Home > Articles > Programming > General Programming/Other Languages

This chapter is from the book

13 Apply Paragraph Formatting

tick.jpg Before You Begin

arrow.jpg See Also

12.gif Apply Character Formatting

14.gif Set Up Page Formatting

You can change the format of entire paragraphs of text, such as the line spacing, justification, and indentation of text. You can apply that format to selected paragraphs or to all the paragraphs in your document.

One of the most common ways to format a paragraph is to justify it. Word supports these justification options:

  • Left justification—Aligns (makes even) text with the left margin. Personal and business letters are often left-justified. The right margin is ragged.

  • Center justification—Centers text between the left and right margins. Titles and letterheads are often centered atop a document.

  • Right justification—Aligns text with the right margin, and the left margin’s text is not ragged.

  • Full justification—Aligns text with both the left and the right margins. Newspaper and magazine columns are usually fully justified; the text aligns with the left and right margins evenly.

Word provides many additional ways to format your paragraphs, such as the capability to put a border around them and indent the first lines.

square_1.gif Select the Text

Select the text you want to format. As 11.gif About Paragraph Breaks and Tabs explains, Word considers all text up to the next nonprinting paragraph symbol to be one paragraph. If you apply a paragraph format to any part of a paragraph, the entire paragraph changes to reflect the new format. You can format multiple paragraphs at once by selecting multiple paragraphs before changing the format.

square_2.gif Change the Justification

After you’ve selected the text you want to format, you may change the paragraph’s justification by clicking the Align Left, Center, Align Right, or Justify button on the Home ribbon. As soon as you click the button, Word changes the selected paragraph’s justification to reflect the change.

square_3.gif Change the Indentation

If you want to indent the entire selected paragraph to the right, click the Home ribbon’s Increase Indent button. For each click of the Increase Indent button, the paragraph shifts to the right one-half inch. After you indent using the Increase Indent button, the Decrease Indent button appears so that you can move the indentation back half an inch. (Of course, your Quick Access toolbar’s Undo button also undoes any indentations you make.)

square_4.gif Select a First-Line Indent

Drag the ruler’s First Line Indent button to the right to indent only the first line of the selected paragraphs. Adding a first-line indent ensures that your paragraphs have their initial lines indented to the right without your having to press Tab manually each time you begin a new paragraph.

square_5.gif Use the Paragraph Dialog Box

All of Word’s paragraph-formatting commands are available from the Paragraph dialog box. Click the arrow in the lower-right corner of the ribbon’s Paragraph section to display the Paragraph dialog box.

The Paragraph dialog box’s Indents and Spacing page enables you to set precise indents as well as specify alignment and the amount of blank space that is to appear between your paragraphs.

The Line and Page Breaks page enables you to set automatic hyphenation so that Word can insert hyphens as needed to make long words wrap better at the end of a line. In addition, you can control how a page begins and ends by specifying whether you want a page break to occur in the middle of a paragraph or before.

square_6.gif Add a Border

Click the right arrow to the right of the Bottom Border button to display your border options. Click one of the options to add a border around your selected text.

Word offers several kinds of borders. You can display a border around a paragraph (useful to call attention to important text), as well as put a border on two sides or only one side of selected text.

When you select Borders and Shading from the drop-down list, Word displays the Borders and Shading dialog box from which you control all aspects of bordering, including the border’s width and color. Click the Shading tab to add shading inside the bordered text. Your shading can be a color or a shade of gray, and you can adjust how light or dark the shading appears.

The Page Border tab enables you to add a border around your entire page instead of putting the border around selected text only.

square_7.gif Review the Border

After you’ve set up a bordered paragraph, click OK to close the Paragraph dialog box and review the bordered paragraph to ensure that you’ve got the right effect. Remember to reserve your use of borders, shadowing, and the other special effects for those times when you want to emphasize a title or a statement. Don’t overdo the use of special formats. Your document can look too busy with too many formats, making it difficult to read.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020