Problem with justified text in MS Word
Thread poster: Armorel Young

Armorel Young  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:44
German to English
May 3, 2005

I'm working on a document written in justified text in MS Word (Office 97). My problem is that the last line of each paragraph is justifying itself right across the page, so that even if there are only 3 or 4 words on the last line they are spreading themselves all the way across the page, which looks ridiculous.

I've never had this problem with justified text before, so don't know why it is happening now. Does anyone know how to cure it? I've tried left-justifying the last line of the paragraph, but that moves the entire paragraph to the left, which isn't what I want.

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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:44
English to Polish
+ ...
Line breaks? May 3, 2005

Click on the "show everything" icon in the menu (the one that looks like the paragraph sign).

Check if the end of each paragraph is actually a hard line break, i.e. a hit of the enter key, or if it's a little arrow pointing left (shift + enter, i.e. a soft line break).

That's the first thing that comes to my mind.

Pawel Skalinski

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Armorel Young  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:44
German to English
Cracked it - thanks May 3, 2005

Thanks, Pavel - pressing the Enter key at the end of the line makes everything OK. Because I was overtyping existing text I hadn't done that!

It's lovely when the answer is so simple! Thanks again.

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Nick Lingris  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:44
Member (2006)
English to Greek
+ ...
Manual line breaks May 3, 2005

Text, often from the Internet, uses soft returns, what in Word are called manual line breaks, instead of proper returns (paragraph marks).

These soft returns are very often used in html code to start a new paragraph without the usual larger paragraph spacing.

Amusingly, Word does not think of soft returns as proper paragraph marks and justifies those last lines by spreading out the words.

To do a quick find-and-replace, type ^l in the Find what space and ^p in the Replace with space. Alternatively, under Special choose Manual line break and Paragraph mark.

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Problem with justified text in MS Word

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