Achieving a particular letter layout in a word processor as competently as possible


May 19, 2011
I posted this in the Windows sub-forum for lack of a better 'independent' option.

I should point out that I don't want to argue about what the best/preferred aesthetic for letter layout, but how to go about achieving a particular layout in a manner that uses a word processor as competently as possible.

The layout I want to achieve has the sender's address on say the right hand side of the page, and the recipient's address on the other side of the page but level to the sender's address.

The way I've achieved this to date is with a table: usually a three column layout is sufficient, and generally I use one cell per line of the address text and the middle column is there as a separator. That way the left address can be left-aligned and the right address can be right-aligned.

Another way to do it would be to write the right-hand-side address as normal but with right alignment and to use a floating text box for the left side but I'm not a particular fan of that out of compatibility concerns (let's say the letter is being e-mailed and opened by a user using a different word processor or a different version, whatever).

I saw a method today that I haven't quite figured out how they had done it but it didn't work very well. It appeared to have a two column layout (though going into column setup didn't acknowledge that columns had been set up), but attempting to add/remove lines on the left seemed to get rid of text on the right side or move those lines around. I ended up just re-doing the template to my tried-and-tested table layout despite my way having some deficiencies.

I would have thought that google for the answer would have resulted in some sensible suggestions, but considering one guide basically said "download a template and change the text", the LibreOffice letter templates side-step the issue by having one address below the other (even with one on the right and one on the left), and the Word template I downloaded was just plain bizarre in that it appeared to be entirely formatted with floating text boxes!

I played around with column formatting today in LibreOffice but I couldn't get it to do a column layout for only a portion of a page. I have Word 2007 in a VM but I haven't tried playing around with columns in that.


Diamond Member
Jun 15, 2000
If I am understanding you correctly, I would use a right hand tab for the sender's address.

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Senior member
Oct 23, 2014
Best way to get what you want is to use text boxes. That is a pretty basic function and I would be surprised if other word processors don't have them.


Senior member
Oct 23, 2014
If this is being used as a template for others to fill, the other method is to create text fields for them to fill in. That way you can place the fields exactly where you want them, then lock the fields so they can only fill them in, not alter them. Works well in a template.