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When you create a document that contains shapes, images, or other objects, lining them up can make all the difference in your document’s appearance. Luckily, Microsoft Word provides you with features to help you align your objects.

By enabling Alignment Guides or Gridlines in Word, you can place your items neatly on the page and lined up for a consistent and professional appearance. You can also customize the settings for each feature per your preference.

Enable and Use Alignment Guides

Using Alignment Guides, you see lines as you drag your object on the page. This helps you align the item with the top, bottom, left, and right margins by default.

RELATED: How to Position Images and Other Objects in Microsoft Word

To turn on the guides, go to the Layout tab and select the Align drop-down arrow in the Arrange section of the ribbon. Pick “Alignment Guides” to place a checkmark next to the feature to enable it.

Alignment Guides in the Align menu

When you see the object that you’re dragging lined up with the guides, simply release to place it in that spot.

Alignment Guides in Word

To turn off the guides, follow the same steps above to deselect and remove the checkmark from the Alignment Guides feature.

Enable and Use Gridlines

Another good way to line up items in your document is using Gridlines. These allow you to move your items freely and place them evenly and with other objects according to the grid.

RELATED: How to Freely Move Pictures in Microsoft Word

To turn on the gridlines, go to the Layout tab and select the Align drop-down arrow. Pick “View Gridlines” to place a checkmark next to it and enable it.

View Gridlines in the Align menu

You’ll then see gridlines cover each page of your document allowing you to accurately align your objects.

Gridlines in Word

To turn off the gridlines, follow the same steps above and deselect “View Gridlines.”

Customize the Grid Settings

For both Alignment Guides and Gridlines, you can adjust the settings and options for how they look and work. Return to the Layout tab and Align drop-down menu. This time, select “Grid Settings.”

Grid Settings in the Align menu

When the Grid and Guides box opens, you’ll see the available settings for Alignment Guides at the top. To display the Alignment Guides, check the box at the top. Then, optionally check the boxes beneath it for page, margin, and paragraph guides.

Alignment Guide settings

To align your object with other objects, check the box below Object Snapping.

Object Snapping setting

To adjust the size of the Gridlines, use the Horizontal and Vertical Spacing boxes to choose those sizes.

Grid settings

To change the origin for the grid, uncheck the box for Use Margins and enter the measurements in the Horizontal and Vertical Origin boxes.

Grid Origin settings

To turn on Gridlines, check the box below Show Grid for Display Gridlines on Screen. You can then adjust the additional settings for Vertical and Horizontal placement. And, to snap objects to the grid even when gridlines aren’t displayed, check the box at the bottom.

Gridlines settings

Note: You cannot use Alignment Guides and Gridlines at the same time. You’ll notice that if you enable one of the two features, the other automatically turns off.

When you finish with the Grid Settings, click “OK” to save the changes. To use these settings in all of your Word documents, select “Set As Default.”

With these two convenient features, you can align items perfectly in your next Word document. For more, take a look at how to overlay images in Word.

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
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