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Formatting Theses & Dissertations using Word 2010: Setting Margins

Setting Margins

General guidelines require a 1” margin on  all sides except the left, which requires a 1.5” margin.

  1. On the Page Layout Ribbon, in the Page Setup Group, click on the arrow below the Margins options and select Custom Margins….
  2. In the Page Setup dialog box, select the Margins tab, and type 1.5” into the space for the left margin and 1’ for the rest of them.
  3. Before closing the dialog box, make sure the Apply to: setting is set to Whole Document.
  4. Click OK.

Even though general guidelines say you need a 2 or 2.5 inch margin on the top of certain pages, do not use the margins to achieve this – see below for more details.

If for whatever reason you need to change the margin for only one section, be sure the Apply to: is set to This section only

Two-inch Margin Using Styles

Using a Heading 1 and redefining the style create the two-inch margin required by general guidelines on the chapter titles and major headings like Dedication and Acknowledgments is often the best method.

By adding the extra space above the Heading 1, you combine the one inch margin from the document with the one inch of space on the heading to create your two inches.

Please see the Setting Up Heading 1 Example on the previous page for the step-by-step instructions.