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It’s in the Gutter

Friday, August 17th, 2007 by | Filed Under: MS Office Help, MS Word

It’s in the Gutter

Have you ever found yourself frustrated with a Word document you planned to bind?

You know, you’re planning to print the document you’ve spent hours preparing and then put it into a binder, report cover or other type of binding.

The problem arises when you start putting the pages into the binding. The left margin looks smaller than the right or even worse, some of the text is in the binding!

Now what?

One way to fix this is to try manually adjusting the left margin. That is, make it larger so that it accommodates the binding.

This way works, but wouldn’t it be easier if you had a place to simply enter the amount of extra space you need for the binding?

Yes, of course it would. And that’s exactly what we intend to do today!

What you’re looking for is MS Word’s gutter.

According to the Office Assistant, the gutter margin is “a setting that adds extra space to the side or top margin of a document you plan to bind. A gutter margin ensures that text isn’t obscured by the binding.”

Sounds like a perfect solution to me!

(And did you catch the little “bonus?” You can set a gutter margin for either the left side or for the top of a document. This choice puts a little more flexibility into your binding options!)

So, where do we find the wonderful world of gutters?

Why, in the Page Setup section, of course.

With the document you want to bind open, go to the File menu, Page Setup choice.

Next, you’re looking for the Margins tab.

The layout of the tab may vary from version to version, but you’re basically looking for the same things.

  • The Gutter field — In this field, enter the amount of extra margin you need added to accommodate the binding.

  • The Gutter position choice — Choose between a left or top gutter.

  • The Apply to field — Be sure to decide how much of the document needs to have the gutter (for example, This section, This point forward or Whole document.)

As you make these choices, you should see the preview picture updated each time. The checked area that appears denotes the placement of the gutter.

Notice that the margins around the text are still intact, so once the gutter margin space is in the binding, it will all look evenly spaced.

And finally, for those of you who plan to bind a double sided document, I’m sure you’re already extremely concerned over the “left side” issue, am I right?

After all, if you’re going to bind double sided pages, sometimes it’s the left margin and sometimes it’s the right.

So, now what?

Never fear! You’re in the right place and the answer is just one choice away.

You’re looking for the Mirror Margins option.

In some versions, it’s a checkbox and in others, it’s found in the Multiple Pages drop down list.

Once you make the Mirror Margins selection, you should see your preview updated to reflect the change.

Hit the OK button when you’re done.

Wow! Who knew that with a few changes to the Page Setup window, you could make your already perfect document that much better in its printed form? Yes!

~ April

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