What Is Vertical Alignment in Microsoft Word?

By Shannon Keen

In Microsoft Word, alignment refers to the placement of text within a document relative to the page margins. Vertical alignment is determined relative to the top and bottom margins, while horizontal alignment is determined relative to the side margins. Document cover and title pages are often created using vertical alignment because it allows the placement of the title to be adjusted up and down without adding or removing manual line breaks.


Vertical and horizontal alignment are determined by page margins. Margins in word processing refer to the areas of white space that line the edge of each sheet of paper. The width and height of these spaces can usually be specified by the user, but this depends on the word processor. The wider the margins are, the less usable space there is on the page. The word wrap feature will automatically adjust lines of text according to margin width.

Vertical Alignment Types

Microsoft Word gives users the option to change the vertical alignment settings. Text can be aligned vertically in one of four ways: top-aligned, bottom-aligned, centered or justified. Top-aligned text is aligned so that the top line of text is flush with the top margin. Bottom-aligned text is aligned to do the same with the bottom margin. Centered text is aligned so that it is positioned evenly between both margins. Justified text is aligned so that the top and bottom lines are both flush with their respective margins and the lines in between are spaced evenly.

Changing Vertical Alignment

Vertical alignment is changed using the Vertical Alignment box. Clicking the "Page Setup" option found in the File drop-down menu launches the Page Setup dialog box. The Vertical Alignment box can be found on the Layout tab of this dialog box. Once the user has selected the desired alignment setting from the box, he can then dictate to what portion of the document the change will be applied. Clicking "OK" finalizes the selection.

Object Alignment

Microsoft Word also gives users the option to adjust the vertical alignment of objects such as images and text boxes. Objects can be aligned with the entire page, page margins, text or other objects. When objects are aligned in relation to each other, they are lined up vertically according to the position of their centers. In the case of text boxes, the text within the box can be aligned as well as the box itself.