Centering a page vertically (WordPerfect and Word)

September 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Although I never have had occasion to use this feature, I’ve noticed that some people have been using the search term “center page,” “vertical centering,” or something similar. So here are the instructions for centering a page vertically in both WordPerfect and Word.

WordPerfect

To center a page vertically in WordPerfect (so that any text you type begins at the center point between the top and bottom margins of a page), click the Format menu, Page, Center…. A Center Page(s) dialog box opens, offering the following mutually exclusive choices:

  • Current page
  • Current and subsequent pages
  • No centering

If you choose the first option, only the current page will be centered.  If you choose the second option, the current page and all subsequent pages will be centered. Click the option you want to use and click OK.

To stop page centering at a particular point in your document, position the cursor on the page where you want to turn off centering and once again click the Format menu, Page, Center….  This time, the Center Page(s) dialog box looks a little different.  Specifically, the third option has changed and now reads “Turn Centering Off.”  Click that option, then click OK, and the instant page (and all subsequent pages) will return to normal vertical alignment — i.e., any text you type begins at the top of the page, just below the top margin.

Word

In Word, you center a page vertically via the Page Setup dialog. To open the Page Setup dialog in versions of Word prior to Word 2007, click the File menu, Page Setup. In Word 2007, navigate to the Page Layout tab and click the Page Setup dialog launcher (the arrow at the lower right-hand corner of the Page Setup group).

When the Page Setup dialog opens, click the Layout tab and look about halfway down. You should see a section labeled “Page,” and within that section a drop-down for “Vertical alignment.” To center a page vertically, select the Center option. Before you click OK, take a look at the “Apply to” drop-down, located toward the bottom left of the dialog in Word 2007 and toward the right side in earlier versions. By default, it probably will be set to “Whole document.” If you prefer, you can change that setting to “This point forward.”** Make sure the drop-down is set to your liking, and then click OK.

If you need to change the vertical alignment of a subsequent page, position the cursor on the page where you want the change to go into effect and repeat the steps outlined in the previous two paragraphs.

Note that the other choices for vertical alignment in Word are Top (the norm), Bottom (so that any text you type begins at the bottom of the page), and Justified. If you have a full page of text, the “Justified” option adds extra white space so that the existing text is justified (stretched evenly) between the top and bottom margins. Less than a full page of text will retain Top alignment, rather than being justified.

**If you have changed the vertical alignment in a previous portion of the document, you should see a third option: “This section.” Choose that option if appropriate.

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The Format Painter (Word, all recent versions) Apropos of nothing in particular…


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