Every new Google Doc comes with a default set of margins. However, you may find that you have to change those margins to avoid formatting errors. You might overlook the issues while you’re writing, but once you hit print, you could be in for a surprise. Here’s how to change margins in Google Docs to clean up your documents.

Luckily, this is a pretty easy process. There are a few ways to get the job done — one that gives you control of all four margins and another that’s just for the left and right. Open up your Google Doc, and let’s get down to business!

How to change margins in Google Docs:

Method one: Change the left and right margins

You can usually get away with changing just two margins. Otherwise, you might cut into the header and footer instead.

1. Head up to the ruler that sits below the toolbar in Google Docs. This is where we’ll do all of our work.

2. Notice the blue arrows on either side of your document as well as the blue rectangle on the left side. These are what we’ll use to control the margins. Here’s what each button does:

  • Blue triangles — These are the left and right indents. We’ll use these arrows to adjust the margins for the entire document.
  • Blue rectangle — This is the first line indent. It only adjusts the first line of text, similar to a tab key.

3. Select the first line of your paragraph and then click and drag the blue rectangle. You should see only the first line shift to the right. Use the ruler at the top to measure your indent.

4. Now grab the blue triangles on both the left and right sides. Drag them towards one another, but keep in mind that even margins look cleaner. Also, keep in mind that you’ll have to highlight the text that you want to indent.

That’s all it takes to change the margins in Google Docs using the toolbar.

Related: How to do a hanging indent on Google Docs

Method two: Change all four margins

If you don’t have a header or footer on your document, it might just be easier to change all four margins at once. It takes slightly longer, but you also have more control.

1. Start by opening the File tab and scrolling down to the Page setup option.

2. Within the popup menu, you’ll see options to adjust the page orientation, size, and color. We’re more interested in the text boxes on the right side — the boxes labeled Margins (inches).

3. Adjust the text boxes as you see fit, but keep in mind that adjusting opposite sides is the best way to keep your document even.

 4. Once you’re ready, hit the OK button to apply your changes!

Now you’ve got two different ways to change the margins in Google Docs! There’s a lot more to learn when it comes to mastering Google Drive, though.

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