In Word 2016 is there a way to align the first portion of text to the left, then the next part to the right? For example I used tab to accomplish the bellow, but it doesn't work very well and would get messed up if changes were made.

screen shot of what I'm trying to get

I already have a large document where there are several enteries of the format:

line 1
line 2

and now I want to combine them into a single line as seen above.

  • "would get messed up if changes were made". What kind of changes did you have in mind?
    – user181946
    Apr 7, 2016 at 9:21
  • @user181946 For example, changing the margins of the page. If the text is defined as "left \hfil right", it still looks good. But if it is defined as "left \tab{15.83cm} right", it is only approximate and also doesn't fit the page layout anymore. Apr 30, 2020 at 16:02

3 Answers 3


Is there a way to align the first part to the left, then the next part to the right?

Use a Right Tab stop enter image description here.

After following the instructions below, everything you type before a tab will align left. Everything you type after a tab will align right (assuming there are no other tab stops in the ruler).

  1. Click the tab selector at the left end of the ruler until it displays a Right Tab stop enter image description here

    If you don't see the horizontal ruler that runs along the top of the document, click the "View Ruler" button at the top of the vertical scroll bar.

    View Ruler button

  2. Click on the ruler where you want to set the tab stop.


enter image description here A Right Tab stop sets the right end of the text. As you type, the text moves to the left.

Source Set tab stops or clear them

Example usage:

enter image description here

Image Source Indents and Tabs

Further Reading

  • This is cheated and doesn't work well. The OP wanted to align the text on the page borders. Defining "8 cm" as the page border doesn't always fit, and when the page orientation is changed to landscape, the whole layout gets messed up. Apr 30, 2020 at 16:04
  • @RolandIllig The answer was accepted so the OP was happy with it fixing his issue. If it doesn't work for you please ask your own question.
    – DavidPostill
    Apr 30, 2020 at 16:08
  • Yeah, most probably the OP didn't know better and accepted the 80% solution since it worked in that particular case. This answer should have mentioned that Word has a feature called alignment tabs that is very well hidden but solves this problem in the exactly correct way. Apr 30, 2020 at 16:16

I wanted to add my own answer as all the answers I've seen don't work with my version of Word. I'm using version 16 so I hope this helps some people out there.

Step 1: Select the line you want to justify left AND right alignment.

Step 2: Under the 'View' tab, select the 'Ruler' option so that the ruler is displayed at the top of the document.

Step 3: On the top left corner of the ruler, you should see an icon that looks similar to this:

text flow right

Step 4: Change this icon so the arrow points to the left.

Step 5: Double click on a point in the ruler where you want your text to align on the right side. (Once the left arrow is displayed on the ruler, you can move it around freely as you wish)

Step 6: Write your text. Whatever text you type before hitting the 'Tab' key, will be justified on the left. Any text you type after you click 'Tab' should be justified on the right.


Another method would be to use a Table.

The alignment of columns can be different and are easily set up. There are even buttons on the Table Layout Tab to do the alignment. These are in the Alignment group on that tab.

enter image description here

Select the Table's column and click on the appropriate button for the alignment you want.

Tables are a way of arranging text (and graphics) on a page. They need not have borders and do not need to look like a table in the printed document. See Shauna Kelly's basic concept page on using Tables and Tab to Format Text.

For more, here is my page on Alignment/Justification of Text in Word.

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