margins Can You Customize in a Document?


Margins are an important design element of a document. They are the framework upon which the appearance of a document is built. Proportionately spaced margins provide a professional look. Document margins are located on the top, bottom and sides. Inside the top and left margin are gutter margins. Header and footer margins are located in the top and bottom margins. Each margin can be customized in a document.

Top and Bottom Margins

  • Top and bottom margins are the white spaces located at the top and bottom of the document. The first line of the document starts one line below the top margin. Full page documents end one line above the bottom margin. The default margin for each is 1 inch. In most word processing software, the margins are adjusted through the page options. Adjusting the top and bottom margins increases or decreases the amount of text available vertically in the document.

Side Margins

  • Side margins are located on the left and right side of the document. The default setting is 1 inch on each side. The left and right margin control the amount of space available horizontally for the document text. Increased left and right margins give less space for document text. Decreased side margins give more space for document text.

Gutter Margin

  • A gutter is the space formed by the bound edges of a document. Gutter margin is the amount of extra space needed in the top or left side margin of the document to allow for proper placement of the text of the document after binding. Increasing the gutter margin allows more space for binding.

Header and Footer Margins

  • Headers and footers are located within the top and bottom margin of a document and are used to add information such as page numbers, page titles, letterheads and document paths. Footnotes are usually located in the footer of the document. The header and footer margins are customized in the Insert/Header/Footer option of most word processing programs.

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