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Microsoft Word/Word 2003- Margins/ gutters


Hi Suzanne

I wondered if you can help with something? I'm using Word 2003.

I have been typing up my thesis for a post-graduate qualification. I had the margins set at 1.2cm all round. However, I've just been informed that the left margin needs to be about 4cm to allow for the thesis to be bound when it's printed. I've just changed the left margin to 4cm and, as expected, it's knocked everything out ! For example, most of the diagrams/graphs/tables etc are now overlapping the right hand sides of the pages.

My question really is whether you know of any way to effectively 'lock' the diagrams/ graphs etc in place so that when I change the left margin, they don't fall off the edge of the right side of the page?

Hope you can help else I've got a lot of work left to do, e.g. re-sizing diagrams/ changing fonts etc !

Best wishes

In the first place it seems to me that 1.2 cm is a very stingy margin to begin with; thesis requirements in the United States usually call for at least an inch (2.54 cm) on all sides. But changing the left margin from 1.2 to 4 cm is going to mean a reduction in the margin width of 2.8 cm, and you have no choice but to reduce the size of your figures and tables. Any new tables and figures you create will automatically fit the new margin width, but you will have to adjust those you've already created. The tables are, in principle, easy: you set them for 100% of margin width, and they will adjust, though you may need to adjust column widths. The width of the diagrams will have to be set to your new margin width. Once you've done this for one, with any luck you can select another and press F4 to repeat the width setting. But it would definitely have been better if you had established the thesis requirements before you started!
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Suzanne S. Barnhill


I've been using Word for Windows since version 2.0 (1992), and the more I learn about it, the more I realize how little I know. But I may know a few things that you don't, and I'll help if I can. I answer many questions every day in Microsoft's peer support forums and as a result have been awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) designation by Microsoft Corporation. You may be able to find the answer to your question at the Word MVPs' FAQ site or at my own Word FAQ site, so please check those first! Please, no questions about VBA (macros), Registry editing, networks, or complex merges, as I have no experience with these aspects of Word, nor do I have any experience with Word for Mac. Please indicate which version of Word you are using; if you are not sure, see "What version of Word do I have?".


I have a master's degree in classics (Latin), which is surprisingly helpful, though I no longer teach. The things I am proudest of: Having raised two children to maturity, both Merit Scholars, both college graduates (one a philosophy major!), one Phi Beta Kappa (from Harvard!); having been made a Paul Harris Fellow by my Rotary club; having been designated a Microsoft MVP.

Rotary Club of Fairhope, Friends of the Fairhope Public Library

B.A. (Latin), Agnes Scott College, 1966; M.A. (Classics), Emory University, 1972.

Awards and Honors
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award every year since 1999; many Rotary honors

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