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Page Layout MS Word Tutorial

Free Online Microsoft Word Tutorials
MS Word 2010 - Formatting

* Setting Paper Size
* Working With Page Orientation
* Setting Page Margins
* Working With Headers and Footers

You can determine how a document looks by changing the margins, orientation (landscape or portrait), the paper size and by adding headers and footers. 

Test your MS Word skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
Page Layout Test



* Setting Paper Size

There are many personal, corporate as well as educational scenarios where you may need to change the paper size of your document.  The standard paper size is an A4 sheet, but depending on your region, this could be A4 8.27" x 11.69" (United Kingdom) or Letter 8.5" x 11" (United States).  There are also pre-set paper sizes for Legal documents and tabloids.  Poster paper size (A3) or smaller (A5) may come in useful for designing projects, brochures and booklets.

To change the paper size of a document:

1.  Click on the Page Layout tab on the Ribbon.

2.  In the Page Setup group click on the Size button (circled in yellow in the screenshot below) to view a list of available paper size options:

Free Microsoft Word Tutorial - Page Layout - Setting Paper Size 1

3.  Click on the required option in the list to change the paper size of your document.

4.  You can go back into the Paper Size list and change the paper size of your document as many times as you like.

5. If the paper size you require is not in the list, click on More Paper Sizes at the bottom of the list of Paper Sizes to launch the Page Setup dialogue box.  Select a paper size from the Paper Size list by clicking the dropdown arrow next to the box.



* Page Orientation

There are only two options for page orientation, namely Portrait, which is the default page orientation, and Landscape. Portrait is the default page orientation, but you may wish to use Landscape for tables containing multiple datasets, diagrams or posters.

To change a document to Landscape:

1.  Click on the Page Layout tab on the Ribbon.

2.  In the Page Setup group, click on the Orientation button (circled in yellow in the screenshot below) to view the two page orientation options:

Free Microsoft Word Tutorial - Page Layout - Page Orientation


3.  Select Portrait or Landscape
from the list. 

4.  You can change a document back to its previous orientation by clicking on the Orientation button and selecting the relevant orientation option at any stage.




* Setting Page Margins

Page margins are the vertical and horizontal boundaries at the outer edge of your document.  You can set these to be narrow or wide depending on the amount of data you are trying to fit on a page and the document design and look you are going for.  The kind people at Microsoft created a list of pre-set margin types based on popular user demand.  You can also set page margins manually by setting an exact value for top, bottom, left and right areas of your page and save this as your own custom margin settings that you can use for all documents you create.

To use pre-set margin types:

1.  Click on the Page Layout tab on the Ribbon.

2.  In the Page Setup group, click on the Margins button (circled in yellow in the screenshot below) to view the list of available pre-set margin types:

Free Microsoft Word Tutorial - Page Layout - Setting Page Margins 1

3.  Select an option from the list of available margin types.  The names and images in the list will guide you as to what the result of selecting a specific pre-set margin size will be.  For example, the Narrow option depicts margins that are very close to the edges of the page.

4.  You can change the selected margin pre-set you have chosen from the list as often as you like by simply going back into the list and choosing a different option.

 

To set margin size to a specific margin size manually:

1.  Click on the Page Layout Tab on the Ribbon.

2.  In Page Setup group click on the Margins button.

3.  At the bottom of the Margins list select Custom Margins.  This will launch the Page Setup dialogue box.

4.  In the Margins section (circled in yellow in the screenshot below), enter an exact value for the distance between the edge of the page and your text area in each box for the top, bottom, left and right margins:

Free Microsoft Word Tutorial - Page Layout - Setting Page Margins 2

5.  Press OK at the bottom of the Page Setup dialogue box to apply your margin settings.

6.  You can modify margin size until you are happy with the result by simply relaunching the dialogue box and entering revised values.

A word of caution though, many printers will not print text that are too close to the edge of the page.  Always print a test page of a document that has very narrow margins to confirm that your document will print as expected when you share it with others or print the final version.




* Working With Headers and Footers

Headers and footers can make a simple document look 100% more professional and well-designed.  Headers and footers usually consist of a line or lines of text, document information, page information or even images that appear consistently in the same place on every page of your document. 

The header and footer area of a document is a special area at the top and bottom of the document that falls 'outside' of the normal realm of your document.  You need to take special measures to enter these areas and headers and footers are not usually affected by font and paragraph formatting applied to the rest of your document.

To insert a new header or footer into a document:

1.  Click on the Insert tab on the Ribbon.

2.  In the Header & Footer Group click either the Header button or the Footer button to insert one of these.

3.  A list of pre-set headers or pre-set footers (depending on which button you pressed) will appear.  Make a selection from one of the built-in headers or footers, for example Blank (circled in yellow in the screenshot below) or Blank Three Columns to create your own header or footer or one of the pre-designed headers / footers:

Free Microsoft Word Tutorial - Page Layout - Working With Headers and Footers 1

4.  After selecting an option from the list above, your selection will move to the header or footer region of your document.  The regular text in your document will become faded out and you will not be able to edit it without exiting the header or footer.  See screenshot below of what an active header area looks like:

Free Microsoft Word Tutorial - Page Layout - Working With Headers and Footers 2

5.  Click in the header area and type the text you wish to automatically appear at the top of every page, for example the document name, and format the text as required:

Free Microsoft Word Tutorial - Page Layout - Working With Headers and Footers 2

6.  To exit the Header or Footer area, double click in the document area. 

7.  You can return to the Header or Footer you created by double clicking on the Header or Footer area.



To delete a Header or a Footer:

1.  Double click the Header or Footer area.

2.  In the Header & Footer group on the Ribbon (circled in yellow in the screenshot below), click on the relevant button (Header or Footer).

Free Microsoft Word Tutorial - Page Layout - Working With Headers and Footers 3


3.  At the bottom of the list of options that appear, select Remove Header or Remove Footer (whichever is relevant).

If you do not wish the header/footer to appear on the first page of your document or if the first page of your document needs a different header or footer:

1.  Position your cursor in the header or footer of your document to access the header/footer options.

2.  On the Ribbon under the Header & Footer Tools Design tab, in the Options group – tick the box for Different First Page (circled in yellow in the screenshot below):

 Free Microsoft Word Tutorial - Page Layout - Working With Headers and Footers 4

3.  After ticking the box, change the header or footer for the first page of your document as needed.

Experiment with the different header/footer pre-set types available and changing header/footer options.

Test your MS Word skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
Page Layout Test