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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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Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Understanding Mirror Margins.
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 page. 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. (See Figure 1.) To display the dialog box select the Page Setup option from the File menu.
Figure 1. The Margins tab of the Page Setup dialog box.
You can set top, bottom, inside (towards the binding) and outside (left and right) margins when you have mirror margins selected. You can also specify a gutter margin, which is 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 (1091) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Understanding Mirror Margins.
Great Idea! Word is a tool to get what you really want—printed output. This means you need to make sure that Word works as well as possible with your printer, whether it is sitting on your desk or in a room down the hall. Check out WordTips: Printing and Printers today!