How to Make Borders & Margins Straight With Microsoft Office

Written by filonia lechat
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In the Microsoft Office suite's two text-focused software programs, Microsoft Word, included with all versions of the suite, and Microsoft Publisher, included with the 2010 Professional Suite, a few basic tenets apply to the templates and blank documents users create. By default, margins within these programs are thick straight lines that border the edges of the pages. While borders themselves don't appear until a user adds them, they too are traditionally straight lines created from text boxes.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Open Microsoft Word and Microsoft Publisher. Word automatically defaults a blank page. In Publisher, double-click the "Blank 8.5 x 11" button on the "Available Templates" screen.

  2. 2

    Click the "Insert" tab on Word. Click the "Text Box" button on the ribbon. Select "Simple Text Box." A small text box with straight edges is added to the Word page. Drag the text box to the upper-left corner of the Word document, leaving white space between the text box's edge and the margin.

  3. 3

    Drag the bottom-right corner of the text box to the bottom-right corner of the Word document, leaving space around the text box for the margin. Click into the placeholder text on the text box and press the "Delete" key to remove it, forming a straight border inside straight margins.

  4. 4

    Click the "Insert" tab on Publisher. Click the "Draw Text Box" button. The cursor changes to a plus sign.

  5. 5

    Position the cursor near the top-left corner of the Publisher page, leaving margin white space. Drag the cursor to the bottom-right corner of the Publisher page, leaving space around the text box for the margin.

  6. 6

    Click the border of the text box to bring up the orange "Drawing Tools" tab. Click the "Shape Outline" button on the ribbon. Click black or another colour for the border colour. The page is now home to straight margins and a straight border.

Tips and warnings

  • Borders and margins are already straight no matter the default template or blank template chosen in both Word and Publisher. The only real potential pitfall for nonstraight borders would be in the case of hand-drawing them with a tool such as the "Scribble" under the "Shapes" section of each program's "Insert" tab, but even with the "Scribble" tool, it is possible to get borders straight by pressing the "Shift" key down as you draw.

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