Changing the Paper Size in Word

You aren't tied to letter-size paper and documents in Word

Animated illustration of a person printing from Word on a computer

Lifewire / Michela Buttignol

For U.S. versions of Microsoft Word, the default paper size is 8.5 by 11 inches. While you probably print most of your letters, reports, and other documents on this size paper, at some point in time you may want to change the page size in Word to use a different size paper.

Word does not place many limitations on page size or orientation. There is a good chance that your printer sets greater limitations on the paper you use than Word does, so before you make any changes to the page size, you should consult your printer documentation. It may save you a lot of frustration in the long run.

How to Change a Document Paper Size for Printing

You can change a document paper size for a new file or for an existing one.

  1. Open a new or existing file in Microsoft Word.

  2. On a Mac, choose the File menu and select Page Setup.

    Page Setup in Word's File menu on macOS
  3. In Word 365, choose File.

    File menu in Word on Windows 10
  4. Select Print in the left-hand pane, then the Page Setup link at the bottom of Settings.

    Page Setup link in Word Print pane for Windows 10
  5. On a Mac, when the Page Setup dialog box appears, it should be set on Page Attributes. If not, click the drop-down selector at the top of the box and select Page Attributes.

    Page Attributes drop-down menu option in Page Setup dialog on macOS
  6. For Word 365, you may need to click the Paper tab at the top of the dialog.

    Paper tab in Page Setup dialog on Windows 10 version of Word
  7. Using the drop-down menu next to (or under) Paper Size, select the size paper you want from the available options. When you make a selection, the Word document on screen changes to that size. For example, if you pick US Legal on the menu, the document size changes to 8.5 by 14.

    Various paper sizes to choose in Page Setup dialog on macOS version of Word

How to Set Up a Customized Paper Size

If you don't see the size you want in the drop-down menu, you can set up any specific size you want.

  1. On Mac and non-Office 365 versions of Word, click Manage Custom Sizes at the bottom of the list of paper size options.

    Manage Custom Sizes menu item in Page Setup for macOS
  2. Click the plus sign to add a new customized size. The fields populate with the default measurements, which you will change.

    Add new Custom size Plus icon in Word macOS Page Setup
  3. Highlight untitled in the customized size list and change the name to something you'll remember or recognize by typing over it.

  4. Click in the field next to Width and enter a new width. Do the same in the field next to Height

  5. Set a Non-Printable Area by choosing User Defined and filling in the margin amounts in the Top, Bottom, Left, and Right fields.  You can also select your printer to use its default non-printing areas.

    Custom paper size definitions for Word on macOS
  6. Click OK to return to the Page Setup screen.

  7. Select Other or the name you gave the customized size in the drop-down paper size menu. Your document changes to that size on the screen.

Word 365 is a bit different. Set the Paper size to custom, and then set the various parameters in the Paper, Margins, and Layout tabs. Then Click OK.

If you enter a paper size that the chosen printer cannot run, the name of the customized paper size is grayed out in the paper size drop-down menu.