Sunday 21 May 2017

Vertical page alignment in MS Word

Here's three pages from the front of a book I'm writing (the image will expand if you click it):

I've turned on 'Show/Hide' (That's the pilcrow ¶ icon on MS Word's Home toolbar) so you can see where Return has been pressed to get a new line.Those of you with an eye for detail might notice that these pages used have three different layouts. The half title page on the left was vertically aligned at the top, the title page was vertically aligned at the center and the copyright page was vertically aligned at the bottom.

Many people achieve this by using the Return key to space the title page appropriately but this is a mistake, especially if the document will later be converted into an ebook. Consecutive returns will be interpreted as requests for a new page and that can make your book look very odd. There's a correct way to do this in MS Word without those extra carriage returns.

It’s not immediately obvious how to do this in Word. To achieve it each page must end with a section break.

First place your cursor on the page you wish to change.
Next from the layout tab (1) select the small icon (2) at the bottom right of the Page Setup section of the ribbon.
Select the Layout tab (3) in the window which opens.

In the Page Vertical alignment section (4) select the alignment you want. 

‘Justified’ incidentally will space out the paragraphs of a page to fill the entire page.

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