In Microsoft Word document, a unit of text that has the same formatting, such as alignment, indents, tab settings, etc. is called a paragraph. The paragraph formatting is specified in Paragraph dialog box. We can control paragraph behavior and its appearance by using the Paragraph dialog box under Format Menu.
The important formatting attributes of a paragraph are:
- Text Alignment
- Line spacing
- Paragraph spacing
- Bullets & Numbering
The white spaces before and after a paragraph are called paragraph spacing. These are used to manage the layout of the document.
The white spaces between two adjacent lines are called line spacing. These are used to improve readability of text in a paragraph.
The white spaces on all sides of the paper are called margins. These define the boundaries of text in a document. Text cannot be written in margins. These are used to print page numbers, headers, footers, footnotes, etc.
The space or distance between the page margin and the text in a paragraph is called indent. There are six types of indents that are used in a paragraph.
First Line Indent
First line indent is the distance between the first line of the paragraph and the left margin.
Right indent is the distance between the end of each line of the paragraph and the right margin.
Left indent is the distance between the start of the each line of the paragraph and the left margin.
In hanging indent, the first line of the paragraph is not indented and all other lines start at some distance from the margin. The first line of the paragraph usually starts from the left margin.
Alignment refers to the orientation of the lines of a paragraph with respect to the margins. There are four different types of alignments in a paragraph. These are:
- Left Alignment
- Right Alignment
- Center Alignment
- Justified Alignment
To specify an alignment, the text is first selected and then alignment can be set from the formatting toolbar by clicking on any of the following buttons.
In left alignment, the left edge of the paragraph is flush with the left margin.
In right alignment, the right edge of the paragraph is flush with the right margin.
In centre alignment, the text in the paragraph is centered between the left and the right margins. The paragraph appears un-even on both edges.
Both edges of the paragraph appear flush with the page margins.