Align text

Align text and adjust spacing

You can adjust text in a text box, shape, table cell, row, or column so that the text is aligned to the left or right border, centered, or aligned on both left and right (justified). You can also change the vertical alignment, adjust line spacing, set the text margins, and change the number of columns in a shape or text box.

You can use tab stops to align text. When you press the Tab key (or Option-Tab when you’re working in a table cell), the insertion point and any text to the right of it move to the next tab stop, and text you enter starts at that point.

Align text

  1. Select the text box, a shape with text, a table cell, a row, or a column.

  2. Click the Text tab at the top of the sidebar on the right.

    If you don’t see a sidebar, or it doesn’t have a Text tab, click Align text in the toolbar.

  3. Click the Style button near the top of the sidebar, then click the alignment buttons you want.

    Align text

Adjust line spacing

You can adjust the spacing between lines of text in a paragraph, and change the amount of space before or after a paragraph.

  1. Select a text box or just text you want to change.

  2. Click the Text tab at the top of the sidebar on the right, then click the Style button near the top of the sidebar.

    If you don’t see a sidebar, or it doesn’t have a Text tab, click Align text in the toolbar.

  3. Click the disclosure triangle next to Spacing, click the pop-up menu, then choose an option:

    • Lines: Choose when the distance between ascenders (parts of letters that extend to the top of the line) and descenders (parts of letters that extend below the line) should stay the same. The space between lines is proportional to the font size.

    • At least: Choose when the distance between lines should remain fixed (but not overlap if the text gets large).The distance from one line to the next will never be less than the value you set, but it may be larger for larger fonts to prevent overlapping text lines.

    • Exactly: The distance between the baselines.

    • Between: The value you set increases the space between the lines, instead of increasing the height of the lines. By contrast, double-spacing doubles the height of each line.

  4. Click the arrows next to the spacing field to set the amount of space for the option you chose.

  5. To adjust the amount of space before and after the selected paragraph, click the arrows for Before Paragraph and After Paragraph.

Set paragraph margins

To set paragraph margins, the rulers must be showing. If you don’t see rulers, click Align text in the toolbar, then choose Show Rulers.

  1. Click in a paragraph, or select one or more paragraphs.

  2. Drag the margin and paragraph indent markers (in the top ruler) to where you want them.

  3. Click the Text tab at the top of the sidebar on the right, then click the Style button near the top of the sidebar.

    If you don’t see a sidebar, or it doesn’t have a Text tab, click Align text in the toolbar.

  4. To use default indents, which increase or decrease the indent of an entire paragraph, click one of the indent buttons in the Alignment section.

    Align text

To change default paragraph indents, click the Layout button near the top of the sidebar, then click the disclosure triangle next to Indents.

Align text

Change the number of text columns

You can change the number of columns in a shape or text box.

  1. Select the shape or text box.

  2. Click the Text tab at the top of the sidebar on the right.

    If you don’t see a sidebar, or it doesn’t have a Text tab, click Align text in the toolbar.

  3. Click Layout, then click the disclosure triangle next to Columns.

    Align text

Set tab stops

  1. Click or select the paragraphs where you want to set tab stops.

  2. Click the horizontal ruler where you want to place a tab stop.

    If you don’t see rulers, click Align text in the toolbar, then choose Show Rulers.

  3. To change the tab stop alignment, Control-click the tab stop icon, then choose the alignment you want (Left Tab, Center Tab, Right Tab, or Decimal Tab).

  4. To change the position of the tab stop, drag its icon along the ruler.

    To remove a tab stop, drag the tab stop icon below the ruler until it disappears.

You can use the controls in the Layout tab of the sidebar to change other tab settings, including the default tab spacing:

Align text

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