Gutter Margins

I am trying to format my book so that I can print it through Lulu, and I'm using Google docs which has no mirror or gutter margin option. I did put the top and bottom at .75, and the sides of the block text have .875 of space around them. Is this okay to do or do I need to give up? How important is a gutter margin even with the extra space on both sides of the text?

Best Answer


  • A Gutter is an extra margin allowance to the bound side of the pages.  Google docs does not support Gutters. Can it actually create Left and Right pages? That could be a problem if not. What about Page Breaks? New Sections? Page Numbers? And many other things you need to format the pages for a book?

    I would strongly suggest you get Word, which can do all the things you need.

  • Google can do all of this except support gutters. I did put in more space on both sides of the text but I don't know if that would work for allowance when they bind the book. 

    Problem is word costs money. I don't have money. I'm poor and I have to spend it on bills. 
  • To Kevin's point, Google Docs can export to ODT, the Open Office file type. While Google Docs is great for writing (its my primary writing tool) it is not so great for preparing a file for printing. Page Layout and Design are lacking from the base design of Docs and I haven't found an Add On yet that enables the degree of layout and control you can achieve with Word or Open Office.
  • I tend to ignore the gutter setting / keep it at zero, I make the margins big enough to negate the gutter.
  • With the high cost of POD it's a good idea to use margins as small as you can get away with (but too close to the edge the end words my be trimmed.) But, at least 1/4" is glued on the bound edge, so a Gutter is used to allow for that. Word knows which the bound edge will be, if set to know.

    Currently (A5 paperbacks) I use 0.5" left and right margins, with a 0.2" Gutter set to Left. But a Gutter can depend on Page Count. The greater the number of pages the bigger a Gutter should be (mine are usually around 280 pages) or it makes it harder to see the bound edge words when trying to open the book and read it!

Sign In or Register to comment.