How to align text in Microsoft Word, Writer, and Google Docs
Below are the steps on how to change the alignment of text in a word processor and most text editing programs. View the steps for the program you are using by clicking on one of the links below.
Align text in Microsoft Word
The steps below for changing the alignment of text in Microsoft Word and can also be used to align text in a column or row for Microsoft Excel and most other text programs.
You can change the horizontal alignment of text in Word by highlighting the text you want to change and clicking the left, center, or right alignment icons, as shown in the image above. In all new versions of Microsoft Word, the alignment options are found under the Home tab.
Press one of the shortcut keys to adjust the alignment of any highlighted text. For left alignment, highlight the text and press Ctrl+L. For center alignment, highlight the text and press Ctrl+E. For right alignment, highlight the text and press Ctrl+R.
Adjusting the vertical alignment
If you want to change the vertical alignment of text follow the steps listed below.
- Open Microsoft Word
- Click File and then Page Setup
- Click the Layout tab
- Under Vertical alignment click the down arrow and select center, bottom or the alignment you want to use. If you do not want this setting to affect the whole document, change the "Apply to" to selected text.
Align text in WordPad
If you're working with a .txt file or save the file as a .txt file, all formatting will be lost including any alignment. If you want to align text in a .txt file, edit the file, and then use the Save As option to save it as a .rtf, .docx, or .odt.
Align text in Google Docs
In Google Docs, you can click one of the alignment options (left, center, right) in the top center of the toolbar.
Press one of the shortcut keys to adjust the alignment of any highlighted text. For left alignment, highlight the text and press Ctrl+Shift+L. For center alignment, highlight the text and press Ctrl+Shift+E. For right alignment, highlight the text and press Ctrl+Shift+R.
- Open Google Docs
- Highlight the text you want to align.
- Click Format, Align, and then choose an alignment.
Align text in OpenOffice Writer
You can change the horizontal alignment of the text in OpenOffice Writer by highlighting the text you want to change and clicking on the left, center, or right icons on the toolbar. These icons look similar to those shown in the above example picture of the Microsoft Word.
How to change the vertical alignment
OpenOffice Writer does not have a feature like Microsoft Word that allows users to vertically align text. However, this can still be done using frames. To do this, follow the steps listed below.
- Open OpenOffice Writer
- Click Insert
- Click Frame
- In the Frame window under type, change the horizontal and vertical position to center and both to "Entire page."
- Because the frame has borders, unless you want to keep these borders click the borders tab and click None under Style.
- Once this is done, you'll have a frame in the center of your page, which allows you to enter any text you want and have it centered in the middle of your page.
- See the alignment and justify definitions for related information and links.
- How to align text in Microsoft Excel, Calc, and Google Sheets.
- Microsoft Word help and support.