Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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 June 18, 2018)

9

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. 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. Click on Set.
  9. Click on OK.
  10. Type your text. Press the Tab key between the information to be left-aligned and the information you want right-aligned.

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, and 2016. 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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Comments

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What is 5 + 3?

2018-06-16 17:48:24

Eli

For those who had trouble understanding step 5, I played around with it and figured it out. What he means by step 5 is that in the box for "Tab stop position", you need to enter the value for the right-most part of your alignment. Generally, this will be the value where your margin starts. For example, if you have a standard 8.5in wide sheet of paper and you have standard 1in margins, you would enter "6.5" as the value for your tab stop position and you would input "right" in the alignment section. If your margins are less than 1in, you will need to look at your ruler to see where your margins begin and enter that value.


2017-08-21 15:53:02

Jackie Oliveira

There is another "trick" to getting left and right alignment in your footer or header. Click into your footer and type your left information. Click and slowly move your cursor to the right. Watch and you will see the cursor change to center then right. Double click when you see the cursor is "right" and type your right information. Done.


2017-08-21 01:27:08

Doris

This tip was a great help in preparing my resume! Thank you!!


2017-06-21 15:24:27

Nobel

Thanks. That helped.


2017-03-28 19:22:28

jared

step 5 doesnt make sense


2016-09-10 01:35:02

G

What does step 5 mean?


2015-10-12 14:50:22

Chris R

This makes the task harder than it needs to be. There's a far simpler and better explanation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMCu9gu8dUY .


2013-01-08 14:03:28

Sheryl Gerstman

I agree with Aprile. Try this when formatting a header, which is nearly impossible to do when including three or more discrete groups of text (i. e. manual name; section name; date and version). Using tabs will expand the header to two lines or chase your text right off the page.


2013-01-05 11:37:43

aprile morgan

Better way to do this is use a two column table; the text you want aligned at the right can be placed in the second column; you just have to format the second column cell to align at the right; much better and easier.


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