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Adjusting line spacing in MS Word

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If you have a text with various line spacing in Microsoft Word, how do you make all lines single space?

Adjusting Celeste StewartLine and Paragraph Spacing in MS Word

Many publishers require specific line and paragraph spacing, making it necessary to change the settings to meet these requirements. In addition, when cutting and pasting text into a document, the formatting from the source is often copied with the text which results in uneven line spacing. Fortunately, it's easy enough to change a document's line spacing.

Microsoft Word 2007's Paragraph and Line Spacing Feature

Microsoft Word is a word processor that offers numerous features for formatting your documents including line and paragraph spacing. Depending on which version of Word you have, the process may vary slightly. In Word 2007, highlight the text, go to the Home tab and look in the center section of it. See the block labeled "Paragraph"? Click the small square shape in the lower corner of the Paragraph block. This will launch the Paragraph dialog box. From there, go to the Spacing section and click on the Line Spacing text box. The down arrow lists several popular line spacing options. In this case, select Single.

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While you're at it, also check to make sure that the Before and After text boxes contain a value of "0 pt." This is because even if you have single spacing selected, if either of these boxes have a value above "0 pt," Word will put that amount of space between paragraphs, giving the illusion of additional line spacing.

Microsoft Word 2003's Paragraph and Line Spacing Feature

In Word 2003, the process is a bit different. Highlight the text, click on Format > Paragraph > Indents and Spacing. This will open the Paragraph dialog box. From there, go to the Spacing section and click on the Line Spacing text box. The down arrow lists several popular line spacing options. In this case, select Single.

While you're at it, also check to make sure that the Before and After text boxes contain a value of "0 pt." This is because even if you have single spacing selected, if either of these boxes have a value above "0 pt," Word will put that amount of space between paragraphs, giving the illusion of additional line spacing.

Using the Formatting Toolbar to Adjust Line Spacing

If you have the Formatting toolbar displayed, a quick shortcut is to click on the Line Spacing icon. The icon has two vertical arrows on its side and horizontal lines going across. From there, a submenu with line spacing choices appears. In this case, choose the number "1" which will make your lines single spaced. If you need double spacing, you'd choose a value of "2." Click the Line Spacing Options link if you want to adjust the Before and After values as described above.

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