• 2-minute read
  • 30th August 2019

Page Layout and Text Alignment in Google Docs

While Google Docs might not have as many formatting options as Microsoft Word, it does give you some control over how to present text, including:

  • Page layout (i.e. the page size, margins and orientation)
  • Text alignment and spacing (i.e. how text is arranged on the page)

So for more control over the formatting of your documents, check out our tips on page layout and text alignment in Google Docs.

Page Layout: Orientation and Margins

To access layout options in Google Docs, go to File > Page Setup in the menu. This will open a new window with four key page layout options, including:

  • Page Orientation – Whether to display the page as portrait or landscape.
  • Margins – Sets the size of the top, bottom, left and right page margins.
  • Paper Size – Sets the overall size of the page, including margins.
  • Page Colour – Allows you to set the background colour of the page.
The page layout options in Google Docs.
The page layout options in Google Docs.

Once you’ve made adjustments here, click OK to apply them. You can also select Set as Default here to apply the same settings to all new documents.

Text Formatting: Alignment and Spacing

So you’ve got your page layout sorted, but what about the text itself? You can, of course, use the Text Style options to quickly apply formatting.

Find this useful?

Subscribe to our newsletter and get writing tips from our editors straight to your inbox.

But Google Docs also lets you apply formatting manually, including the text alignment and spacing options. You can adjust the alignment by selecting one of the four alignment icons on the toolbar (listed left to right):

  • Left Align – Align text to the left margin.
  • Right Align – Align text to the right margin.
  • Center Align – Position text in the centre of the page.
  • Justify – Text is spaced to align with left and right margins.
Text alignment settings.
Text alignment settings.

To change the spacing settings, meanwhile, select the line spacing icon on the toolbar. This will open a dropdown menu with three main options:

  • Line Spacing – Adjust the space between lines in a paragraph to one of four common default settings (Single, 1.15, 1.5 or Double).
  • Paragraph Spacing – Add or remove a space before or after a paragraph.
  • Custom Spacing – Enter custom values for line and paragraph spacing.
Paragraph spacing options.
Paragraph spacing options.

This will give you complete control over the text spacing in your document.

Comments (0)

Get help from a language expert.

Try our proofreading services for free.

More Writing Tips?
Trusted by thousands of leading institutions and businesses

Make sure your writing is the best it can be with our expert English proofreading and editing.