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.

Left and Right Aligned on One Line in a Label

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 17, 2012)

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.

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. ...


Finding Default Shortcut Keys

There are scores of shortcut keys defined in Word. If you want to discover what all those shortcut keys are, here are a ...

Discover More

Document is Too Large for Word to Handle

Imagine trying to open a familiar document one day, only to find that Word gives you an error message that the file is ...

Discover More

Hiding Grammar Errors

Are you bothered by the green underlines that Word uses to mark potential grammar errors in your document? You can hide ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Defining Default Printers on a Document Level

If you use multiple printers, you may wonder how to set each document in Word to remember which printer to use for that ...

Discover More

Correct Line Numbers When Printing Selections

Line numbers can be indispensable on some types of documents. When you print a portion of a document (a selection) Word ...

Discover More

Upside-Down Text with PostScript

Got a printer that understands PostScript? You can use some simple PostScript coding to turn text completely upside down ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six more than 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.