When you use various word processing programs and other document handling tools, you will likely have options right at your fingertips for setting the page margins. These among other document layout settings can be used to customize where your content will be displayed and ultimately printed. However, you may find yourself using programs like Preview where even though printing is supported, there are no readily available tools for setting with width and height of print jobs.
Despite this, and with only a few exceptions, you should still be able to set custom margins for any program on your Mac that allows you to print. This is because they will likely use OS X’s built-in printing system for handling the document, and this in turn supports the option to set your document’s margins. This setting can generally be found in one of two places:
First go to the program’s File menu, where if available, you will see a “Page Setup” option. This will give you access to the settings for the size of document your current work is on. In here you can select your printer as the device you are formatting for, along with the document size you are using. To set a custom size, simply create a new custom document profile:
- Choose “Manage Custom Sizes” from the Paper Size menu.
- Click the plus button to add a new profile.
- Set its size at the top, followed by a User Defined non-printable area.
- Enter your desired margins.
- Save the profile, and then use it for your document.
This approach can be used for setting the print area to custom locations, such as the top-left of a standard 8.5×11 page by setting the right and bottom margins to values such as 4.25 and 5.5, respectively. Similar can be done for moving and sizing the print area to any other location on the page.
Note that the values here may not be exact, especially if your printer does not appear in the “Formatted For” menu. Selecting your printer here should compensate for innate non-printable areas for the selected printer, so without this you may need to print a few test pages and then adjust your custom margins accordingly.
The Print window
Some programs may have been coded to not include the Page Setup option in the File menu; however, you should still be able to access the settings for these in the Print dialogue box. When you print, the panel that appears should have a Paper Size option, usually with a menu by it that contains your various page layout options. This menu should have the same “Manage Custom Sizes” options as the Page Setup, allowing you to create and duplicate profiles, and then set margins accordingly.