For Seniors: How to Align Text in Microsoft Word

By Faithe Wempen

In Microsoft Word, you can apply alignment that applies to entire paragraphs. Each paragraph has a horizontal alignment, which determines how each line aligns between the right and left margins. The default is left alignment, where each line begins at the left margin.

Left alignment is appropriate for most situations. The alternatives are

  • Right alignment: Each line ends at the right margin. You might use this to right-align the date in some styles of business letters.

  • Center alignment: Each line is centered evenly between the margins. You might want to center your name and address on stationery you create.

  • Justified: Each line has additional space added to it as needed so that it begins at the left margin and ends at the right margin. With justified alignment, all lines of the paragraph except the last one are spaced that way; the final line of the paragraph is left-aligned. If the paragraph consists of only a single line, it’s left-aligned. Newsletter text is often justified, making for a tidier-looking page.


To change one paragraph’s alignment, move the insertion point into it or select any (or all) text within it. Then click the paragraph alignment button you want.


To apply a different alignment to multiple paragraphs at once, select multiple paragraphs (or any part of them). Then click the paragraph alignment button you want.