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What Is a Gutter in MS Word?

Updated April 17, 2017

When you look at a book, magazine or brochure, you see text and a border of white space surrounding the text called a margin. There is an additional margin you don't see called the gutter margin or the margin used for binding printed materials.

Gutter Types

Gutter margins prevent your text from being hidden by the margin, according to Microsoft. In Word 2010, you can set up a margin gutter for single page for use with a three-ring binder. You can also set up gutter margins for use with bound material like a book. These types of gutter margins are called mirror margins in Word since the left margin mirrors the right.

Single Gutter Location

For a three-ring binder gutter, click on the "Page Layout" tab, then click the "Page Setup" dialogue box launcher in the Page Setup group (it looks like a box with an arrow). Click on the up and down arrows in the "Gutter" field and watch the Preview thumbnail change. When you have the gutter you want, click "OK."

Mirrored Gutter Location

For bound material, click on the "Page Layout" tab, and then click "Margins" in the Page Setup group. Click "Mirrored" from the drop-down menu.

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About the Author

Translating technical jargon into everyday English is one of Anni Martin’s specialties. She is an educator and writer who spent over 13 years teaching and creating documentation at the University of Missouri. She holds a Master’s Degree in educational technology as well as Bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Missouri.