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Changing Margins by Using Guidelines

Believe it or not, you can make your document easier to read by adjusting the margins. A wider margin creates more whitespace around the text and limits the number of words on a line. The shorter the line, the less likely the reader is to lose her place.

On the other hand, if you're trying to keep the number of pages down, you might want to make the margins smaller so you can fit more on a page. For example, if you plan to use headers and footers, you might want to cut the top and bottom margins down to 1/2 inch. By default, the margins are set to 1 inch on all sides (see Table 1.1).

To adjust the margins, position the mouse pointer over a guideline and wait until the pointer changes into a double-arrow. Click and drag the guideline. As you click and drag, you'll see a dotted guideline and a bubble. The dotted guideline shows you where the new margin will be, and the bubble tells you what the new margin will be (in inches) when you release the mouse button (see Figure 3.5).


If you don't see the guidelines (as shown in Figure 3.5), someone might have turned them off on your system. Choose View, Guidelines, place a check mark next to Margins, and then choose OK.

If you accidentally drag a margin guideline and end up with wacky margins, see "Bad Dragging" in the Troubleshooting section at the end of this chapter.


If you're not a big fan of clicking and dragging, or if you just want to be more precise, you can make your changes in the Margins dialog box. Choose Format, Margins, and then either type the measurements in the text boxes or click the spinner arrows to bump the value up or down—in this case, 0.1 inch at a time.

Figure 3.5Figure 3.5 Clicking and dragging guidelines is the fastest way to adjust the margins. The dotted guideline and bubble show you what the new margins will be when you release the mouse button.


Many printers (such as inkjet and laser printers) aren't capable of printing to the edge of the paper. This area is called the unprintable zone. The size of this zone varies from printer to printer, so the information is kept in the printer's setup. What does this mean? If you try to set a margin within the unprintable zone, WordPerfect automatically adjusts it to the printer's minimum margin setting.

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