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Vertical Alignment of Sections

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: Vertical Alignment of Sections.

One of the formatting options you can apply to sections in Word is to vertically align the paragraphs in the section. You will probably not use this formatting option often, but it is very powerful. For instance, let's suppose you added a separate section at the beginning of your document for a title page or cover sheet. This section only has two paragraphs in it, as follows:

Widgets in the New World
A timely report by Joan Doe

Instead of trying to vertically space these paragraphs by trial and error or resorting to calculations to see how much space you should put before the first paragraph, you can use the vertical alignment capabilities of Word. To do this, after you have the paragraphs and the section set up, follow these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point in the first section (the one for your title page).
  2. Choose Page Setup from the File menu. You will see the Page Setup dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Layout tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Layout tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

  5. Using the Vertical Alignment drop-down list, select Center.
  6. Click on OK.

If you had more paragraphs in your cover sheet, you could use the Justified option for vertical alignment. This would cause all your paragraphs to be evenly spaced between the top and bottom text margins.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1806) 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: Vertical Alignment of Sections.

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