Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Understanding Mirror Margins.

Understanding Mirror Margins

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 29, 2016)

Word includes a unique setting that allows you to "mirror" the margins of a page depending on whether the page is an odd or even. Mirror margins are typically used to designate a page layout that will eventually be two-sided.

You set up mirror margins by using the Page Setup dialog box. To display the dialog box, display the Page Layout, or Layout tab (depending on your version of Word) of the ribbon and click the small icon in the lower-right corner of the Page Setup group. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Margins tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

In the Pages section of the dialog box, click on the dropdown list that's to the right of Multiple Pages (it will likely have Normal selected). From the dropdown list, select Mirror Margins. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The Margins tab of the Page Setup dialog box after specifying Mirror Margins.

With Mirror Margins selected, you can set top, bottom, inside (towards the binding) and outside (left and right) margins. You can also specify a gutter margin, which sets the amount of space added to the inside margins to allow for binding of the final book.

If your document won't be printed on both sides of a piece of paper and you are not worried about any particular binding of the final output (including punching holes for use in a binder), then mirror margins won't be of any real value for you; you can safely ignore it. If, however, you will be duplexing your output and you do need to worry about binding, then choose mirror margins and play with your margin settings to get just the output that you need.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6707) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Understanding Mirror Margins.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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