How to use the mouse to change your Word document's margins

When using the mouse and the ruler to change margins in Word documents, users often confuse the ruler's document margin markers with the paragraph indent markers. Learn how to find and move the correct marker to change the left and right document margins with your mouse.

When users try to use the mouse to change the margins of their Microsoft Word document, they often make the mistake of moving the right or left indent markers on the ruler. (If the ruler isn't displayed in your document, go to View | Ruler.)

For example, they might move the left indent marker to the 1 inch mark on the ruler, thinking they have set the margin to 1 inch—in actuality, they just indented the selected paragraph one inch from the margin.

To change a document margin using your mouse, you need to find and then move the margin marker. For example, to change the left margin from the default 1.25" to 1", move your mouse across the dark grey area of the ruler until the pointer becomes a double-headed arrow and the Screen Tip "Left Margin" appears. Press the [ALT] key while dragging the left margin arrow to the left. Stop pressing down on your mouse and release the [ALT] key when 1" is displayed.

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