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: Getting Identical Margins.

Getting Identical Margins

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 23, 2016)

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 (7300) 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: 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

Controlling How Word Sorts Text

Word has a very orderly way in which it sorts information, but that orderly method may not meet what you need to have done. ...

Discover More

Controlling Display of the Formula Bar

The Formula Bar is a regularly used feature in the Excel interface. You can, however, modify whether Excel displays the ...

Discover More

Counting the Times a Worksheet is Used

Do you need to know how many times a worksheet has been used? Excel doesn't track that information, but you can develop some ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Understanding Sections

Sections are handy if you want to subdivide a document so you can apply different document formatting to those subdivisions. ...

Discover More

Formatting a Cover Page

Formal reports look better when they are set up with an introductory cover page. Here's how you can add a cover page in a ...

Discover More

Avoiding a Section Break Booby Trap

Section breaks got your document formatting all messed up? It could be because of the way you added the section breaks in the ...

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 for this tip:

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. 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 three minus 1?

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 menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon 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.

Links and Sharing