Page Layout

In Word page layout can affect how content looks in documents. When using Word paper size and page margins can be easily changed.

Introduction

Video: Page Layout

Launch "Page Layout" video!Watch the video (2:38).

One formatting aspect you'll need to consider as you create your document is whether to make adjustments to the layout of the page. The page layout affects how content appears and includes the page's orientation, margins, and size.

Optional: Download our practice document.

Page orientation

Word offers two page orientation options: landscape and portrait. Landscape means the page is oriented horizontally, while portrait means the page is oriented vertically. Compare our example below to see how orientation can affect the appearance and spacing of text and images.

Screenshot of Word 2013Landscape and portrait orientation

To change page orientation:

  1. Select the Page Layout tab.
  2. Click the Orientation command in the Page Setup group.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Clicking the Orientation command
  3. A drop-down menu will appear. Click either Portrait or Landscape to change the page orientation.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Changing the page orientation
  4. The page orientation of the document will be changed.

Page margins

A margin is the space between the text and the edge of your document. By default, a new document's margins are set to Normal, which means it has a one-inch space between the text and each edge. Depending on your needs, Word allows you to change your document's margin size.

To format page margins:

Word has a variety of predefined margin sizes to choose from.

  1. Select the Page Layout tab, then click the Margins command.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Clicking the Margins command
  2. A drop-down menu will appear. Click the predefined margin size you want.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Changing the page margins
  3. The margins of the document will be changed.

To use custom margins:

Word also allows you to customize the size of your margins in the Page Setup dialog box.

  1. From the Page Layout tab, click Margins. Select Custom Margins... from the drop-down menu.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting Custom Margins...
  2. The Page Setup dialog box will appear.
  3. Adjust the values for each margin, then click OK.


    Screenshot of Word 2013The Page Setup dialog box
  4. The margins of the document will be changed.

Page size

By default, the page size of a new document is 8.5 inches by 11 inches. Depending on your project, you may need to adjust your document's page size. It's important to note that before modifying the default page size, you should check to see which page sizes your printer can accommodate.

To change the page size:

Word has a variety of predefined page sizes to choose from.

  1. Select the Page Layout tab, then click the Size command.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Clicking the Size command
  2. A drop-down menu will appear. The current page size is highlighted. Click the desired predefined page size.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Changing the page size
  3. The page size of the document will be changed.

To use a custom page size:

Word also allows you to customize the page size in the Page Setup dialog box.

  1. From the Page Layout tab, click Size. Select More Paper Sizes... from the drop-down menu.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting More Paper Sizes...
  2. The Page Setup dialog box will appear.
  3. Adjust the values for Width and Height, then click OK.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Adjusting page size
  4. The page size of the document will be changed.

Alternatively, you can open the Page Setup dialog box by navigating to the Page Layout tab and clicking the small arrow in the bottom-right corner of the Page Setup group.

Screenshot of Word 2013Opening the Page Setup dialog box

You can use Word's convenient Set as Default feature to save all of the formatting changes you've made and automatically apply them to new documents. To learn how to do this, read our article on Changing Your Default Settings in Word.

Challenge!

  1. Open an existing Word document. If you want, you can use our practice document.
  2. Change the page orientation. If you are using the example, change the orientation to Landscape.
  3. Change the margins. If you are using the example, change the margins to Narrow.
  4. Try adjusting the margins using Custom Margins.
  5. Change the paper size. If you are using the example, try changing the paper size to Legal.
  6. Try customizing the page size.