Two Simple Ways to Change Margins of your Google Document

Google Docs is used for writing and editing many formal and informal texts. These could be research papers, reports, blog posts, short stories, essays, theses, etc. Unless you’re jotting down on your e-diary, all documents must follow a formal format in which the content is presented. This format is different for each document.

A big portion of document formatting is the layout of the page. The page layout of Google Docs can be changed according to the requirements. One of the major aspects of a page layout is the margins. In this article, we will see how to change margins in Google Docs.

What are Margins?

The margins of a page or document are the empty space around the outside of the text. It is basically the amount of white space on each side of the page between which the text is written. Setting up margins means recognizing the best appearance for your document that is attractive for your audience readers. We can choose to change the margin of a single sentence or the entire paragraph, whatever the format requires.

One thing you should know while working with margins is the difference between margins and indents. A margin is the space between the borders and the first line of the paragraph whereas an indent is the position from where you start writing your text. You can have multiple indents but only one margin. For example, if your indent is set to 0.5 inches and margins are one inch, your text will start at 1.5 inches from the border of your page.

Margins make sure that your text is aligned in the document without colliding with the boundaries, making it easy for the reader to go through it and avoids any overlapping. Margins also give your document an overall neat and cohesive look.

How to Change Margins in Google Docs?

The default margins in Google Docs are set at one inch on each side of the page. The Google Docs application has the easiest way to change margins for the best representation of your document. Before you try to figure out how to change margins in Google Docs, you need to make sure that you can view the ruler in your document. If it’s not visible, you can go perform these steps:

  • Go to the menu bar.
  • Click on View.
  • Select Show ruler from the drop-down menu.
  • This should enable your ruler on the top of your page.

How to Change Margins in Google Docs

Now on how to change margins in Google Docs, there are two ways you can go about this. Both these methods are explained step-by-step below:

a. From the Ruler

For changing margins on Google Docs according to your format requirements, you can follow these steps:

  • Place the cursor to the left of the blue icon (as shown in the red box) in the grey margin portion.


  • This is will change the cursor icon to that of a two-sided arrow.
  • You can then drag the grey margin portion to the left or the right depending on whether you want to increase the left margin or decrease it.
  • Here is a demonstration of how to change margins in Google Docs when the ruler is used.


How to Change Margins in Google Docs


How to Change Margins in Google Docs

  • You can also change the margins of the top, bottom, and right white space of the document.
  • The vertical ruler is for setting the top and bottom margins.
  • This ruler is present on the left of the document.


  • For setting up the indents, you can use the blue arrow and the blue rectangle. These will change the left indent and first-line indent respectively.
  • For now, there are no indents inside the text but you can alter the first line indent by dragging the blue arrow.

How to change margins in google docs

The ruler is, therefore, a pretty handy tool that you can use to format your Google Document. You can change both the margins of the page and paragraph and the indents using the ruler. More on changing indents and creating hanging indents on Google Docs can be read here.

b. From the Page Setup

Changing the margins of your document with the page setup is an easier alternative to manually adjusting the ruler for your document margins. You can put in exact dimensions for your margins using this tool.

Here are the steps needed to add dimensions to your document margins using the page setup option:

  • From the menu bar, click on File.
  • A drop-down menu will appear. Click on Page setup.

How to change margins in google docs

  • A Page setup dialog box will open up from where you can alter margin settings. You can set the dimensions of the top, bottom, left, and right margins individually. For example, you can set 1-inch margins for the top and bottom, and 2-inch margins for left and right.
  • The Page setup menu also lets you change other factors of your document such as paper size, paper orientation, and page color. You can make the changes required for your document format over here.

ss2 of 2

  • Once you’ve entered all the required margin dimensions, click on OK to save changes.
  • You can click on Set as default to save these margin dimensions for your future documents as well.

How to Change Margins of Columns in Google Docs?

In professional documents, especially research papers and theses, writers often have to compare two things. This comparison could be between the results of some analysis performed, or it could be a type of pros and cons list. Whatever the reason may be, columns are extremely frequent in professional documents and it is best to know how to change margins in Google Docs when dealing with columns.

If your text in Google Docs is in the form of columns, you can adjust the margins for each individual column. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • First of all, you will have to set the widest page margins for your document. You can do this by changing the left and right margins by following the above-mentioned steps. You can choose to do this either using the Ruler or through the Page setup dialog box.
  • Click on the first column of your document to change its column margins. A blue triangle will appear when you click on this column. You can drag this triangle left and right to change the margins for this column.

How to change margins in google docs

  • For the other column, you follow the same procedure. A second blue triangle will appear as you click on this column.

How to change margins in google docs

  • The same is the case if you have three columns. All you have to do is click on the column whose margins you wish to change and use the ruler to change the dimensions.

How to Change Margins in Google Docs Using a Phone?

For some reason, the Android version of Google Docs does not allow the user to change the margins of their documents on their phones. Even with the latest update, the feature is still not available. However, the feature is present for iOS users.

Here are the steps iOS users can follow to change the margins of a google docs document:

  • Upon opening your Google Docs document, click on the three dots on the top-right corner.
  • When the menu opens, tap the Page setup option.
  • A Page setup dialog box will open, which will offer you four options; Broad, Narrow, Default, and Custom.
  • You can choose custom to put in dimensions of your own requirements.
  • Tap OK once done to apply the changes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. How can I change margins for one page only in Google Docs?

Unfortunately, the option of custom margins for each page in your Google Docs is still not available. However, you can still change the indents of your paragraphs to try to make it seem as if it was the margin that was changed. You can do this for each page to give it a custom look or simply do it for a single page if that is the requirement.

Q. How can I set one-inch margins in Google Docs?

You can set your one-inch margins in Google docs using the Page setup dialog box from the File option in the toolbar or through the ruler present at the top of your document. Moving the down-facing triangle inward or outward would change the margins to your need.

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More