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What to Know

To center text in Word, use the Vertical alignment menu.

The Vertical Alignment menu also controls Top, Justified, and Bottom text alignment.

To center text in Word for only part of the document, highlight what you want to center before choosing Vertical Alignment.

This article explains how to center text in Word. Instructions apply to Word for Microsoft 365, Word 2024, Word 2024, Word 2013, Word 2010, Word 2007, and Word 2003.

How to Vertically Align Text in Word

When you want to position text in a section of a document relative to the top and bottom margins, use vertical alignment.

To reflect a change in the vertical alignment, the document page or pages must be only partially full of text.

For Microsoft Word 2024, 2024, 2013, 2010, and 2007

Open the Word document in which you want to vertically align the text.

Go to the Layout tab (or Page Layout, depending on the version of Word).

In the Page Setup group, select the Page Setup dialog launcher (which is located in the lower-right corner of the group).

In the Page Setup dialog box, choose the Layout tab.

In the Page section, select the Vertical alignment drop-down arrow and choose either Top, Center, Justified, or Bottom.

If you choose Justified, the text is spread out evenly from top to bottom.

Select OK.

Your text will now be aligned the way you selected.

For Word 2003

To vertically align text in Microsoft Word 2003:

Select File.

Choose Page Setup.

In the Page Setup dialog box, select Layout.

Select the Vertical alignment drop-down arrow and choose either Top, Center, Justified, or Bottom.

Select OK.

Vertically Align Part of a Word Document

When you use the steps above, the default condition is to change the vertical alignment of the entire Microsoft Word document. If you want to change the alignment of only part of the document, select the text you want to vertically align.

Here’s how to vertically align part of a document:

Select the text you want to vertically align.

Go to the Layout tab (or Page Layout, depending on the version of Word).

In the Page Setup group, select the Page Setup dialog launcher (it’s located in the lower-right corner of the group).

In the Page Setup dialog box, choose the Layout tab.

In the Page section, select the Vertical alignment drop-down arrow and choose an alignment.

In the Preview section, select the Apply to drop-down arrow and choose Selected text.

Select OK to apply the alignment to the selected text.

Any text before or after the selection retains the existing alignment choices.

If you don’t select text prior to performing the alignment selection, the Selected text preference can only be applied from the cursor’s current location to the end of the document.

To make this work, position the cursor, then:

Go to the Layout tab (or Page Layout, depending on the version of Word).

In the Page Setup group, select the Page Setup dialog launcher (which is located in the lower-right corner of the group).

In the Page Setup dialog box, choose the Layout tab.

In the Page section, select the Vertical alignment drop-down arrow and choose an alignment.

In the Preview section, select the Apply to drop-down arrow and choose This point forward.

Select OK to apply the alignment to the text.

Text Justification And Alignment In Microsoft Word

I’m not sure this topic justifies a separate chapter in the User’s Guide but the alternative was to really bloat the basic formatting chapter with information most people don’t want or need.

Virtually all horizontal justification in Word is done with respect tab settings or to the left or right indent (not margins). Tab settings and indents are paragraph level formatting best set in Styles.

The screenshots here are from Word 2010, but the icons and keyboard shortcuts shown are identical in versions from Word 97-2013. Note that the screenshots of text include the Ruler to emphasize that the alignment is between paragraph Indents and not page Margins. The margins are shown by the text boundaries and on the Ruler. The Indents are not quite the same distance from the Margins. This is to show that the centering is done to the Indents as well.

The screenshots also have display of non-printing characters turned on. The ones visible are the paragraph marks and the dots for blank spaces.

Horizontal Alignment of Text in Microsoft Word

Unless support for some East-Asian language is installed, you will see four icons for paragraph alignment in Word.

The screen shots below all include a fifth icon for Distributed Text which will show up if you have East-Asian language support installed. The command is available even if the language support is not installed, though.

This is the default.

Because of the text used above, it looks like fully-justified text, but it is not. The text is not stretched to go all the way to the right Indent.

Full Justification / Alignment (Ctr+J)

The demonstration screen shot above shows full alignment with both a paragraph mark at the end of a short line and a line break at the end of a short line.

First, permit me a slight rant. Don’t use full justification! It makes your text look nice but it is harder to read! Also don’t use hyphenation — for the same reason. Reading is not done letter-by-letter. The brain uses the shape of the word to determine a meaning, and even the shape of a sentence. Both full justification and hyphenation mess with those shapes. (Done with rant; thank you for your tolerance.)

Fully justified text in newspapers and magazines is far more highly massaged than Word will do. This is through the use of kerning and ligatures.

Full justification can be enhanced by using a Word Perfect compatibility option — the only WP-compatibility option that I know of that is of any use.

Check the box for “Do full justification like Word Perfect 6.x for Windows.” This varies the space between words to a much finer degree than is the default for Word. Thanks to Woody’s Office Watch for this tip. It still doesn’t make the text as easy to read as left-justification. This option is not available for documents set up for Word 2013 or later.

If you do decide to use full alignment, just be aware that Word is a flawed tool to produce this kind of text.

Note that the WordPerfect option shifts text from line to line. This option is not available AFAIK after Word 2010 except when in compatibility mode.

Distributed Paragraph Alignment (Ctrl+Shift+J) – an undocumented option

Unless you have support for some East-Asian Language installed, you will only see the four icons above with none showing as active. If you do have that language support turned on, you will see five icons in the paragraph alignment area with the fifth one being for Distributed.

This was built into Word as a part of East Asian Language Support and is in all versions of Word since at least Word 2003. Distributed should never be used in English for regular text. Note above that in the last line the parantheses and period are counted as characters and space is used to stretch them as well.

If you have language support turned on for any East Asian Language, the icon will be with your other paragraph formatting alignment options as shown. Otherwise, you can add the command for Distributed Paragraph text to the Quick Action Toolbar or a Ribbon in Word 2007 and later. It is under All Commands as “Distributed.” When added to a the QAT or Ribbon, it gives the icon although not with the other icons. In Word 2003 you cannot display the icon (AFAIK) without installing support for an East-Asian language. The shortcut Ctrl+Shift+J, though, is available.

If you display the icon, it comes with the “tooltip” when you hover over it.

Again, I would never use Distributed for anything other than a single line of text for a special purpose. It does not, contrary to the tooltip shown, give a document a clean look!

My thank to Rohn and Stefan Blom for the information about the Distributed option. The keyboard shortcut does show up for the command Distribute Para in printed lists of commands or of keyboard shortcuts generated by Word using the ListCommands command. I call this an undocumented option becausethe Ctrl+Shift+J Shortcut does not show up in the lists of Keyboard Shortcuts on the Microsoft site that I’ve found. As far as I know, its use is not documented by Microsoft’s site, at least not in English.

All of the methods shown so far keep the same text on each line, they simply move the text to different positions on a line. That is not the case with the justification methods for Right-to-Left languages. They can ove words from line to line.

The above buttons give additional options, even if you are not using a Right-to-Left language. They give three additional degrees of justification.

Justify – High Justify – Low

As far as I can tell, the Justify-Low setting is the same as the Full Justification setting.

Justify – Medium

Notice that the High and Medium settings move words from line to line. The menu button that gives a drop-down with all of these is only active if you have a Right-to-Left language enabled in you version of Word.

To put these on your QAT:

Modifying the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) in Microsoft Word

There are times when you want one column of text aligned to the left, and a second to the right. (In Word Perfect, this is called Flush-Right.) In Word, this is done by use of Tab settings or Alignment Tabs that ignore those settings.

A common example of this kind of formatting is a Table of Contents. Word will automatically define a Table of Contents in just this way. Here are examples of text with the Ruler, with the non-printing tab characters displayed.

Note that the tabs could be set at the paragraph indents; here they are not to make what is happening clearer. If they were set at the indents, the tab for the left-most text would not be used, simply the indent. Note also that a right tab could be set outside the right paragraph indent and/or the right page margin.

The second is Flush Right with an additional Center tab.

The third example uses a Right tab to align text on the left with an even right margin and that on the right with an even left margin. Still with a Center tab.

The fourth example shows use to line up columns to meet in the middle using tab settings.

Other times you will want one column aligned to the left margin, a second column centered and a third column right-aligned with the right margin. In Word Perfect this is done in a left-justified paragraph by typing the text on the left, pressing the Center key, typing the centered text, and then pressing Right-Justify and typing the text for the right margin. A typical place for doing this is in the headers and footers of a page. Both the header and the footer Styles are set up with a center-tab and a right-tab. If you are in either of these places, simply type your left text, press the tab key, type your centered text, press the tab key again, and type your right-aligned text. This is shown in the examples above.

If you need wrapping for these columns of text, whether in the body of your document or in a header or footer, you could use a Table in Word. Remember that each cell in a table can be aligned independently and that you can turn off the borders for the table so that it will not print lines between or around cells.

Otherwise you could set the Right Tab outside of the right Indent or even the Right Margin. The screenshots below show text where this has been done. They have the same margin settings but different indent and tab settings. Both use dot leaders for the Right Tab. Display of non-printing formatting characters is turned on. The first method shown below (tab set outside right indent) works in Word 2013 and later as well as earlier versions. The second method (tab set outside right margin) only works in Word versions 2010 and earlier.

See also Working with Tabs.

Vertical Justification / Alignment of Text in Microsoft Word

Just as text can be aligned to either the left or right indent (not margin) or centered horizontally with Word, it can be aligned to the top or bottom margins of the page or centered on the page using vertical alignment. In Word 97-2003, this is done using the Page Setup dialog found under the File menu. In Ribbon versions of Word it is done using the same dialog launched using the dialog launcher button on the Page Layout Group of the Page Layout tab. These and the dialog are shown below.

Again, vertical alignment on the page is a Section formatting property, not a paragraph formatting property like horizontal alignment.

Justification of Text in Tables in Microsoft Word

See Using Tables for Organizing and Formatting in Microsoft Word

Alignment to Page Margins or Left and Right Indents Rather Than Tab Settings Using Alignment Tabs

Virtually all horizontal alignment in Word is done either in relationship to paragraph Indents or using Tabs – both set as a part of the paragraph formatting and often done in a Style. There are times when you want to align according to the left and right margins or corresponding indents and ignore tab settings. This can be done in a limited fashion (Left, Center, and Right) using Alignment Tabs introduced in Word 2007.

Alignment Within Tables is Handled by Additional Controls

To be worked on. See Cell Properties in the meantime.

See this thread for where we are going with this.

In Microsoft Word, How Do I Justify Text On A Page?

ARCHIVED: In Microsoft Word, how do I justify text on a page?

This content has been archived , and is no longer maintained by Indiana University. Information here may no longer be accurate, and links may no longer be available or reliable.

To space text evenly on the page in Microsoft Word, follow the appropriate instructions below.

On this page:

Changing the vertical alignment

Word 2010 and 2007 for Windows

From the

Page Layout

tab, open the Page Setup... dialog box (using the button in the lower right corner of the Page Setup group).

Select the



In the “Vertical alignment:” box, select


, and

Back to top

Word for Mac OS X

From the


menu, select



Select the



From the

Vertical alignment

menu, select

Back to top

Changing the horizontal alignment

Note: Because the last line of text in a paragraph is often shorter than the other lines, it may not appear to be justified. To justify the last line in a justified paragraph, place the insertion point at the end of the last line, and then press Shift-Enter (Shift-Return on a Mac). Use the Enter key on the main keyboard, not on the keypad. This will insert a soft return (i.e., a non-paragraph-ending return). Be aware that justifying a very short line of text may look odd because of the large amount of space that will be created between the words.

Back to top

Word 2010 and 2007 for Windows and Word 2011 for Mac

Select the text you want to justify.

(  ) in the “Paragraph” group*.

Back to top

Word 2008 and earlier for Mac

Select the text you want to justify.

(  )*.

Back to top

*Alternatively, after selecting the text and select Paragraph. In the Paragraph dialog box, select the Indents and Spacing tab and, from the Alignment drop-down list, select Justified.

The above instructions were adapted from the following articles:

Change Text Alignment Options In Word 2010

The four text alignment settings are deceptively simple, and there are quite a few hidden tricks and tips for this feature, as you’ll learn in this tutorial. When should you use Left, Center, Right, or Justify? Another frequent question is how to change the default alignment for new documents in Word 2010? Changing it will save you quite some time if you need to create documents other than left aligned (the default). Note that this tutorial focuses on your horizontal alignment settings; vertical alignment options will be covered when we talk about tables, whose cells can have no less than 9 alignment combinations!

Basic Word alignment settings

You will find the four text alignment buttons under the ” Home” tab in the Word 2010 ribbon. Here’s a screenshot of the default setting, where “Left” is selected; note that which button is current highlighted automatically changes based on the current position of the insertion point (blinking cursor).

Visual Communication 101: when should you use each alignment option?

This tutorial is about Word 2010, so we won’t hijack it into a layout presentation primer, but here are a few, basic pointers. Since most non-designers make the mistakes we’ll help you avoid, this may help your documents stand out from the crowd, quite useful for application papers or resumes. No design rule is ever absolute, so take what you can from these and adapt them as needed!

A mix of different text alignments in the same document create visual chaos; stick to one alignment, perhaps two. A cover sheet can gracefully contain three different alignments on the same page, but this is an exception (bottom left alignment in one corner, top right alignment for another corner, a center center for a title and sub header – for example). Aligning related text on the same side, possibly at the same distance from the side of the page, creates unity and visual cohesion; an invisible line (border) runs along the alignment side.

Just experiment for yourself:Justify vs. Left: in many cases, you’ll have to use the text alignment that is accepted as convention for your industry or the nature of your document. If you can choose between the two though, here are a few tips: “justify justified” text looks neater, but on long lines (“long line” is a perception correlated to font size, and paper dimension), justify justified can look more dense and uninviting to the eye. When writing for the screen (like this website, as opposed to paper), the reader’s screen resolution comes into play.

* Change screen resolution in Windows 7 *Change screen resolution in Windows Vista *Change screen resolution in Windows XP

Align differently a single line of text

Another way to force a separate alignment on a single line of text consists in adding a table to your document, since each row (and each cell) can have its own alignment.

Change default alignment for new Word documents

How To Split Table Horizontally Or Vertically In A Word Document?

How to split table horizontally or vertically in a Word document?

If you have a large table in your Word document, now, you want to split the table horizontally or vertically into two or more tables. How could you solve this task in a Word file?

Split table horizontally into two or more tables in a Word documents Split table vertically into two or more tables in a Word documents

Split table horizontally into two or more tables in a Word documents

To split one table into two or more tables horizontally, the below methods can do you a favor, please do as this:

2. And the table has been split into two tables horizontally as following screenshot shown:


1. To split table to more tables, you just need to repeat the above steps as you need.

2. You can also use an easy shortcut key to split a table into multiple tables, please put the cursor at the cell where you want to split from, and then press Ctrl+ Shift+ Enter keys together to split the table into two parts.

Split table vertically into two or more tables in a Word documents

If you need to split a table into two or more tables vertically, please apply the following steps:

1. Firstly, please put cursor below the target table and press Enter to get at least two paragraph marks. See screenshot:

2. Then select the whole columns that you want to split as a new table, and drag it to the second paragraph mark, the original table has been split to two tables as following screenshot shown:

4. Now, you can see, the original table has been split into two tables vertically, you can repeat the above steps to split it into more tables as you need.

Recommended Word Productivity Tools

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Insert multiple images across folders into Word document at once.

Merge and combine multiple Word files across folders into one with your desired order.

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How To Quickly Highlight Recurring Text In Word

Highlighting text in Microsoft Word is easy if you know these two shortcuts.

Highlighting is a common task in Microsoft Word because it allows the reader to quickly find specific words or phrases. If the text occurs a lot, manually highlighting all instances would be tedious, and fortunately is unnecessary. In this article, I’ll show you two ways to highlight recurring text: using Word’s Find & Replace and Find options. Both are good tools to know when you want to review surrounding text rather than make a blanket change. Both are easy but come with a few limitations.

Disclosure:LEARN MORE: Office 365 for business TechRepublic may earn a commission from some of the products featured on this page. TechRepublic and the author were not compensated for this independent review.

I’m using (desktop) Office 365, but you can use earlier versions. You can work with your own document or download the simple demonstration .docx file. It doesn’t work in the browser edition.

How to highlight in Word using Find & Replace

Figure A

When highlighting recurring text, you might turn to Replace first, but you’ll find highlighting on the Find tab, not Replace. Let’s run through a simple example by adding a green highlight to every instance of the word video in the demonstration document:

First, choose the highlight color. This step might not matter, but it’s important to note that Word will apply the current highlight, which might happen to be no highlight at all. For our purposes, choose green from the Text Highlight Color dropdown in the Font group (on the Home tab).

In the Find What control, enter video

From the Reading Highlight, choose Highlight All. Figure A shows the highlights.

If you highlight another word or phrase-regardless of the highlight color you use-Word will remove the results of the Highlight All task.

If you remove the highlight from any of the highlighted instances, Word will remove them all.

After highlighting, you can quickly peruse your document and make updates as necessary. The highlighting will stay in place until you remove it. You can even save the highlights.

However, all this quick highlighting has its limits:

Now, let’s do the same thing using Find in the Navigation pane.

In the text control, enter video and press Enter. Word will automatically highlight all instances (Figure C).

Figure B

Figure C

How to highlight in Word using Find

There’s more than one way to highlight recurring text, and you’ll want to be familiar with both. This time we’ll use the Find option, but you can skip choosing a highlight color because Word will ignore the setting. Now, do the following:

The same caveats apply as before when trying to work with subsequent highlighting. In addition, when you close the Navigation pane, all highlights disappear. For this reason, I find this option less flexible, but if you’re working in the Navigation pane for other reasons, it works well.

Stay tuned

In a subsequent article, I’ll show you how to replace one highlighting color with another! If you have any cool highlight tips, please share them in the Comments section below.

Also see

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