by David Rogers
While Word’s standard one-inch margins are great for many writing applications, they are not usually the best choice for book printing projects since you will need to use mirror margins. Which brings us immediately to our first question:
What are Mirror Margins?
If you open most any novel to a random page, you’ll notice that the outer margins are a different measurement than the inner margins. You’ll also notice that the margins of both the left and right pages mirror each other, having the same inner and outer margin measurements. Hence the term mirror margins.
In a Word document, however, the margin sizes must be adjusted accordingly for even and odd pages to achieve the mirrored look in the final book layout. Fortunately, all versions of Word allow you to easily set mirrored margins.
The margins are different because the margin closest to the binding of the book (the inner margins) must to be larger than the outer so that the text doesn’t get cut off from being too close to the binding. These inner margins are called gutter margins, based on the gutter-like shape they create in the middle of the book.
Below the following instructions on how to change the margins in your Word Document to mirrored margins, we’ll provide some examples of suitable margin sizes for different size books. We’ve also written a separate article on how to change the paper size in your Word document to match the size of your final book.