Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Setting Page Margins.

Setting Page Margins

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 22, 2017)

In Excel, page margins are used to specify how much white space (blank area) should be left around the information in your worksheet. This is very similar to how margins are conceived and used in other programs, such as a word processor. Margins are used to provide a visual border for your printed page and an area where the page can be held or bound.

To set margins for a worksheet, choose Page Setup from the File menu. Excel displays the Page Setup dialog box; you should make sure the Margins tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Margins tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

There are four margins you can specify: top, bottom, left, and right. Each margin refers to the distance from the edge of the paper to where the information in your worksheet can be printed. Thus, a one-inch top margin means there will be one inch of white space at the top of each page of your printout.

If you include headers and footers in your page layout, the settings in the Header and Footer boxes allow you to indicate where they should print. Typically, the value in the Header field should be less than the value in the Top field, and the value in the Footer field should be less than the one in the Bottom field. In this way you will ensure that the header and footer appear within the margins specified at the top and bottom of the page.

At the bottom of the dialog box there are some check boxes that control the centering of your information on the page. Clicking your mouse on either the Horizontally or Vertically check boxes will make sure your information is centered in that direction. Notice that as you make changes to the margins or to the information centering, Excel shows you what your layout looks like in the Preview area in the center of the dialog box.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2842) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Setting Page Margins.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Moving Quickly Between Directories

Want an easy way to move between directories using the Open dialog box? With just a little bit of up-front typing, you can ...

Discover More

Jumping to a Specific Worksheet

Want to make fast work of moving from one worksheet to another? Here's how to do the task when you have a lot of worksheets ...

Discover More

Merge and Center Not Available

What are you to do if you are trying to format a worksheet, only to find out that one of the tools you need is not available? ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Changing Page Margins

If your worksheet is destined to be printed, you'll need to be concerned with how it appears on the page. One layout setting ...

Discover More

Defining a Custom Paper Size

Need to print your worksheet on a non-standard paper size? Excel is rather limited in printing to such papers, and here is ...

Discover More

Changing Paper Size for a Complete Workbook

If you need to change the size of paper on which your worksheets will be printed, it can be bothersome to make the change on ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 - 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.