How to Format Whole Paragraphs in Word 2011 for Mac

By Geetesh Bajaj, James Gordon

Sometimes you want the placement of your text on each page of your Word for Mac 2011 document to be aesthetically pleasing. Consider how important it is to have a poem or a quotation look just right to create the desired ambience on the page. In these situations, you might need to adjust values for line spacing and paragraph spacing. When working with the options in the Paragraph group of the Home tab on the Ribbon, the settings apply to entire paragraphs.


Click anywhere in a paragraph or select multiple paragraphs when you apply these formatting options.

  • Decrease Indent or Increase Indent: Click Decrease Indent to make the indent smaller or remove it; click Increase Indent to make the indent bigger.

  • Split Text into Columns: Select the text you want arranged as columns, then click this button and choose how many columns.

  • Justification: To apply justification to a paragraph, click the desired justification. Your choices are Align Text Left, Center, Align Text Right, or Justify.

  • Line Spacing: Choose from the pop-up menu. Choosing Line Spacing Options displays the Indents and Spacing tab of the Paragraph formatting dialog.

  • Border Formats: Select a format from the pop-up menu.

  • Sort: Click to alphabetically order a column of text.

Although using the Ribbon is quick and easy, Word offers a more complete version of the same controls over the spacing and indentation of your text. To get at the full line and paragraph spacing and the page break controls, take these steps:

  1. Select the text you want to fine-tune and then choose Format→Paragraph from the menu bar, or choose the Line Spacing Options at the bottom of the Line Spacing pop-up menu in the Paragraph group.

  2. Make adjustments as desired and click OK when you’re finished.

You can use negative numbers for negative indentation.