Microsoft Publisher: Perfect pages with page setup and layout tools in Publisher

By April 11, 2016 December 12th, 2017 Business Productivity, Tech Tip

In some previous Microsoft Publisher tips, we’ve shown you how to align items for a pixel-perfect layout and use the Drawing Tools and Text Box Tools to manipulate your text boxes. In this tech tip, we’ll be explaining how to find and change your page setup and use layout tools in Publisher.

Getting started

When you start up Publisher, you’ll probably see a screen like this. You can quickly pick a document type and setup that matches what you’re looking for – or close enough that you can make small changes to get it right.

Page setup and layout tools in Publisher

If you start your document and then realize you want to change the page layout, here are some tools to help you out.

The Page Design tab

On the Ribbon, select the Page Design tab. We’ll focus on the options on the left.

The Page Setup Group

Under the Page Setup group, you have options for Margins, Orientation, and Size.

Page setup and layout tools in Publisher

Click Margins to see built-in options. Select an option for the margins you want, or click Custom Margins to enter your own values for left, right, top, and bottom margin sizes.

Page setup and layout tools in Publisher

Orientation only gives you two options: make the page orientation portrait or landscape. Whatever the size of your page currently is, switching between these options will switch your pages’ height and width values.

Page setup and layout tools in Publisher

Size is “page size” and lets you once again quickly switch to a built-in page size or enter your own size. If you click on the button, the built-in options are named by standard page sizes along with their dimensions.

Page setup and layout tools in Publisher

At the very bottom, you can enter your own values for page dimensions by clicking on Page Setup…

Page setup and layout tools in Publisher

If you’re creating a page size that you want to reuse, you can click Create New Page Size…from the Size menu.

These three options – Margins, Orientation, and Size – let you manipulate your most important page setup options.

The Layout Group

Also under the Page Design tab on the Ribbon is the Layout group of options, which includes Guides. Guides are lines that you can place on the page to help you line up objects on the page.

As with most options, there are built-in guides available.

  1. Click on the Guides button.

    Page setup and layout tools in Publisher

  2. Choose a Built-In Ruler Guide, such as a 3×3 grid.If you don’t see the guidelines appear, switch to the View tab on the Ribbon. In the Show group, make sure that Guides is checked.

    Page setup and layout tools in Publisher

  3. Or, use Add a Horizontal Ruler Guide or Add a Vertical Ruler Guide from the menu to add a guide and then click and drag it to the location you want.(Alternatively, click and hold your mouse on the ruler to the left or top of your page, then drag your mouse right or downwards towards the page. You should see immediately that you are dragging out a horizontal or vertical ruler guide. Just release your mouse to drop it where you want it.)
  4. To remove a guide, hover your mouse over the guide until your cursor turns into a drag or “move” cursor. Then, click on the guide and drag it off the page and then release it.

How do I use guides? You use guides to line up objects. Under the same Layout group under Page Design, you’ll see Align to and then Guides and Objects.

Page setup and layout tools in Publisher

Select these options if you want objects on the page to “snap to” your guides and to other objects, to help them line up precisely.

Those are your quick options!

This is how you can quickly change your page setup options and add and configure how ruler guides work on Publisher pages.


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