Margins on microsoft word mac

By Geetesh Bajaj, James Gordon. Most people are accustomed to seeing a perimeter style margin surrounding the text in documents, including Word documents. In a book or magazine in which the sheets are bound, you need extra white space, or gutter , in addition to a margin.

Change Default Font and Spacing in Mac Word

Even normal documents that need to be printed need that gutter. As with previous versions of Office, Office for Mac features margin-controlling options.

Getting Your Document Started

In Word for Mac, you can adjust the margins by clicking the Layout tab on the Ribbon and using the options in the Margins group, or by dragging the margin sliders in the rulers. Of course, first you need to turn on the rulers at the top and left edge of the document area in Word for Mac: Drag the line that divides the shaded part from the white part to adjust the margin setting.

Set or change page margins in Word

First line indent: Hanging indent: Drag the lower triangle on the horizontal ruler to set where the first line of the paragraph starts. Left indent: Drag the lowest button situated immediately under the hanging indent triangle to adjust the left indent.


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Many Word users use this feature to tell them, at a glance, where their page margins are. Shauna Kelly recommended turning them on in her beginner's tutorial.

How to Format Your Word Document for Book Printing (on Mac or PC)

Personally, I found them distracting and simply used the Rulers. However, the designers at Microsoft were apparently unaware that these dotted lines were even being used for this purpose and changed their text layout engine in Word. This changed the display of these dotted lines to a paragraph boundary rather than a page boundary. As reported by Suzanne Barnhill and others, Microsoft's take on this is that text boundaries are " a feature that was never supposed to be a feature," "a window into the internals of word" that should probably never have been exposed to users.

The feature " just draws a border around [Word's] internal drawing rectangles," and those have now changed with the switch to a hardware-accelerated display.

So Word "is doing precisely what it has always done drawing borders around internal data structures. For those interested, here is a link to a lengthy discussion of this change with workarounds: If you feel that Microsoft should change these back, here is a page where you can let them know.

It has been "under consideration" since More votes won't hurt.