Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Understanding Justification.

Understanding Justification

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 10, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


In typography, justification refers to the way in which text is changed in relation to the margins in which it is placed. There are several types of justification:

  • Left-justification. All lines in the paragraph butt up against the left text margin. No extra spaces are added to the line.
  • Center-justification. All lines in a paragraph are centered between the left and right text margins. No extra spaces are added to the line.
  • Right-justification. All lines in a paragraph butt up against the right text margin. No extra spaces are added to the line.
  • Fill-justification. All lines in a paragraph are expanded so they butt up against both the left and right text margins. Space is added, between words and characters, as necessary to fill out the line.

In Word, these four justification types are referred to as paragraph alignments. Thus, a paragraph can be left, center, or right aligned. It can also be justified, which is the same as fill-justification.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10602) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Understanding Justification.

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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