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.

Vertical Alignment of Sections

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 18, 2016)

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.

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. ...


Special Characters in Fields

If you try to add a quote mark or a backslash as part of a field parameter or switch, you may be surprised at what you ...

Discover More

Duplicating Styles without Dependency

Creating new styles in Word is a great way to ensure that your document has a uniform look. But what if you want to ...

Discover More

Adding Page Borders to a Printout

Need a full-page border on your Excel printouts? It's not as easy to get one as you might wish. There are a few ways you ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Put Your Space Before or After?

When working with spacing between paragraphs, Word allows you to specify exactly how much space should be either before ...

Discover More

Indenting a Paragraph to the Next Tab Stop

Need to indent an entire paragraph from the left margin? It's easy to do using the tool described in this tip.

Discover More

Keeping Paragraphs on the Same Page

Don't want your paragraphs to flow from one page to another? Word provides a formatting setting that forces individual ...

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 five less 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.