Aligning Text

Another important basic attribute of the text in your documents is how that text is oriented on the page. When you first start typing in a new document, all the text begins at the left margin and moves to the right as you type; this means the text is left-justified using the default align left feature. Left-justified text is characterized by text that is straight or unvarying on the left margin but has a ragged right-edged margin.

Text that serves a special function in a document, such as a heading, would probably stand out better in the document if it is placed differently than the rest of the text. Word makes it easy for you to change the alignment of any text paragraph. Several alignment possibilities are available:

  • Align Left graphics/alignleft.gif The default margin placement for normal text, aligned on the left.

  • Align Right graphics/alignright.gif Text is aligned at the right margin and text lines show a ragged left edge.

  • Center graphics/center.gif The text is centered between the left and right margins of the page (with both margins having irregular edges).

  • Justify graphics/justify.gif The text is spaced irregularly across each line so that both the left and the right margins are straight edged and uniform (often used in printed publications such as the daily newspapers).


Remember How Word Sees a Paragraph Any text followed by a paragraph markcreated when you press the Enter keyis considered a separate paragraph in Word. This means that when you use alignment features, such as those discussed in this section, only the paragraph that currently holds the insertion point will be affected by the alignment command that you select (such as Center). If you need to align multiple lines that are in separate paragraphs, select that text before selecting the alignment command.

Figure 5.3 shows examples of each of the alignment possibilities.

Figure 5.3. You can align the text in your document to suit your particular needs on a document page.


The easiest way to change the alignment of text in the document is to use the alignment buttons on the Formatting toolbar. Also, a button exists in the Paragraph dialog box for each of the alignment possibilities.

These justification buttons can be used to align new text or selected text. Again, if you are typing new text with a particular justification, your selected justification will still be in force even after you press Enter. You must change the justification as needed.

Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Year: 2002
Pages: 660
Authors: Joe Habraken

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