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3.2: Setting Paragraph Alignment and Hyphenation

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    Paragraph alignment determines how the edges of each paragraph aligns with the left and right margins. Alignment settings apply to all text within a paragraph. Remember that a paragraph is created each time the user presses the Enter key. To display the hidden characters, including paragraph marks, press the paragraph mark symbol in the Paragraph group of the Home tab. Press the button again to hide the formatting marks.

    • Left-aligned text is the default paragraph format. The left edge of the paragraph is flush, and the right edge is jagged. This option is typical for letters and reports.
    • Centered text is equally distant from the left and right margins. Common uses are titles and headings.
    • Right-aligned text is flush with the right edge, and the left edge is jagged. Typical uses are dates or headers and footers.
    • Justified-aligned text spreads the text evenly between the left and right margins, leaving both edges flush, unless the final line has limited characters. This option is common for newspaper columns and textbooks.
    Paragraph alignments
    Paragraph alignments

    Hyphenation can improve the overall readability of certain documents. Hyphenation is the process of adding hyphens to words at the beginning of lines so the hyphenated part will fit at the end of the previous line. The hyphens are inserted between syllables in a word. Word can automatically hyphenate your document for you, or you can use the hyphenation tool to manually hyphenate your document.

    Hyphenation Options
    Hyphenation Options

    Users can customize their hyphenation settings via the Hyphenation Options dialog window. Use caution when manually inserting hyphens, because the hyphen will always remain even if editing moves the word to the middle of a line, and results in the word no longer needing hyphenating.


    3.2: Setting Paragraph Alignment and Hyphenation is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Marcus Lacher via source content that was edited to conform to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.