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: Adjusting Bottoms of Pages.

Adjusting Bottoms of Pages

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 8, 2021)

When presenting some types of writing, it is very helpful that the last line of each page end at the same vertical position as the other ending lines on other pages. For instance, when working with poetry it is common for the last lines of each page to line up vertically.

If you want to align information vertically in this manner, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Page Layout (Layout in later versions of Word) tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the small icon at the bottom-right of the Page Setup group. Word displays the Page Setup dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Layout tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Layout tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

  5. Using the Vertical Alignment drop-down list, choose Justified.
  6. Make sure the Apply To drop-down list is set to Whole Document.
  7. Click on OK.

Now the paragraphs on a page are adjusted vertically so they are evenly spaced between the top and bottom margin. This is helpful for poetry, where most paragraphs consist of a single line. It is a bit less helpful for other types of writing, since the Vertical Alignment specification doesn't affect spacing inside a paragraph (between lines), only the spacing between paragraphs.

If your writing requires different length paragraphs and you want increased spacing between actual lines, you will need to experiment with line spacing to get a "look" that matches your needs. Once you settle on the appropriate line spacing, you can define a style that can then be applied to all your paragraphs. When combined with the Vertical Alignment setting already discussed, you may achieve the desired appearance.

Also, you may not like the appearance of your writing when you are using a large page size and your text consists of only a few lines. With justified vertical alignment set, this results in huge white areas between paragraphs. There are only two ways around this: You must either increase the amount of text on the page or decrease the page length.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13172) 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: Adjusting Bottoms of Pages.

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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