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: Using Manual Line Breaks with Justified Paragraphs.

Using Manual Line Breaks with Justified Paragraphs

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 11, 2015)

9

Many people use justified paragraphs in their documents. These types of paragraphs align both the left and right edges of the text in the paragraph, much like what is done in many books and magazine articles. If you are one of these people, you may have noticed that when you add a manual line break (Shift+Enter) in a justified paragraph, Word forces the line to the full width of the paragraph. This can look very strange and ruin the appearance of your text.

You can avoid this problem, however, by making sure that you enter a tab character just before the manual line break. When you do, Word makes the line with the tab left aligned, ignoring the justification alignment you applied to the whole paragraph.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1324) 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: Using Manual Line Breaks with Justified Paragraphs.

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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What is 2 + 9?

2020-09-16 23:44:15

John Carson

A permanent fix is to go to File->Options-> Advanced-> Layout Options and check

"Don't Expand Character spaces on a line that ends with SHIFT-RETURN"

(the details may vary slightly with the version of Word concerned).


2019-05-30 08:40:34

Dot Gray

This is not what I meant... I WANT my paragraph to STAY justified, but when I insert a "next page" page break, the last line of the paragraph does NOT justify (go to the end) and it looks like the end of a paragraph with no period when it is NOT the end of a paragraph, but continues on the second page, so there should NOT BE any space. The last line SHOULD BE TO THE FULL WIDTH OF THE PARAGRAPH!


2018-04-25 04:19:19

Yehuda

Better solution here:
https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/msoffice_word-mso_other-mso_2010/in-word-2010-i-want-text-with-line-breaks-not/1c1c82ce-c21c-482b-b2b8-a84e59a3f7c9


2017-08-06 12:12:33

Yamen Mardini

Thank you very much, simple and helpful :)


2017-02-03 15:29:41

Juan

Great tip.


2016-06-01 07:42:33

Xavier

To Woody:
obviously you don't know what a "soft return" is and what it's made for!
But if you love to have the last line of every paragraph be justified, please ignore this tip and go on with your concept of appearance. But I'm not curious about what your documents look like...


2014-06-24 06:51:39

Shekhar

Thanks! Works perfectly :-)


2013-11-20 12:39:31

Hary

Thanks, you're really a big help. i've been looking for this one.


2013-10-12 18:37:56

Woody

This tip seems rather useless. Why would anyone choose to NOT have a line of text fully justified when the paragraph formatting is set for fully justified?


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