There’s no doubt that portrait orientation is
the way to view the vast majority of documents on the web. It’s how we’ve
always read books and browsed websites. You’re reading this post in portrait
orientation now, right?
However, in fringe cases where you’re trying
to format a document to be wider than it is tall, Google Docs has got you
covered. Whether you’re creating a presentation slide, poster, or anything of
the like, setting up your document this way is a matter of just a few clicks.
How to Use Landscape Orientation
in Google Docs
To get started formatting your document in
landscape orientation, click on the File
menu option and then Page setup… on
the expanded menu.
This screen will allow you to change several
options for your page, including changing portrait orientation to landscape
The paper size of your document is another of
these settings, supporting the following sizes:
- Letter (8.5″ × 11″)
- Tabloid (11″ × 17″)
- Legal (8.5″ × 14″)
- Statement (5.5″ × 8.5″)
- Executive (7.25″ ×
- Folio (8.5″ × 13″)
- A3 (11.69″ × 16.54″)
- A4 (8.27″ × 11.69″)
- A5 (5.83″ × 8.27″)
- B4 (9.84″ × 13.90″)
- B5 (6.93″ × 9.84″)
You can also set the size, in inches, of each
of your page’s margins and its background color. The background color can be
set using a predefined list of colors or by using your own custom hex color
Here’s how a document looks with the default
landscape orientation settings applied:
As you can see, it’s much wider and would be
able to fit elements like wide images and tables better than portrait
If you plan to use landscape orientation over
a long period of time, such as if you’re working on a multi-document project,
you can click the Set as default
button when changing your page’s setup options.
However, there are two unfortunate drawbacks of changing the orientation settings in Google Docs. One is that you can only change the orientation of the entire document, not set it for individual pages.
This is one of the biggest ways that Word wins out in the Google Docs vs. Microsoft Word argument—you can make one page landscape in Word.
The second drawback is that the media included
in your document can be rearranged and reordered in unintended ways if you’ve
created a document in portrait orientation and then switch it to landscape
orientation. This will require you to do a bit of manual cleanup after applying
Other than these two snags, setting up a
document in landscape orientation in Google Docs is simple, easy, and
effective. Always keep in mind that this is an option when you’re creating
documents heavy on media and other wide page elements!