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: Understanding Justification.

Understanding Justification

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 6, 2011)

In typography, justification refers to the way in which text is changed in relation to the margins in which it is placed. There are several types of justification:

  • Left-justification. All lines in the paragraph butt up against the left text margin. No extra spaces are added to the line.
  • Center-justification. All lines in a paragraph are centered between the left and right text margins. No extra spaces are added to the line.
  • Right-justification. All lines in a paragraph butt up against the right text margin. No extra spaces are added to the line.
  • Fill-justification. All lines in a paragraph are expanded so they butt up against both the left and right text margins. Space is added, between words and characters, as necessary to fill out the line.

In Word, these four justification types are referred to as paragraph alignments. Thus, a paragraph can be left, center, or right aligned. It can also be justified, which is the same as fill-justification.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1305) 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: Understanding Justification.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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