How to Justify a Document in Microsoft Word

By Ann Johnson

When aligning text in Microsoft Word, lines of text can be flushed to the right or left, centered or justified. Justified text is when all the lines in a paragraph are the same length, creating a block of text. The exceptions are any paragraph indentations and the final line of the paragraph. Newspaper copy and books are typically formatted with justified type.

Step 1

Highlight the copy you would like to justify, or click “Edit” and “Select all” to highlight the entire document.

Step 2

Right-click the highlighted text and select “Paragraph” in the menu window that appears.

Step 3

Click on the “Indents and spacing” tab.

Step 4

Click on the drop-down menu selection to the right of “Alignment” (under “General” in the “Paragraph” menu) and select “Justified.”

Step 5

Click “OK” to complete the command and close the “Paragraph” menu.

Step 6

Bypass Steps 2 through 5 with the use of shortcuts. One alternative is to click on the “Justify” icon located in the “Formatting” toolbar that may be displayed at the top of the screen. (If the toolbar is hidden, select “View” from the drop-down menu, click “Toolbar” and select “Formatting.”) The icon is located in the center of the bar and looks like a series of equal-length horizontal lines. Or simply press "Ctrl + J," the keystroke shortcut for Word 2007 and earlier versions.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are using Word 2007, click the “Home” tab and select the “Justify” icon located in the home ribbon.