Use a screen reader to align text and paragraphs in Word 2016

Use a screen reader to align text and paragraphs in Word 2016

Read out loud symbol with the label Screen reader content. This topic is about using a screen reader with Office

This article is for people who use a screen reader program with the Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Office Support home.

Use Word 2016 with your keyboard and Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to change text alignment in your documents. Quickly center text, align it on the right or left margin, or justify it to adjust the spacing between words in a paragraph so the left and right edges are even.

How alignment is described in Word 2016 documents 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.

Notes: 

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 press A, 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.

See also

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 started using a screen reader in Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate in Word using accessible features

Use Word for Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in Mac OS screen reader, to change text alignment. Word for Mac typically aligns text horizontally on the left margin and leaves the right margin ragged. You can center text, align it to the right or left margin, or justify it to adjust the spacing between words in a paragraph so the left and right edges are even.

Notes: 

In this topic

Align text left or right, center text, or justify text

Alignment determines the appearance and orientation of the edges of the paragraph: left-aligned, right-aligned, centered, or justified text. You can quickly format the paragraphs in your document to the alignment you want.

  1. In your document, select the paragraphs you want to align.

    Tip: To select a piece of text, hold down Shift and move the cursor using the arrow keys.

  2. To format a paragraph, press Option+Command+M. The Paragraph dialog opens, with the focus on the Indents and Spacing tab.

  3. To navigate to the Alignment menu, press Control+Option+Right arrow key. To expand the menu, press Control+Option+Shift+M. To browse to an option in the Alignment menu, press Control+Option+Up or Down arrow keys. The options are announced as you move.

    The following table summarizes the options you can use to format the paragraph alignment.

    To do this

    Select

    Align the text to the left

    Left

    Align the text to the right

    Right

    Center the text

    Centered

    Justify the text

    Justified

    To select an option, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

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

  4. To return to your document, press Enter.

Customize paragraph indentation

To indent your text by a specific number, you can add indentation from the left or right margins of the page.

  1. In your document, select the paragraphs you want to indent.

  2. To format a paragraph, press Option+Command+M. The Paragraph dialog opens.

  3. Use the options in Indentation group to do one of the following:

    • To add indent to the left, press Control+Option+Right arrow key until you hear: "Before text."

    • To add indent to the right, press Control+Option+Right arrow key until you hear: "After text."

    To set the indentation size, type a number in inches or use the Up or Down arrow keys to adjust indentation in increments of 1/10 inch. The indentation size is announced.

  4. To apply your changes and return to your document, press Enter.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Keyboard shortcuts in Word for Mac

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate in Word using accessible features

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

Connect with an expert
Contact us
Expand your skills
Explore training

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×