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Justifying Text

Justification controls how text flows between the left and right margins. The most obvious example of this is centering text on a line. WordPerfect does the math, and you get the same amount of space on the left and right sides. No matter what you do to the left and right margins, that text stays centered.

The default setting in WordPerfect is left justification, which creates a smooth left margin and a ragged right margin. The result is an open, informal appearance that is accessible and easy to read. For that reason, this book has been formatted with left justification.

There are four other justification options that you might be interested in, especially if you work with columns, newsletters, and formal documents (see Figure 3.6).

Figure 3.6Figure 3.6 This sample document illustrates the different justification settings.

WordPerfect offers the following justification options:

  • Left—Text is aligned against the left margin so the left margin is smooth and the right is ragged. It's suitable for almost every type of document, especially those with long passages of text. To apply left justification, choose Format, Justification, Left, or press Ctrl+L.

  • Right—Text is aligned against the right margin so the right side is smooth and the left is ragged. The unique placement draws attention, but because it's hard to read, you might not want to use it on more than three or four lines. To apply right justification, choose Format, Justification, Right, or press Ctrl+R.

  • Center—Text is centered between the left and right margins. It's common practice to center titles and headings to differentiate them from the rest of the text. To apply center justification, choose Format, Justification, Center, or press Ctrl+E.

  • Full—Text is aligned against the left and right margins, so both edges are smooth. How? WordPerfect makes slight adjustments to the spacing between words so that each line extends from the left to the right margin. Full justification gives documents a more formal and organized appearance. To apply full justification, choose Format, Justification, Full, or press Ctrl+J.

  • All—This type of justification stretches lines of text between the left and right margins, regardless of their length. Whereas full justification adjusts the spacing between words, all justification adjusts the spacing between letters as well. This setting is used for letterhead, informal titles and headings, and special effects. To apply all justification, choose Format, Justification, All.

Before you choose which type of justification you want to use in your document, decide where you want the justification to take effect, and then move the insertion point there. This may be at the top of the document, the top of a column, or the beginning of a paragraph. If you want to apply justification to a section of text, such as a multiline title, select the text first.

Instead of using the menus, you can click the Justification button on the property bar, and then choose the justification setting from the pop-up list. This method offers an advantage over the others in that you get a Real Time Preview of each justification setting when you hover over it.


With justification set to full, the last line in a paragraph won't be justified if it doesn't extend to the right margin (or pretty close to it). Refer to Figure 3.6 for an example of how this looks.


Have you noticed that articles in the newspaper are formatted into columns with smooth left and right margins? When the column edges are well-defined, side-by-side columns don't look cluttered or disorganized. You can achieve the same result by setting justification to full. This can be done before or after you type the text into columns.

To learn how to define columns, see "Setting Up Columns."

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