Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Centering a Paragraph with the Keyboard.

Centering a Paragraph with the Keyboard

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 15, 2014)

5

Most people, if they need to center a paragraph, use the Center tool on the Formatting toolbar or the Home tab of the ribbon. While this is quick and easy enough, some people resent the need to remove their hands from the keyboard to do their formatting. (I must say that I find it distracting to constantly switch between the keyboard and the mouse. It's just not very efficient, as it means I need to change my mental focus.)

If you want to center a paragraph by using a keyboard shortcut, simply press Ctrl+E. Bingo! The paragraph in which the insertion point is located is centered the same as if you clicked on the Center tool.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12963) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Centering a Paragraph with the Keyboard.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Turning Off Automatic Capitalization

When you start typing, do you ever notice those times that Word starts capitalizing words at the start of what it thinks are ...

Discover More

Saving in PostScript Format

Word can save your document in PostScript format so that it can be easily processed by other programs that work with ...

Discover More

Jumping to the End of a Word

Using shortcut keys to navigate through your document is really handy. One navigation shortcut that Word doesn't provide is ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Adding Paragraph Numbering

You may search high and low for a way to add automatic numbers to paragraphs in a document. You won't find the capability, ...

Discover More

Understanding Leading

Those with a publishing, typographic, or design background may understand what leading is, but not how to adjust the setting ...

Discover More

Indent and Justify Command

WordPerfect users are familiar with the F4 command, which indents and justifies a paragraph. Word does not have an equivalent ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three more than 5?

2014-12-09 14:17:19

Al Gruber

Thanks Allen. That answers my question. And yes, in Word a 1-line heading is a paragraph. But my non-word brain thinks of multi-line paragraphs which I don't normally center even in brochures, but others may.
Thanks


2014-12-07 10:36:22

awyatt

Al: I center paragraphs all the time. You mention headings, which are (by definition) paragraphs. That's a very common usage, even when those headings are multiple lines.

I also use them when laying out flyers or brochures, where I might have a 10- or 12-line paragraph that all needs to be centered.

What you refer to (for a quotation), if I am understanding correctly, isn't really "centering." Quotations are often offset from the left and right margins by some amount so that they stand out from other text. For instance, you might want to indent from the left margin by a half inch and indent from the right margin by 3/4 inch. That is done simply by adjusting the margins.

Hope that helps.

-Allen


2014-12-07 00:28:41

Al Gruber

Tom, I don't know if I need this tip and neither do you. Give me a practical example of when YOU need to center justify text so that I can tell if I need this tip.
Al


2014-12-04 07:35:53

Thomas Redd

Al, don't be confused about tips you don't need. Those of us who do center justify paragraphs in our work appreciate the tip. Instead of being confused about tips in the future, test the tip, and if it doesn't meet a need you have, ignore it and move on. Many of us are simply grateful for this wonderful resource.

A big thank you to Allen Wyatt for all your wise help!


2014-12-03 14:49:10

Al Gruber

I'm confused. What do you mean by "centering a paragraph". I might want to center a quotation via left+right indents, but this tip doesn't do that. Is there a tip for that? I may want to center a heading but that's not a paragraph.

Please explain.
Al




This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.