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Understanding the Gutter Margin

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: Understanding the 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.

To set the gutter margin in Word, you follow these steps:

  1. Choose Page Setup from the File menu. Word displays the Page Setup dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Page Setup dialog box.

  3. Using the Gutter control, indicate how wide you want the gutter margin to be.
  4. Click OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (172) 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: Understanding the Gutter Margin.

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