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Left and Right Aligned on One Line in a Label

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Left and Right Aligned on One Line in a Label.

Word provides several different tools you can use to create labels. When creating them, you may have a need to put both left-aligned and right-aligned information on the same line. For instance, you may want to put someone's account number at the right side of the same line on which their name appears:

   Mr. J. Smith            S03120

The way to achieve this alignment depends, in large part, on how you are creating the labels. If you are creating them from scratch, then there are two approaches you can take. Perhaps the simplest way is to set a tab stop for the account number, and then press Tab after the name. You can, if you prefer, also create a two-column, one-row table. The name would go in the left column, and the account number in the right. You can then align each column separately from the other.

The more common method of creating labels is, of course, to use the Mail Merge feature of Word. Using multi-column tables with Mail Merge can be quite frustrating. There is a simpler way, however. Follow these general steps:

  1. Using Mail Merge, create your labels as you normally would.
  2. When creating the line that includes the name and account number, enter the merge fields for the name, then press Ctrl+Tab, then the field for the account number. (Pressing Ctrl+Tab enters the actual Tab character into the label layout.)
  3. When merging, choose to create a new document.
  4. In the new document (the one that contains the merged labels), press Ctrl+A to select the entire document.
  5. Set a right-aligned tab stop for the account number. This will affect the placement of the account number only, since it is the only piece of each label that has the Tab character in front of it.
  6. Print your document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1368) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Left and Right Aligned on One Line in a Label.

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