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Quick Slide Margins In MS Word

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004 by | Filed Under: MS Word

Quick Slide Margins In MS Word

Just picture it—you just finished working on a document that you really need as a one-page memo. Unfortunately, it ran over to page two.

What do you do?

One solution is to adjust margins.

So… some of you go to the File menu, Page Setup choice, Margins tab, make your adjustments, then click OK.

Sounds good—but when you return to your document you find that the adjustment wasn’t enough, or was too much and just doesn’t look right.

What do you do?

Go back to the File menu, Page Setup choice, Margins tab, make your adjustments, then click OK.

Hey—didn’t we already do that?

Yes, we did, and sadly we may have to repeat this again and again until we finally get it right.

Frustrated with this method yet?

Yep, I hear you—me too.

Another solution that some people have discovered is to display the rulers in the Page Layout View of the document. (View menu, Page Layout choice. Then View menu, Rulers choice.)

This one is a bit better because it allows you to “grab” the margin in the ruler and drag it around.

But… what if you can’t see the whole page at once? (I never have my zoom set so that I can see all margins at once—everything’s too small to edit.)

Now you’re forced to adjust top margin, scroll to check on the bottom and / or adjust the margin. Then, if necessary, scroll back to the top and start that process over again.

Maybe a quicker method would be helpful?

Guess what?

Yep—that’s right—there is a way to adjust margins all at once, without all the repetitious stuff to complete the “fine tuning”.

What we want to look at is the Print Preview option in MS Word.

You can get there with the File menu, Print Preview choice, or the Print Preview button located on the Standard Toolbar or with Ctrl + F2.

When you arrive in the Print Preview window you’re looking for the Ruler feature to be turned on. If it’s not, then you need to click the ruler button on the toolbar. (View menu, Ruler choice will also accomplish this task.)


Once the ruler is visible you’re ready to use it to move around margins.

Simply move your mouse pointer over the ruler at the point where the shading changes between light and dark. You’re looking for the double-sided arrow to appear.


Now, left-click and drag that divider in the direction needed, then release the mouse button when you’re at the point where the margin should begin.

Instantly you should see the document making the change you requested. If it’s not quite right you can do another little click / drag & drop to make another adjustment.

Once you have the margins in the perfect position simply click the Close button to return to edit.

You can make repeated adjustments in this manner without extra scrolling, repeated menus or Page Setup windows.

It can really be a hassle-free way to adjust margins—and who among us doesn’t want to reduce life’s little hassles?

~ April

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