Paragraph Alignment

As with all the lessons in this course, you must go through every step in the procedures using Word to learn the skill so it is available to you from memory when you need to use it.
Text can be aligned left or right, centered, or justified.

To align text, select the paragraph or place the insertion point anywhere in it and click on the button corresponding to the alignment type. You can align text quickly by choosing a command from the keyboard or the toolbar.

For Seniors: How to Align Text in Microsoft Word - dummies

The table below shows a list of the buttons on the Paragraph tab and corresponding shortcut keys you may use to perform different alignment operations.

TO ALIGN CLICK THIS BUTTON or PRESS THESE KEYS
Left
Ctrl + L
Centered
Ctrl + E
Right
Ctrl + R
Justified
Ctrl + J
Align Text Left

Word is preset to align text flush left with the left margin. As such, text is aligned at the left indent, leaving a ragged or uneven right edge. This is called “left justified.” Regardless of where the left margin is, when the text lines up at  the left margin, it is left justified.

Examples:

Successful business writers understand the meanings behind the concept words well enough to be able to use simple words to define them or use simple words in place of them.
Successful business writers understand the meanings behind the concept words well enough to be able to use simple words to define them or use simple words in place of them.
Centered Alignment

Centered alignment centers a paragraph horizontally between indents, leaving the left and right edges ragged, meaning the text goes in and out. However, it is an ideal alignment style for article headings, as well as for typing the stanzas of poems on a page.

Example:

Arranging for Employee Sick Leave Benefits
Align Text Right

When you choose the align text right command, the selected paragraph lines up at the right margin so the paragraph is ragged at the left edge. This is also called “right justified.”

Example:

Successful business writers understand the meanings behind the concept words well enough to be able to use simple words to define them or use simple words in place of them.
Fully Justified Alignment

Fully justified alignment aligns a paragraph at both the left and right indents so both the left and right edges are even. Publishers use full justification in newspapers and most books. When a paragraph is justified, Word evens out the lines at the left and right edges, forcing lines to start at the left edge and end at the right edge, hyphenating and adjusting character spacing where necessary. Word does not justify the last line of a paragraph or a short, one-line paragraph. Full justification is not recommended for business documents. It leaves large spaces between words, is more difficult to read, looks like a form letter, and does absolutely nothing for readers.

Example:

Successful business writers understand the meanings behind the concept words well enough to be able to use simple words to define them or use simple words in place of them. Unsuccessful writers either donʹt understand the concepts well enough to explain them in plain words or arenʹt sensitive to the need to ensure that readers know the concepts behind the words. As a result, their readers often feel lost.

Steps to Align Text Using the Paragraph Dialog Box

  1. Select the paragraphs or position the insertion point in the paragraph you want to align.
  2. On the Home tab, click the arrow in the lower left corner of the Paragraph section, called the “launcher.” You will see the Paragraph dialog box (see below).
  3. Click the Indents and Spacing tab.
  4. In the Alignment area, click the down arrow to see the options, and select the type of alignment you want.
  5. Click OK.


Download the Word file at this link and perform the functions indicated in the document: Download

When you have completed the tasks, send the Word file to assignments@businesswriting.com. Write a complete email with a salutation, reason for the email, reference to the attachment, and your name and contact information. Put “Lesson 2 – Paragraph Alignment exercise” in the subject line.