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Microsoft Word Tip: Is Line Spacing That Difficult?

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Don’t you feel that sometimes, the simplest of tasks are the hardest to do? We do too! And if you have similar feelings when it comes to adjusting the line spacing between texts and paragraphs (for Microsoft Word 2010), here are some tips to help you.

Change the line spacing

If you want to change the line spacing for an entire document, it’s simple. Just apply a Quick Style set that uses the spacing that you want and you’re done. To do that, you’ll have to go through the following steps:

  • Go to the Home tab and in the Styles group, click Change Styles.
  • Point to Style Set, and point to the various style sets. Use the line preview with the help of which you can notice how the line spacing changes from one style set to the next.
  • On spotting the spacing you like, click the name of the style set.

However, if you want to change the line spacing for a portion of the document, you should select the paragraphs and change their line spacing settings. Here’s how you can do that:

  • First, select the paragraphs for which you want to change the line spacing and on the Home tab, go to the Paragraph group and click Line Spacing.
  • Either click the number of line spaces that you want or click Line Spacing Options, and then select the options that you want under Spacing.

If you’re confused about which line spacing options to choose, this list might be of help:

  • Single  - This option accommodates the largest font in that line, plus a small amount of extra space. The amount of extra space varies depending on the font that is used.
  • 1.5 lines –   This option is one-and-one-half times that of single line spacing.
  • Double –   This option is twice that of single line spacing.
  • At least -  This option sets the minimum line spacing that is needed to fit the largest font or graphic on the line.
  • Exactly – This option sets fixed line spacing which is expressed in points. If the text is in a 10-point font, for example, you can specify 12 points as the line spacing.
  • Multiple –  This option sets line spacing that can be expressed in numbers greater than 1. Setting line spacing to 1.15, for example, will increase the space by 15 percent, and setting line spacing to 3 increases the space by 300 percent (also called triple spacing).

NOTE   Word increases the spacing for a line that contains a large text character, graphic, or formula. If you want to space all lines evenly within a paragraph, use exact spacing and specify an amount of space that is large enough to fit the largest character or graphic in the line. Items that appear cut off can be dealt with by increasing the amount of spacing.

Change the spacing before or after paragraphs

Changing the spacing between paragraphs for an entire document requires you to apply a Quick Style set that uses the spacing that you want. It has been explained in detail in the following steps:

  • Go to the Home tab and in the Styles group, click Change Styles.
  • Point to Style Set, and point to the various style sets. Using the live preview, notice how the line spacing changes from one style set to the next.
  • When you see spacing that you like, click the name of the style set.

Once you have applied a style set, you can customize the spacing by using the new paragraph spacing options. On clicking one of these options, the line and spacing settings of the style set are overridden. Here’s how you can use the paragraph spacing options to change the spacing:

  • On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click Change Styles.
  • Point to Paragraph Spacing, and then click the option that you want.

If you want to change the spacing before and after selected paragraphs, select the paragraph before or after which you want to change the spacing. On the Page Layout tab, in the Paragraph group, under Spacing, click the arrow next to Before or After and enter the amount of space that you want. Keep in mind that paragraphs are followed by a blank line, and headings have extra space above them by default.

So the next time you’re having trouble adjusting the line spacing between texts and paragraphs, do follow the steps given above. After all, tasks that are troublesome become easy with a little bit of help, don’t you think?

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