Use a screen reader to align text in Word 2016

Word 2016 typically aligns text horizontally on the left margin and leaves the right margin ragged. However, you can use keyboard shortcuts to change that typical alignment. Quickly center text, align it on the right margin or left margin, or justify it to adjust the spacing between words in a paragraph so the left and right edges are even.

How Word describes alignment can vary depending on the screen reader. You may need to adjust the verbosity settings of your screen reader. For example, to hear a description of your text’s alignment in JAWS, press Insert+F. In Narrator, press Caps Lock+0. For more information, refer to your screen reader’s documentation.

Note: The procedures in this topic are documented using Narrator and JAWS. For information about how to work with a specific screen reader, contact your assistive technology (AT) manufacturer.

Note: This topic assumes that JAWS users have turned off the Virtual Ribbon Menu feature.

In this topic

Left-align text

  1. Place the insertion point anywhere in the paragraph that you want to align.

  2. Press Ctrl+L. Or, press Alt+H, and then pressA, L.

Right-align text

  1. Place the insertion point anywhere in the paragraph that you want to align.

  2. Press Ctrl+R. Or, press Alt+H, and then press A, R.

Center text

  1. Place the insertion point anywhere in the paragraph that you want to align.

  2. Press Ctrl+ E. Or, press Alt+H, and then press A, C.

Justify text

Caution: Justified text can be very difficult for people who have a reading disability such as dyslexia to read. To make your document as accessible as possible, chose a different alignment style.

  1. Place the insertion point anywhere in the paragraph that you want to align.

  2. Press Ctrl+ J.

Customize paragraph alignment

To align your text to a specific place, you can quickly indent paragraphs from the left or right margins of the page.

Indent from the left margin
  1. Place the insertion point anywhere in the paragraph you want to indent.

  2. Press Alt+P, and then press I, L.

  3. In the Indent area, in the Left box, type a number in inches or use the arrow keys to select in increments of 1/10 inch.

    Note: To specify units other than inches, type a number followed by the units of measure, such as 12 pt for 12 points, 1 cm for 1 centimeter, or 15 px for 15 pixels.

  4. To apply your changes, press Enter.

To align your text to a specific place, you can quickly indent paragraphs from the left or right margins of the page.

Indent from the right margin
  1. Place the insertion point anywhere in the paragraph you want to indent.

  2. Press Alt+P, and then press I, R.

  3. In the Indent area, in the Right box, type a number in inches or use the arrow keys to select in increments of 1/10 inch.

    Note: To specify units other than inches, type a number followed by the units of measure, such as 12 pt for 12 points, 1 cm for 1 centimeter, or 15 px for 15 pixels.

  4. To apply your changes, press Enter.

Align text using Tell Me

When you don’t know the keyboard shortcut or want to know about more options, try using the Tell me what you want to do box.

  1. Place the insertion point anywhere in the paragraph that you want to align.

  2. To move to the Tell me what you want to do box, press Alt+Q.

  3. Type a keyword or phrase related to your task, and then press the Down Arrow key to choose from the search results. For example, type align text for related actions such as the Align Right button. Some results may be submenus with more choices.

  4. To choose an option, press Enter.

More information

Use a screen reader to add or edit text in a document in Word 2016

Use a screen reader to set paragraph spacing and indents in Word 2016

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Word 2016 for Windows

Get help for using a screen reader with Word 2016

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