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Adjusting Line Spacing in Word 2007

Rose from Coon Rapids MN asks:

When I am typing a document in Word 2007, I get a wide space between the lines. How do you reduce that space?

Rose, thanks for the question. The search for your answer helped me find an answer to a question I was too lazy to find for myself. Frequently, rather than pursue the answers to my own questions, I take the long route to a destination. An example of this weakness is the acceptance of the default settings in Word. Thanks to your question, my default settings in Word now match settings adjustments made on probably hundreds of individual documents over the last few years. This procrastination problem will have to be addressed……one of these days.

The width of the space between each line is controlled by Line spacing, and is easily adjusted document by document, by document, etc. Resetting the default, so that all new documents open with the preferred spacing, is slightly more involved, but not difficult. We’ll take a look at both methods here.

If you’ve just opened a document, under the Home tab of the ribbon at the top of the page, in the Paragraph section, you can find a button that controls line and paragraph spacing (hover your cursor over the buttons and a balloon will pop up telling you what each one does).

Click on the Line spacing button, check 1.0, and click Remove space after paragraph.

That will remove all the added spaces. If you’ve already started your document, you’ll have to select all the text (Ctrl+A) or just select the text you’d like to adjust.

You can also change the default settings, so that all future documents open with these settings. Still under the Home tab, click the arrow in the lower right corner of the Styles section. This will open the Styles dialog box.

Click the Manage Styles button at the bottom (way at the bottom).

In the Manage Styles dialog box, under the Set Defaults tab, font style and size can be changed, along with paragraphs, and line spacing. I chose to change the font to Arial at 11 points. The spacing was adjusted to single spacing in the drop down list, with spacing set at 1.

To save this for future documents, click the radio button beside New documents based on this template and click OK.