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How To Align Text Inside Tables In Microsoft Word

Aligning text in Microsoft Word is incredibly simple. The Home tab on the ribbon has dedicated buttons that allow you to left align, right align, center align, or justify text. It’s great for when you need to meet certain academic requirements, make a stylish document, or type in different languages. The text alignment can vary for each paragraph. Where text alignment is incredibly easy to mange, it isn’t as easy to align text inside tables. There are dedicated buttons for it as well but they’re somewhat confusing.

Align Text Inside Tables

When you create a table, and enter text in its various cells, it is always aligned to the left. The exception being that you’re typing in a language that writes from right to left in which case the text will always be aligned to the right.

With table cells, there are two alignments to consider; the left/right/center alignment that is measured in terms of the left and right border of the cell, and the top/center/bottom alignment that is measured in terms of the top and bottom border of the cell. By default, the text is aligned left, and to the top of the cell.

To change it, click inside the cell that you want to change the text alignment for. This will activate the two tabs that allow you to customize the table. Go to the Layout tab and you will find there’s an Alignment toolbox there.

The Alignment toolbox has nine buttons for aligning text in a table in Microsoft Word. From left to right, and top to bottom, the buttons let you align text to the right, and top, center and top, and left and top. The second row lets you align text to the right but center it from the top, center the text from the right and the top, align text to the left and center it from the top. The third row lets you align text to the left, and to the bottom of the cell, center text from the right and to the bottom of the cell, and finally, align text to the left and to the bottom of the cell.

These settings may seem excessive however a cell is basically divided into nine sections and the alignment maps to those sections. If all the text is the same size, then your cells will look okay and you won’t be bothered too much about the look of the table. If, however, your text isn’t the same size i.e., some cells have loads of text while others have just a bit, the alignment will make the table easier to read.

Table alignment is different from cell alignment.

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