Flush left—the text is aligned along the left margin or gutter; this is also known as left-aligned, ragged right, or ranged left. Centered—the text is not aligned to the left or right margins; there is an even space on either side of each line. Right aligned—the text is aligned with the right margin.
Text is right-aligned, ragged left, or ranging right when it is aligned along the right margin or gutter. Text is typically oriented 'flush right' in other languages that read text right-to-left, such as Persian, Arabic, and Hebrew.
Text is commonly aligned "flush left" in English and other European languages where words are read left-to-right, which means that the text of a paragraph is aligned on the left-hand side while the right-hand side is ragged. This alignment style follows the natural flow of words as well as the gaze of the eye. It is used extensively in writing for publications such as newspapers and magazines.
The term "flush left" was first used by William Gedney in 1872 to describe the left-hand page of an album he made from wood blocks printed with tinted watercolors. The term has been adopted by others since then; for example, "flush left" is the default setting in Microsoft Word.
See also "full left margin" and "right-to-left reading order".
Text alignment is classified into four types: left-aligned, right-aligned, centered, and justified. Left Aligned: This setting is also known as "left justified," however it is formally known as "flush left." It causes text to the left of the margin to use up all available space with no padding on either side. Right Aligned: Also known as "right justified." This setting causes text along the right edge of the column to use up all available space with no padding on the left. Centered: This setting causes an image to span the entire width of a column without any white space between images. Justified: This setting causes text to fill the width of a column without any extra space between lines.
Left aligned, right aligned, and centered are common choices for body copy in magazines and newspapers. Because there's no limitation to how much text can be put on a page, these types of alignments are useful when you have lots of words or lots of material to fit on a single page.
Justified text fills the whole column width but leaves a small gap between each line of text. This is useful if you want to create a list of items or ideas that don't fit on another page. For example, a writer might use this type of alignment to list several reasons why someone should hire them instead of their competitors.
The left side of the paragraph is straight (or flush) with this alignment, whereas the right side is ragged. The benefit of this alignment is that the word spacing is equal, and rivers are avoided. The problem with this alignment is that it does not wrap easily to a second line.