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: Using Manual Line Breaks with Justified Paragraphs.

Using Manual Line Breaks with Justified Paragraphs

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 21, 2015)

2

Many people use justified paragraphs in their documents. These types of paragraphs align both the left and right edges of the text in the paragraph, much like what is done in many books and magazine articles. If you are one of these people, you may have noticed that when you add a manual line break (Shift+Enter) in a justified paragraph, Word forces the line to the full width of the paragraph. This can look very strange and ruin the appearance of your text.You can avoid this problem by default, however, by following these instructions:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and later versions, click the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Advanced at the left side of the dialog box and scroll down to the Layout Options. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Layout Options area of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. Select the Don't Expand Character Spaces on a Line that Ends with SHIFT+RETURN checkbox.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Again, that will make this the default for manual line breaks.If you don't want the default option, there is another way to work around it. Enter a tab character just before the manual line break. When you do, Word makes the line with the tab left aligned, ignoring the justification alignment you applied to the whole paragraph.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10912) 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: Using Manual Line Breaks with Justified Paragraphs.

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 4 + 1?

2015-11-23 09:03:25

Allen

Melody: There is a good chance it will look a bit different. The screen shot in the tip is specifically from Word 2016.

-Allen


2015-11-23 09:01:54

Melody

I have Word 2010, and I found the "Layout Options" as a subheading under "Compatibility Options for." It looks a little different than the provided screenshot.


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