MS Word Page Setup Dialog Box – Text Book

MS Word supports three different level of formatting – character formatting (font dialog box), paragraph formatting (paragraph dialog box and a few others) and section and document formatting.

Almost all of the document formatting can be done using Page Setup dialog box and thus learning to use this dialog box can greatly help you to format your document properly.

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Using Page Setup dialog box you can perform the tasks such as:

 How to open page setup dialog box?

  • Using Word 2003, you can open page setup dialog box by accessing menu sequence: File -> Page Setup (Alt + F, U).
Page Setup in File Menu in Word 2003

Page Setup in File Menu in Word 2003

  • Using Word 2007 or 2010, to open Page setup dialog box, go to Page Layout tab on ribbon and click the Page Setup dialog launcher
Page Setup Dialog Launcher

Page Setup Dialog Launcher

  • Using Word 2007 or 2010, you can open page setup dialog box by using access key: Alt + P, SP
  • The quicker way to open page setup dialog box is to double click on ruler. You can double click anywhere in vertical ruler and on the gray area (margin area in ruler) in horizontal ruler. Remember, double clicking on text area in horizontal ruler will open Tabs or Paragraph dialog box.

Page Setup Dialog Box

MS Word Page Setup Dialog Box - Margins Tab

MS Word Page Setup Dialog Box – Margins Tab

Page Setup dialog box in MS Word has three tab sheets – Margins, Paper and Layout. The commands to set margins, paper orientation and multiple pages per sheet are placed on Margins tab. Paper tab contains options to set paper size and paper source. It also has a button to open Print Options dialog box. Similarly, Layout tab contains commands to set section start, distance of headers and footers from edge of paper, and vertical alignment. Layout tab also has buttons to open Line Numbers dialog box and Border and Shading dialog box.

Margins Tab

Margins tab has three groups – Margins, Orientations and Pages.

Top, Bottom, Left and Right spinner boxes in Margins tab allows you to set margins on respective sides. Click on spinner buttons to increase or decrease the values or directly type in the text box to specify margin value.

By default MS Word uses US measurement system and thus the values are expressed in inches. You can change the default measurement unit. However to enter value and let MS Word convert it automatically type units after value. Type 4cm to specify 4 centimeters margin that will be converted into 1.58″ automatically. Similarly Type 2″ to specify 2 inches margin.

Margins tab also has two other boxes – Gutter and Gutter positions.

Gutter Margin

The gutter margin is a typographical term used to designate an additional margin added to a page layout to compensate for the part of the paper made unusable by the binding process. In a facing pages layout (Word refers to this type of layout as “mirror margins”), the gutter margin is on the very inside of both pages. It is uncommon to use a gutter margin in a single-sheet layout, although Word allows you to do that. In single-sheet layouts, the gutter margin is typically the area where you might three-hole punch your paper.

Gutter Positions

Gutter Positions

Set the Multiple Pages dropdown to Mirror margins and notice how the gutter is on the left for odd-numbered pages, and on the right for even-numbered pages — correct for when you print both sides of the sheet and then bind them.

Gutter position allows you to specify whether to allocate the gutter space on Left or Top side of paper.

Page Orientation

You can specify whether you want to lay out the page tall (portrait) or wide (landscape). Click on Portrait or Landscape button in Orientation group as you require.

It is easy enough to change page orientation for an entire document. But sometimes you will want to have both portrait and landscape page orientation within the same document. You might be tempted to create two documents, one for landscape and one for portrait. However, this becomes complicated in many cases such as when you want to number your document pages. To create both landscape and portrait pages in same document use section breaks.

Multiple Pages

Multiple Pages Option in Page Setup Dialog Box

Multiple Pages Option in Page Setup Dialog Box

Multiple pages drop down box lets you select a few options that lets you specify how you want to layout multiple pages.

Normal is suitable for single page on single face of paper.

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Use mirror margins to set up facing pages for double-sided documents, such as books or magazines. The margins of the left page are a mirror image of those on the right (inside margins are the same width; outside margins are the same width).

Using the Book fold option in the Page Setup dialog box, you can create a booklet. You can use the same option to create a menu, invitation, event program, or any other type of document that uses a single center fold.

Note: Most printers require a minimum width for margin settings, because they can’t print all the way to the edge of the page. If you try to set margins that are too narrow, Microsoft Word displays the message One or more margins are set outside the printable area of the page.

  • To prevent text from being cut off, click Fix to automatically increase the margin width. If you ignore the message and try to print the document as it is, Word displays another message asking whether you want to continue.
  • The minimum margin settings depend on your printer, printer driver, and paper size. To learn about the minimum margin settings, check your printer manual.

Paper Tab

Paper Tab in Page Setup Dialog Box

Paper Tab in Page Setup Dialog Box

Paper tab in Page Setup dialog box has options to specify the paper you are going to use while printing. It contains options of two groups:

  • Paper Size
  • Paper Source

Paper Size group contains the options to choose the pre-defined size (Paper Size drop down list), specify width and height of paper for your document (width and height spinner boxes).

MS Word offers a variety of paper sizes, including Letter, Legal, and various other envelope sizes in Paper Size drop down list.

You are always free to specify the custom width and height of paper. Remember MS Word supports minimum 0.1″ and maximum 22″ for both width and height of paper.

Word supports any printer supported by Windows. This is because Word uses the features offered by Windows to print documents. Many of the features associated with formatting your document and printing are related to the type of printer you have installed and selected. For instance, some laser printers have different bins for different paper. Windows (and thus Word) can instruct the printer to select paper from any of the available paper bins. Paper Source group contains options to specify which tray should be used to print the first page of your document and the rest pages. This is useful when you have to print the first page in color paper or thick paper when other pages will be printed on normal papers.

Layout Tab

Layout tab of Page Setup dialog box contains options to configure the position of header and footer and the vertical alignment. It contains three groups:

  • Section
  • Header and Footer
  • Page

Section group in Layout tab of Page Setup dialog box contains Section Start drop down list which displays the property of current section. It is extremely useful when you need to change the type of section break (new page, continuous, even pages, odd pages etc).

Apart from section start, Section group also contains a check box labelled ‘Suppress endnotes‘. This is probably the least used option by normal users. This check box can be greatly useful to prevent the endnote from appearing on certain section of document. You can find a nice explanation of this feature in Allen Wyatt’s post “Where Do You Want Your Endnotes?“.

Headers and Footers is the second group in Layout tab. It contains two check boxes and two spinner boxes. ‘Different odd and even page’ check box allows you to set different header / footer for  even pages and odd pages. Similarly, ‘Different first page’ lets you set different header/footer for first pages than rest pages of your document. This is useful especially when your first page is cover page and you don’t wish the headers and footers appear on it.

Header spinner box and Footer spinner box specify the distance of header and footer from the edge of page.

Page group is third group in Layout tab of Page Setup dialog box. This group contains only one control – vertical alignment drop down list. You can set up vertically top, centered, bottom or justified. Remember, horizontal alignment (left, center, right, justified) is available in Paragraph dialog box and vertical alignment is available in Page Setup dialog box.

Recommended Reading:

  1. Page Setup: Paper Size, Page Orientation, Margins, and Gutter 
  2. Margins and Page Setup –

4 Responses to “MS Word Page Setup Dialog Box – Text Book”

  • Hardik on September 3, 2012

    Thank u sir,
    but i use to do it through,
    *Office tab n then
    sir now but i want to hack the file which is password protected…is there any way?

  • nirmal on September 1, 2012

    Naresh sir I know in Ms word 2007 & Excell how to put password

    • Suresh Khanal on September 2, 2012

      In Save As dialog box find Tools button just by the side of Save button. From the Tools button menu choose General Options. You’ll get dialog box to set password to open and password to modify.

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