How to Change the Margins in Google Docs [Step by Step Tutorial]

Watch Video – Change Margins in Google Docs

Sometimes, you may want to change the margins in Google Docs to make it more suitable when printed or to suit your project/company guidelines.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to quickly change the margins in Google Docs.

You can change the margins in Google docs for:

  • The entire page in a Google Docs document
  • A specific paragraph on the page in a Google Docs document.

Change Page Margins in Google Docs

There are two ways to change the page margins in Google Docs:

  1. Using the Page Setup Dialog box.
  2. Using the ruler

#1 Changing the Page Margins Using the Page Setup Dialog Box

Here are the steps to change the margins of the entire page in Google Docs:

  • Click on the File in the menu toolbar.How to change Margins in Google Docs - File
  • In the File drop-down menu, click on Page Setup.How to change Margins in Google Docs - Page Setup
  • In the page setup dialog box, specify the margins you want to apply to the Google doc by entering the value in the text box. Note that you can specify the value for Top, Bottom, Left and Right individually. You can specify the value in decimal as well.
  • Click OK.

These steps will change the margins of all the pages in your Google Docs file.

Also, if you need to use a specific margin setting for all your GoogleDocs files, you can make it the default setting by click on the ‘Set as default’ option in the Page Setup dialog box.

How to change Margins in Google Docs - Set as Default

#2 Changing the Page Margin using the Ruler

You can also change the page margins in Google Docs by using the Ruler.

You will find the ruler above the Google Docs page and below the menu toolbar.

If you can’t see the ruler, go to the View drop-down menu and click on Show Ruler.

Here are the steps to change the page margins in Google docs using the ruler:

  • Place your cursor on the blue downward pointing icon on the left part of the ruler. The cursor would change into a two arrow icon (as shown below):
  • Click and drag it to the right and leave it when you have the desired page margin.

Similarly, drag and drop the blue downward pointing arrow on the right to get the left margin on the page.

Note that you can not specify the top and bottom margin using the ruler (which you can do using the Page Setup technique).

Change Paragraph Margins in Google Docs

Sometimes, you may need to change the margins of only a couple of paragraphs in Google docs and not the margins of the entire document.

This could be the case when you want to highlight some text as an excerpt from a book/report or quote from someone.

There are two ways to change paragraph margins in Google Docs:

  1. To change the margin for the entire paragraph.
  2. To change the margin for only the first line in a paragraph.

#1 Change the Entire Paragraph Margins in Google Sheets

Here are the steps to  change the entire paragraph margins in Google Docs:

  • Select any word within the paragraph for which you want to change the margins.
  • Place your cursor on the downward-pointing arrow in the ruler. Note that there are two parts to the icons. You need to place the cursor on the bottom part of the icon. You would see the tool tip that says ‘Left Indent’.
  • Drag the downward-pointing arrow to the right and leave it till where you need the margin. Similarly, drag and place the icon the ruler to get the margin on the left.

#2 Change the Margin to create Hanging Indent in Google Docs

Here are the steps to create a hanging indent in Google Docs:

  • Select any word within the paragraph for which you want to change the margins.
  • Place your cursor on the downward-pointing arrow in the ruler. Note that there are two parts to the icons. You need to place the cursor on the top part of the icon. You would see the tool tip that says ‘First Line Indent’.
  • Drag the top part of the icon to the right and leave it till where you need the margin. This will give an indentation to the first line but keep the rest of the paragraph as is.
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