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About paragraph alignment_ position_ and spacing

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					Skills 210                                                                       1 of 4
Paragraph formatting


  About paragraph alignment, position, and
                 spacing

What Is A Paragraph?
In Microsoft Word, a paragraph is a distinct unit of information that has its own
formatting characteristics, such as alignment, spacing, and styles. A paragraph is
always followed by a paragraph mark. The way you format paragraphs in a
document depends on how you intend to use the document and how you want it
to look. Often, you'll format paragraphs differently within the same document. For
example, if you’re writing a term paper, you might create a title page that has a
center-aligned title in its own paragraph, with your name and the date right-
aligned at the bottom of the page in their own paragraphs. The paper's body
paragraphs might be left-aligned, with double line spacing. Your paper might also
contain headers, footers, footnotes, or endnotes that are formatted as individual
paragraphs.

What Is The Paragraph Mark For?
When you open a new, blank document and click Show/Hide on the Standard
toolbar, you see the insertion point followed by a paragraph mark. The paragraph
mark contains all of the formatting for that first paragraph. You can change
paragraph formatting either by selecting the paragraph mark and setting its
formatting attributes before you start typing, or by typing your text, selecting it
along with the paragraph mark, and then changing the text's formatting.
When you press ENTER to end one paragraph and begin another, the resulting
new paragraph has the same characteristics as the previous one. For example,
to make all the body paragraphs in your term paper left-aligned and double-
spaced, you only have to set those attributes for the first paragraph. Pressing
ENTER carries the formatting over to the next paragraph.
You can hide or show paragraph marks and other formatting marks by clicking
Show/Hide. Showing paragraph marks helps you see where each paragraph
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Paragraph formatting

ends and makes it easier to select the formatting characteristics you want to
change.

Positioning Paragraphs On The Page

Several factors determine a paragraph’s position on the page:

      Margins determine the overall width of the main text area — in other words, the
       space between the text and the edge of the page.

      Indentation determines the distance of the paragraph from either the left or right
       margins. Within margins, you can increase or decrease the indentation of a
       paragraph or group of paragraphs by using the Increase Indent and Decrease
       Indent buttons on the Formatting toolbar. You can also create a negative indent
       (also known as an outdent), which pulls the paragraph out toward the left margin.

      Horizontal alignment determines the appearance and orientation of the edges of
       the paragraph: left-aligned, right-aligned, centered, or justified. For example, in a
       left-aligned paragraph (the most common alignment), the left edge of the
       paragraph is flush with the left margin

      Vertical alignment determines the paragraph's position relative to the top and
       bottom margins. This is useful, for example, when you’re creating a title page,
       because you can position text precisely at the top or center of the page, or justify
       the paragraphs so that they’re spaced evenly down the page.



                   Positioning Text Within A Paragraph
You can indent a single line in a paragraph to set it off from the rest of the
paragraph. It's common to create a first-line indent, which moves the first line of a
paragraph in by a specified distance but leaves the rest of the paragraph where it
is. You can also create a hanging indent, in which the first line of the paragraph is
not indented, but subsequent lines are.
You can set the indentation of individual lines by using the horizontal ruler, by
using the Indents and Spacing tab (Format menu, Paragraph command), or by
using Click and Type.
You can also indent text by using tab stops. Tab stops are best used for
formatting single lines of text, especially when you want to set tab stops with
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Paragraph formatting

leader characters. Tab stops are not recommended for creating complex
elements such as columns or tables.

Changing The Vertical Space Between Lines Or Paragraphs
Line spacing determines the amount of vertical space between lines of text in a
paragraph. By default, lines are single-spaced, meaning that the spacing
accommodates the largest font in that line, plus a small amount of extra space.
Paragraph spacing determines the amount of space above or below a paragraph.
If you want to set off a paragraph from other paragraphs on a page, or change
the spacing between multiple paragraphs, you can increase the amount of space
before them, after them, or both.
Once you set spacing options for lines or paragraphs, the setting becomes part
of the paragraph formatting, and, like other types of paragraph formatting, is
contained in the paragraph mark. So, for example, if you're working in a double-
spaced paragraph, and then press ENTER to start a new paragraph, not only will
the double-space format be applied to the next paragraph; but also to the blank
space between the paragraphs.

Controlling Paragraph Breaks
When text reaches the end of the page, Word automatically continues it on the
next page. But sometimes you want to keep paragraphs together, keep lines
together, or control widow and orphan lines on one page. For example, a
paragraph might lose effectiveness if it were broken up, or if only one line of the
paragraph appeared at the beginning of the next page. In those instances, you
can select options in Word that keep paragraph text together.
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