Change Page Margins within a document

I would like to change the page margins for the first two pages of a book - all other pages share a different setting for the right margin.
In the compile options, if I edit a format there is a tab for the page settings and it looks like it belongs to a specific format - but the changes were applied to all pages of the document.
I searched the board here and it seems that scrivener knows only one setting for a document - but maybe I missed something…

Set up a style—check out the “Block Quote” style for instance—that sets the left text margin indented from the page margins, but leaves the right text margin at the page margin and use that style for the text on your first two pages. Would that work? Cmd-R to show the ruler to set the text margins.

If you have a paragraph the continues from page 2 to page 3, and you want it to obey the different text settings on each of those pages, I can’t think of a way to do it in Scrivener, I’d use a layout program like Affinity Publisher for that. Someone else might have an idea though.



Hi Mark,

great idea - works fine - but the footnote at the bottom of the pages now use the wider margins too and there is no way to format them with a different right margin. I can check that the footnotes should use the format of the text (compile), but since my first line has an indent, this is no option for me - otherwise this would add the right margin of the text format to the footnotes - close, but no solution for me.

Thanks a lot for the suggestion.


That’s something I would quickly sort out in a word processor post compile, but I know there are many people here who are averse to having to post-process and want Scrivener to do everything. So YMMV.



Hi Mark,
there is always the option to use two, three… apps to solve a problem. But such a basic formatting should be possible in my main text engine… I wouldn’t categorise it as “everything” ;)
Anyhow - instead of fixing the footnotes in WORD I will duplicate the Scrivener file and create the start page and the ToC with a wider margin in one document and process the rest of my work in the 2nd and copy both PDFs into one file - or I will ignore the wider margin for the footnotes - doesn’t look perfect, but…

It’s not really “basic” formatting. To do it in Word, you have to use different Sections with different margins. It’s a “layout” task, not a “text engine” task.


Hi Katherine,
it is possible in WORD and WORD is a text engine - isn’t it? You can call WORD anything but not a layout app ;)
IMHO it is very common to run different margins for the front matter/back matter (as Scrivener calls it). But anyhow - it doesn’t work in Scrivener and I still like the app for other concepts.
Best, Detlef

I think all the people who’ve spent decades working on Word’s layout and formatting features would be very insulted if you called it a text engine.

But terminology aside, this task is outside of Scrivener’s scope.


Word is actually a custom-written mish-mash of text and layout. When you have the development resources of Microsoft, you can (and do) write your own text/layout handling from the ground up.

Anything in code is technically possible when you have enough time and developers to throw at it.

Using Word as your counter-example is probably not the most productive argument you can make.

My last reply on this topic - I don’t want to compare the development resources of MS with those of Scrivener. This is no discussion I want to be in.
My argument was that having different margins across a large document is something very common. If there is a concept like front matters/back matters - why isn’t it possible to assign some basic stuff like individual page margins to those entities too?
To be able to choose a compile format for the footnotes of a document may be also not too advanced. There are already options to take care of the format for the footnotes or page settings - why don’t your argue that those should be removed - why are some options OK and others are completely out of scope? They are not there now. Fine - not what I like to see, but I can work anyhow. But still I consider them as nice to have. :mrgreen:
Thanks, Detlef

Maybe this would work.

Admittedly, I’m not a Compile expert, because I DO use other programs for things you’re talking about, and there would be some steps involved for Scrivener. But you could treat your first chapter as two separate sections, splitting them. Yes, you’d have to figure out where the break is (once) with trial by error, and then split the 1st chapter accordingly. But . . .

#1 Get everything the way you want it in Compile (if it’s already a customize version) or “Duplicate and Edit Format” for the Compile Format of your choice.
#2 Create / “Add a new section layout” to these split chapter 1 texts. e.g. “First Two Pages” and “Remaining 1st Chap Pages”.
#3 Create the formatting, margins, etc. you want, unchecking the “title” box for the “Remaining 1st Chap Pages.”
#4 Assign these appropriately via the Binder settings “Section Type” (at the bottom left of the Binder).
#5 Compile.

This should let you force these things into place and hopefully work with everything else rolling in normally. Of course, those more experienced than myself can tell you if I’m off my rocker.

This is really just another variation on Mark’s solution upthread, and will probably run into the same footnote formatting problem.