Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Getting Identical Margins.

Getting Identical Margins

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 15, 2014)

Laurence notes that no matter what he does he cannot get the inner and outer margins on the same page to be identical. He works in millimeters and when he checks 'mirror margins' at 20mm, the inside and outside margins are not only different, but nowhere near the specified measurements. He then sets the margins manually, inside at 12mm and outside at 15mm, and that's the closest he can get them to 20mm, but they're still slightly different. Laurence wonders if there is a special way to set identical margins on the same page.

The first thing to check is that your page layout matches the paper on which you are printing. If it doesn't, it is impossible to get the desired outcome. For instance, if your page layout is for letter-sized paper, but you are actually printing on A4 paper, the margins will never be right. Make sure the layout matches the paper.

You also need to check whether you have some other setting that is affecting you margins. The most likely culprit is the Gutter setting on the Page Setup dialog box. This is a value added to the inside margin measurement to move the output "outward" on the page, toward the outside margin. Make sure the Gutter margin is set to 0 and then check to see how that affects your printed page.

Of course, the problem could more than likely not be with Word but with your printer. Most printers are not terribly precise in their paper handling, and you can easily end up with horizontal drift of the paper as it goes through the machine. Make sure the Gutter margin is 0, and then print out five pages. Grab a ruler and compare where the margins on each page occur. You may very well find that they vary by a millimeter or more. This is not unusual; it is due to the printer itself and not to Word. Getting a better printer may help, or it may not—it all depends on the capabilities of the printer.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13314) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Getting Identical 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Changing the Height of Worksheet Tabs

Do you need your worksheet tabs to be taller than what they are? You can't make the adjustment in Excel, but you can make ...

Discover More

Pulling Filenames into a Worksheet

You can use Excel for all types of data processing. You may want to work with filenames in a worksheet, but the first ...

Discover More

Changing the Footnote Continuation Notice

When a footnote needs to span two printed pages, Word prints a continuation notice at the end of the footnote being ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Making a Customized Theme Available to Others

Microsoft Office applications (including Word) allow you to work with collections of common formatting specifications, ...

Discover More

Adjusting Bottoms of Pages

When you allow Word to naturally flow your text through a document, you may find that the text on each page ends at a ...

Discover More

Rotating a Page of Text

You can rotate a page of text by using the Far East language support built into Word. This tip shows how easy it is to ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two less than 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.