The space between the paper edge and the text in a document or spreadsheet is called the margin. Every page has four margins: top, bottom, left and right. The margins of the page surround the area that contains the text/data. Headers, footers and page numbers are placed within the margins of the page.

The size of the margins can be modified to suit how the page prints out. You can use narrow margins for fitting a table of data to the page, or to make a letter fit on one page.


Documents and Spreadsheets can be set up and printed in either landscape or portrait. This is called the orientation.

Landscape is where the width is greater than the height. Landscape is sometimes called horizontal, and is useful for displaying tables or posters.

Portrait is where the height is greater than the width. Portrait is sometimes called vertical, and is commonly used for documents and letters. Portrait is the default orientation.

Setting Margins and Orientation

Margins and orientation settings are all within the Page Setup section of the Page Layout ribbon.

To access the Page Layout ribbon, press Alt + P.

To set the margins:

  1. In the Page Layout ribbon, tab to Margins button and press Enter (or alternatively press M).
  2. Arrow down to choose a preset margins that you want, such as Narrow Margins and press Enter.
  3. Alternatively, arrow up to Custom Margins and press Enter to set the margin sizes manually. Tab to each margin and type in the value. Press Enter when you have finished.

To set the orientation:

  1. In the Page Layout ribbon, tab to Orientation button and press Enter (or alternatively press O).
  2. Use the up and down arrows to choose Landscape or Portrait, then press Enter.