Restoring Default Page Size and Margin Settings in MS Word

Restoring the Default Page Size and Margin Settings You Used to Use

I was formatting a novel for Createspace in Microsoft Word 2007 and I had to use a custom document size (6 inches by 9 inches) for a paperback-sized book. (As it turned out, by the way, that setting didn't even work for the Createspace book format I was using.)

I didn't realize, when I hit the "Default" button in the "Page Size" window, that Word would offer me that size and those margin settings forever after, whenever I opened a new document.

I tried to start a new document and it opened as 6 inches across and 9 inches tall. I spent an hour trying to figure how to get it back to normal.

I searched on Google how to restore default settings, and the answers there mostly instructed people to run Regedit and delete a registry key. Regedit is technical (not for beginners), and it didn't solve the problem.

I then tried to reinstall MS Word, but Windows only lets you uninstall all of Office (if that's how you installed it), or "repair" it. I didn't want to uninstall everything, so I tried "Repair" and that didn't work either.

You Need To Go Back Into "Page Size" Setup

As it turned out, all I had to do was go back into the "Page Size" Setup window, change the paper size and margins back to what I wanted, and then click on the "Default" button.

That changed the default document settings in MS Word, so now whenever I open a new document, it's back to the normal size (8 x11) and one-inch margins again.

Setting or Resetting Default Margins and Page Size, Step By Step

  1. Select Page Layout in the main toolbar at the top.
  2. Select "Size" (under Orientation).
  3. Go all the way to the bottom and click on "More Paper Sizes."
  4. In the "Paper Size" menu at the top, choose "Letter Size."
  5. Click on the "Margins" tab at the top left.
  6. Set the margins you want. I'm not sure of the standard, but I set the top, bottom, inside and outside margins to one inch.
  7. Click on the "Default" button at the bottom of the Page Setup window.
  8. A dialog box will ask you if you want to change the default settings for page setup. Click "Yes." Now your new documents will open in the correct size and have the right margins.

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