How to Print in Word to Leave Room for a Hole Punch

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Standard three-hole punches create holes about half an inch inside margins.
Image Credit: Zedcor Wholly Owned/ Images

Hole punchers are useful for preparing pages for presentations, binders and pamphlets, but they aren't so helpful when the holes are accidentally punched through the content on your page. Microsoft Word has an option to let you change your page's margin settings, letting you put a little extra room on the side of the page you want to punch holes in.



Open the Word document you want to edit the margin settings for. You can change the settings at any point, but consider doing it early on just in case the modification changes your formatting. Sometimes changing the margins can cause the content on your pages to move around because they have less space to fit. To figure out the margin you need, use your hole puncher on a piece of paper and measure the distance from the edge of the paper to the far edge of the hole and add about a quarter inch.

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Margin Settings

Click the "Page Layout" tab on the top menu. Click "Margins," then "Custom Margins." Edit the margin for whatever side of the page you're using the hole punch on, leaving enough room for the hole plus another quarter inch. You need to edit only one margin. This may result in your pages being slightly off center but doesn't take away quite as much space on the page as editing both. If equal margins are a must, make the left and right margin settings the same.


Hole Punch Sizes

Most three-hole punches will punch holes about half an inch from the edge of the paper, so 0.75 inches gives you a little extra room. Word's default setting will typically be more than enough, but in case the settings have been changed, or if you're not sure about the size of the hole punch, 0.75 inches is a safe measurement without adding too much needless space in the margin.



Previewing Your Document

Click "OK" to save your changes. The effects will be visible instantly. If you want to make sure your measurements are correct, click the "View" tab then "Print Layout" to display a ruler along the edges of your document, letting you see where the text starts on each line. You can keep adjusting margins until you get them right for your document and punch.



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