Microsoft Word online training course

Word lesson 6, Formatting paragraphs

Align paragraphs

We have different possibilities in Word to align paragraphs.
Aligning refers to the right and leftside of the paragraph.
Word uses the left alignment by default.
We can change this by clicking on the buttons "Align left", "Center", "Align right" and "Justify".
If we use the button "Justify" then the last line in our paragraph will never be "Justified".
If we do wish to justify this line nonetheless, we place the cursor on the end of this last line, and push the buttons "Shift" and "Enter" on our keyboard.

We can align paragraphs by selecting the entire paragraph and clicking on the align button.
Or by placing the cursor inside the paragraph followed by clicking on a align button.

The alignment of our text can be set after we typed our text, but also before we start to type.
This is done by first clicking on the alignment button before we start to type.

paragraph alignment

Indent paragraph with and without rulers

In Word we have different possibillities to indent paragraphs.
We can use the "Tab" key on our keyboard or we can use the buttons "Decrease indent" and "Increase indent" in the formatting toolbar.

To use this we select the paragraph and click on the corresponding buttons.

Another way to indent our paragraphs is to use the indent markers on the ruler.

indent paragraph
To indent a complete paragraph we place the cursor in the paragraph followed by clicking and dragging the square to the right.

indent complete paragraph
To indent the top line of our paragraph we place the cursor in the paragraph followed by clicking and dragging the upper part to the right.

indent top line of paragraph
To indent everything exept the first line from our paragraph we place the cursor inside the paragraph followed by clicking and dragging the lower part to the right.

indent lower part of paragraph

Line spacing

In Word its also possible to set the distance between lines and between paragraphs.
To set the distance between our lines we first place our cursor in the paragraph.
We click on "Format" followed by "Paragraph" in the menubar.
The paragraph window will open:

line spacing
In the "Spacing" section we can set the spacing between the paragraphs and lines.
The left fields "Before" and "After" set the spacing between the paragraphs, the fields "Line spacing" and "At:" determine the spacing between the lines.

If we only want to change the spacing between the lines, then we can use the "Line spacing" line spacing button button in the "Formatting" toolbar.
This is only available in the XP and 2003 version.

In the window we also find the sections "Alignment" and "Outline level".
With this we can create the same effects as we discussed in the previous part of this lesson.

Beware, when we make changes in the different fields of this window, the "Preview" section on the bottom will automaticly be altered.

Copy paragraph formatting

Like the way we can copy the formatting of the text we can also copy the formatting of our paragraphs.
To do this select the paragraph, click the "Format painter" button on the standard toolbar.
Next click and drag the paragraph where you want to copy the formatting to.