Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Flush Left and Flush Right On the Same Line.

Flush Left and Flush Right On the Same Line

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 27, 2018)

5

This is a quick and dirty tip on how to have seemingly contradictory alignments on the same line. In Word, this trick is done with tabs. In a nutshell, you follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the paragraph is formatted as left-aligned.
  2. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the small icon at the bottom-right of the Paragraph group. Word displays the Paragraph dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Paragraph dialog box.

  5. Click the Tabs button. Word displays the Tabs dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  6. Figure 2. The Tabs dialog box.

  7. What you want to do is to insert a right-aligned tab near the right edge of the line. For instance, if 6.2 is near the right edge of the line, then insert 6.2 in the Tab Stop Position field. (This indicates you want the tab stop to be 6.2 inches from the left margin.)
  8. In the Alignment area, click Right. (This tells Word that this will be a right-aligned tab, just like you want.)
  9. Click on Set.
  10. Click on OK. Word closes the Tabs dialog box.

Now you can type your text, pressing the Tab key between the information you want left-aligned and the information you want right-aligned. The right-aligned information will align at whatever horizontal point you specified in step 5. (Thus, if you used the example measurement of 6.2 inches, then your text—what you type after the Tab—will end at 6.2 inches from the left margin.)

This trick works great if the information you are formatting is limited to a single line. As an example, this can easily work for a chapter name and page number in a header or footer. (You know; the chapter name appears at the left and the page number at the right.)

If you need to accomplish the same task for multiple lines, then it is best to use a small table with two or three cells. The left-most cell of the table can be for the left-aligned information, and the right-most cell can be used for right-aligned information. The center cell (if you choose to use one) is used for spacing purposes.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6826) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Flush Left and Flush Right On the Same Line.

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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What is five minus 0?

2019-08-24 14:45:20

Wayne Carpenter

This didn't work when wanting text both centered and right hand justified.


2019-03-26 12:01:12

Clay Wisner

OK, now I need to apologize - I studied up a little more on tabs and have solved this dilemma.


2019-03-26 11:47:32

Clay Wisner

i'm sorry, this is a mostly useless option. I have seen left and right-aligned headers with multiple lines (happens nearly every day in my work) but I can't figure out how they make it work. SO frustrating. it's definitely NOT a table.


2019-01-23 00:27:32

Doyle

Awesome Post, you saved the day for me on the Flush Left & Flush Right on the Same Line article. I used it on the Table of Contents page of our Emergency Response Plan. I subscribed to your Word & Excel Tips.


2018-10-27 08:21:21

Bruce

Thanks again, Allen, for yet another incredibly useful tip. I've spent years trying to approximate this effect, always wondering if there was a better way...


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