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: Vertically Centering Labels.

Vertically Centering Labels

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 27, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Word includes a tool that allows you to quickly and easily set up labels. (You learn about creating labels in other issues of WordTips.) If you are using labels that have more vertical space that is required for the information you are printing, you may want to vertically center the text within a label.

If you create a full sheet of the same label using the Envelopes and Labels tool, then the labels should already be centered vertically. If you are creating labels using the Mail Merge feature, however, the labels may not appear to be centered vertically. The reason they appear this way is because Word often adds some extra empty paragraphs at the end of each label.

For instance, I created a mail-merge page of labels that used four lines. Word stuck an extra two lines at the end of each of my labels. The first was a blank line, and the second contained the end-of-cell marker for the table—but it still acts like a blank line. The result is that Word takes the blank lines into account when vertically centering the text in the label, and it appears to be aligned at the top of the label.

Unfortunately, there is only one way to fix this: by hand. You can get rid of the blank lines by following these steps:

  1. Create your mail merge labels as you normally would.
  2. Make sure the Show/Hide tool is selected—you want to see the paragraph markers at the end of each paragraph.
  3. Position the insertion point in one of your labels on the last line that has text on it.
  4. Press the End key to move to the end of the line.
  5. Press Delete to delete the paragraph marker.
  6. Keep pressing Delete until the end-of-cell marker is at the end of the line.
  7. Repeat steps 3 through 5 for each label on the sheet.

Your labels should now be centered vertically.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1403) 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: Vertically Centering Labels.

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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