Standard margins for A4 paper in Europe & Japan?
Thread poster: conejo

conejo  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:22
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Apr 10, 2007

Hello. I live in the US, so in the US, a standard format for an MS word document would be Letter paper (8.5 x 11 inches), with margins of 1 inch all the way around. However I do have some customers in Europe and Japan, and I would like to know what the standard margins are considered to be for A4 paper, in Europe & Japan?

Thanks, everybody.


Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:22
English to Dutch
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Your wordprocessor knows Apr 11, 2007

This is not so difficult: just start your word processor, go to the page properties, set the paper size to A4, and it will automatically set the correct margins. These are simply built-in with any serious word processing application.
But I checked, and the margins are 2.5 cm (near to an inch) all round (headers and footers 1.25 cm)


PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:22
English to Polish
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2.5 cm Apr 11, 2007

I believe this is the default margin in "European" MS Word. That's pretty close to 2.54 cm (1 inch).

I don't really know if there is an accepted standard.

Pawel Skalinski

[Edited at 2007-04-11 07:49]


esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:22
Member (2006)
English to Russian
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Probably, they'll vary across countries Apr 11, 2007

In my country, Belarus, in correspondence between government bodies, the following are used:
- top and bottom of 2 cm;
- left of 3 cm;
- right of 1 cm (0,8 cm is allowed).

Other layout, often required by clients, is with all margins of 2 cm.


megane_wang  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:22
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
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Europe, more or less the same Apr 11, 2007

In Europe it's more or less the same: 2.5 cm (aprox 1 inch) is a minimum.

Side margins: 3 cm is the most common selection, unless you need to bind pages. In that case, a binding margin has to be considered (Word does it automatically). Right margin may be smaller if no hand corrections or notes are expected to be added to the text. But if you deliver the text to a corrector I would advise to leave plenty of space....

Top/bottom margins: 2.5 - 3 cm is the most common too. But if a page includes a logo on top you'll usually need to leave at least 1 cm free below the logo (the larger the logo is, the larger this spacing must be, but for a "typical" header that's it). The same applies to the foot: If you have page numbers, lines, signatures... then it is recommended that you leave at least 1 cm free above them (or the equivalent to 2 line spacings) to avoid mixing up with the text.

Note that this is not a standard. It may exist, but this is what I are used to find and use myself.

Ruth @ MW

[Edited at 2007-04-11 07:59]


Olaf (X)
Local time: 07:22
English to German
Use Custom Size in MS Word Apr 11, 2007

Note that simply fiddling with the margins will not change US Letter (21.59cm x 27.94cm) to A4 (21cm x 29.7cm), because A4 is taller than US Letter. Since A4 usually isn't pre-defined in the English versions of Word, you'll have to use the Custom Size option (File > Page Setup > Paper tab) to define the format.

Select the following values:

Width: 8.268" (21.0cm)
Height: 11.693" (29.7cm)

Also set all margins to 1" (or 2.5cm).



Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:22
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
A4 is built-in in my word processor... Apr 12, 2007

Olaf wrote:
Since A4 usually isn't pre-defined in the English versions of Word...

Huh? I'm using an English version of MS Word and A4 is right there, already defined for me.


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Standard margins for A4 paper in Europe & Japan?

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