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Microsoft Word 2007

Paragraph Formatting Options

This document will help you use paragraph formatting options to achieve a desired look for your document.

return to topChanging Paragraph Alignment

Changing text alignment, margins, and line spacing will affect the entire paragraph even if you have only a single word selected or the insertion point placed in the paragraph. To format multiple paragraphs, you need to select at least one character from each paragraph. You can align text with the right or left margins, center the text, or align the text with both margins.

Changing Text Alignment: Write Command Tab Option

  1. Select the text to be formatted

  2. From the Home command tab, in the Paragraph group, click the appropriate text alignment button
    paragraph group

Changing Text Alignment: Keyboard Option

  1. Select the text to be formatted

  2. To left align the paragraph press [Ctrl] + [L]
    To center the paragraph press [Ctrl] + [E]
    To right align the paragraph press [Ctrl] + [R]
    To justify the paragraph press [Ctrl] + [J]

return to topAdjusting Line Spacing

You can add space between lines within a paragraph by adjusting the line spacing. For example, you may want your text double-spaced. This is an efficient way of adding white space.

Adjusting Line Spacing: Write Command Tab Option

  1. Place the insertion point in the desired paragraph

  2. From the Home command tab, in the Paragraph group, click LINE SPACINGLine Spacing button» select the desired line spacing

Adjusting Line Spacing: Dialog Box Option

  1. Place the insertion point in the desired paragraph

  2. From the Home command tab, in the Paragraph group, click PARAGRAPHparagraph dialog box button
    The Paragraph dialog box appears.
    Paragraph dialog box

  3. Select the Indents and Spacing tab

  4. From the Line spacing pull-down menu, select the desired spacing

  5. Click OK

return to topAdjusting Paragraph Spacing

Instead of putting extra returns at the end of paragraphs, add additional space before and after paragraphs by adjusting the paragraph spacing. This can be especially useful when you want the blank line to be a different height from the text.

  1. Place the insertion point in the desired paragraph

  2. From the Home command tab, within the Paragraph group, click PARAGRAPHparagraph dialog box button
    The Paragraph dialog box appears.
    Paragraph dialog box

  3. Select the Indents and Spacing tab

  4. Under the Spacing section, in the Before text box, type the amount of space (in points) to appear before the paragraph

  5. In the After text box, type the amount of space (in points) to appear after the paragraph

  6. Click OK

return to topWorking with Indents

Rather than tabbing in the first line or every line of a paragraph, you can create an indent. An indent is the amount of space between the text and the page margin. You can adjust the indent for an individual paragraph, a group of paragraphs, or the margins for the entire document. If you are setting margins for the entire document, refer to Adjusting Document Margins.

Word offers three types of indents: normal indents, first line indents, and hanging indents. A normal indent inserts a specified amount of space between the page margin and all of the lines in a paragraph. A first line indent inserts space between the first line and the page margin so it looks like a tab was used. A hanging indent uses a normal indent for the first line and then moves subsequent lines farther to the right.

Paragraph indents can be set using the Paragraph dialog box or the Ruler.

Working with Indents: Paragraph Dialog Box Option

  1. Place the insertion point in the desired paragraph
    HINT: If you are adjusting more than one paragraph, select all desired paragraphs.

  2. From the Home command tab, in the Paragraph group, click PARAGRAPHparagraph dialog box button
    The Paragraph dialog box appears.
    Paragraph dialog box

  3. Select the Indents and Spacing tab

  4. Under the Indentation section, in the Left and Right text boxes, type the desired amount of indentation (in inches)

  5. To select a different indent for the first line, from the Special pull-down list, select First line or Hanging

  6. If you selected a First line or Hanging indent, in the By text box, type the desired amount of indentation (in inches)

  7. Click OK

Working with Indents: Ruler Option

Instead of using the Paragraph dialog box, you can make indent adjustments using the Ruler. Shown here is a graphic of the Ruler.

Ruler Indent

Type of Indent Appearance of Ruler Appearance of Text
Normal Indent
Normal Indent
A Normal Indent
looks like this
Hanging Indent
Hanging Indent
A Hanging Indent
     looks like this
First Line Indent
First Line indent
    A First Line Indent
looks like this

To set the indent:

  1. Place the insertion point in the desired paragraph
    HINT: If you are adjusting more than one paragraph, select all desired paragraphs.

  2. Click and drag the appropriate indent button to the desired location on the Ruler

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