How to Vertically Align Text in Word

Change Word's default vertical alignment for special design effects

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You're probably familiar with text alignment in your Microsoft Word documents, whether it's right, left, center, or justified. This alignment adjusts the positioning of the text on the page horizontally. Many long-time Word users don't know you can also align your text vertically on the page in Word. 

One method for centering text between the top and bottom of the page in Word uses the vertical ruler. This works for a heading on a report cover or title page, but the method is consuming and impractical when you’re working on a document with many pages. If you want the vertical alignment of your document to be justified, the task is almost impossible to do manually.

The Microsoft Word settings align text vertically to the top of the document by default, but the settings can be changed to center the text vertically, align it to the bottom of the page, or justify it vertically on the page. "Justify" is a term that means the text line spacing is adjusted, so the text is aligned at both the top and the bottom of the page.

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How to Vertically Align Text in Word 2007, 2010, and 2016

Microsoft Word Page Setup window

 James Marshall

When the text on a page does not fill the page, you can align it between the top and bottom margins. For example, a two-line report heading that is centered top-to-bottom on the page has a professional appearance. Other alignments can enhance the page design.

To vertically align text in Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2016:

  1. Click the Layout (or Page Layout, depending on your version of Word) tab in the ribbon.
  2.  In the Page Setup group, click the small expansion arrow in the lower right corner to open the Page Setup window.
  3. Click the Layout tab in the Page Setup window.
  4. Click the drop-down menu labeled Vertical alignment and choose an alignment: Top, Center, Justified, or Bottom.
  5. Click OK.
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Vertically Align Text in Word 2003

Microsoft Word 2003 menu showing Page Setup selection.

James Marshall

To vertically align text in Word 2003:

  1. Click File in the top menu.
  2. Select Page Setup to open the Page Setup window.
  3. Click the Layout ​tab.
  4. Click the drop-down menu labeled Vertical alignment and choose an alignment: Top, Center, Justified, or Bottom.
  5. Click OK.
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How to Vertically Align Part of a Word Document

Microsoft Word Page Setup window showing selective application of vertical alignment.

James Marshall

Changing the vertical alignment affects the entire document by default. If you want to change the alignment of only part of your Microsoft Word document, you can. However, you can’t have multiple alignments on a single page. 

Here's how you vertically align only part of a document:

  1. Select the text you want to vertically align.
  2. Follow the steps for vertical alignment, but with one change: After selecting the vertical alignment, click the drop-down menu and select Apply to.
  3. Choose ​Selected text from the list.
  4. Click OK, and the alignment choice is applied to the selected text.

Any text before or after the selection retains the alignment characteristics of the rest of the document.

If you have not selected text in the document, the vertical alignment can be applied from the cursor's current location to the end of the document only. To make this work, position the cursor and then:

  1. Follow the steps for vertical alignment, but with one change: After selecting the vertical alignment, click the drop-down menu and select Apply to.
  2. Choose This point forward from the list.
  3. Click OK, and the alignment choice is applied to the selected text.

All the text beginning at the cursor and all the rest of the text that follows the cursor will display the chosen alignment.