When you’re working on a title page, it’s best to delegate its formatting to Word as much as possible.

Doing so will save you time spent formatting. It can also give you a title page that’s more precisely formatted.

Before you distribute the text blocks vertically on your title page, you should be sure to segment your title page’s text blocks appropriately.1

You may also want to go ahead and format your title page text. That way, once you distribute the text on your title page, it’ll be ready to go.

Vertically Justify Your Title Page Text

Once you’ve got your title page text ready, highlight the contents of your title page—but not the section break that separates your title page from the next section of your document.

(Just for context, if you lay out your document like I recommend, that section break will go to your table of contents for long essays and your essay body for short essays.)

Then, from the “Layout” tab, choose “Margins” and “Custom Margins….”

On the “Margins” tab, set both the top and the bottom margins to 2 inches.

Then, click on the “Layout” tab. Under the “Page” section on this tab, change “Vertical alignment:” to “Justified,” and click “OK.”

When you complete this last step after you’ve properly formatted and segmented your title page text, you should then see your title page content

  • In all capital letters,
  • Centered on the page left-to-right, and
  • Distributed vertically on the page so that you have (a) 2-inch top and bottom margins and (b) even spaces between each text block on the title page that are as close as possible to 2 inches.

Double Space Your Title If It’s Multiple Lines

If your title happens to be more than one line long, the Student Supplement for The SBL Handbook of Style wants your title to be double spaced.2

So, before you move on from your title page, it’s a good time to double check whether you need to adjust the line spacing for your title.

If you do, you can change the line spacing directly from the “Home” tab. Simply highlight your title block (block 2), and change the line spacing to “2.0.”

Conclusion

With these simple steps, you can largely delegate your title page formatting to Word.

By letting Word handle the minutiae of your title page’s text and layout, you can avoid time and effort spent manipulating this formatting yourself.

And that’s time you’ve regained to invest into the content of your research and writing.

What methods have you used before to distribute text vertically on your title page? How much time do you think you’ll save by letting Word do it for you?


  1. In these comments, I’m assuming you’re trying to format your title page as specified in Melanie Greer Nogalski et al., Student Supplement for The SBL Handbook of Style, Second Edition, ed. Joel M. LeMon and Brennan W. Breed, rev. ed. (Atlanta: SBL, 2015), §§2.8, 3.1. For an overview of the four title page blocks that the Student Supplement requires, see “The Fundamentals of How to Format a Title Page.” In the steps illustrated here, I’m assuming you’re using the most current version of Word available via an Office 365 subscription. As of this writing, that’s 16.0.12624.20278. Any reasonably recent version of Word should work similarly. But increasingly older versions may have increasingly larger differences in how they match the steps I describe here. 
  2. Nogalski et al., Student Supplement, §3.1. 

Header image provided by Etienne Girardet

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