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(Note: Since so many people continue to ask us about how to change line spacing in Word 2010, we decided to re-publish this post.)
When the default line spacing in documents changed from single spacing in Word 2003 to a slightly roomier 1.15 spacing in Word 2007 and Word 2010, customers asked the inevitable: Why did the default line spacing change? And how do I change it back?
The short answer is that the default line spacing changed in Word 2007 to make online documents more readable. If you want to change the default line spacing in Word 2007 or Word 2010, or learn how to set the line spacing in a single document, here are the best resources we've found for step-by-step instructions.
To learn how to change the default line spacing in Word 2007 or Word 2010 so that every document you open is set to a new line spacing option of your choice, try Change Word 2007 default line spacing to match previous versions (these steps also apply to Word 2010).
To change the line spacing in a document to single-spacing, double-spacing, or another document spacing option, or to change the spacing between paragraphs, check out the article Adjust the line spacing between text or paragraphs for Word 2003, Word 2007, or Word 2010.
For video about changing the line spacing, view Video: Change line spacing in Word 2007 or Video: Adjust the line spacing in Word 2010.
And if you want more training about document formatting, including line and paragraph spacing, try these training courses: Get to know Word 2007 III: Make documents look great and Create your first Word document II (Word 2010).
For more discussion around specific line spacing issues, you might also find useful information in the comments for my blog post Fine-tune your line spacing in Word 2010. Let us know if you have other questions.
--Leslie H. Cole
I like the other way of getting back to 2003 styles and settings. Close Word, delete/rename NORMAL.DOTM, copy in a 2003 NORMAL.DOT, restart Word. Word picks up settings from the old NORMAL.DOT when regenerating the new NORMAL.DOTM for you.
This is a very cool tip! Thank you.
(1) Open a new blank document
(2) click the paragraph launcher (to open the paragraph dialog box)
(3) set the line spacing to single (and the paragraph spacing to 0); and
(4) click "Set as Default".
BTW, I really like Word, but it comes with the absolute worst default settings of any program I have ever used.
Here's a line-spacing question. I have a document written in Garamond 12-point. I want the first letter of the document to be 24-point. However, when I make that change, the space between the first and second lines automatically increases. How do I keep the normal 12-point line spacing while still having that first letter be 24-point? Thanks for your help!
I think the solution you might be looking for is a drop cap. You can find the instructions for creating one right here:
Let me know if this is what you're looking for, and thank you for coming to The Office Blog.
All I want is to be able to tell what the line spacing is when the paragraph formatting dialog box says "auto." (Why the heck can't it say both "auto" AND the value?) I don't want to change anything-- I work on others' computers a lot. Am I going to have to go into style sets just to find this one simple datum?
Hi Dawna, Thank you for your question. Can you tell me where you are seeing auto in the paragraph dialog box?
Thanks for more information.
Why does the line spacing not match-up with the grid lines. If you add a line/shape/object it is always slightly off from the text. The snap to feature is off but it does not move where I need it. Nevertheless the text does not snap to the grid lines. Each time you start a new line of text it is uneven with the previous line. The line spacing inbetween is never even.
Microsoft continues its endless, idiotic march to irrelevancy. Every 2 years, they come out with a "new" version of office that juggles all the buttons, makes it a pain for users to use and this is their idea of "progress"??
I think Microsoft deserves to be put out of business and good riddance. This is the last straw on the camel's back. I'm off to google docs.
Enjoy your "new and improved" interfaces.