As you design your document and make formatting decisions, you will need to consider line and paragraph spacing. You can increase spacing to improve readability and reduce it to fit more text on the page.
Optional: Download our practice document.
Watch the video below to learn how to fine tune line and paragraph spacing in your documents.
Line spacing is the space between each line in a paragraph. Word allows you to customize the line spacing to be single spaced (one line high), double spaced (two lines high), or any other amount you want. The default spacing in Word is 1.08 lines, which is slightly larger than single spaced.
In the images below, you can compare different types of line spacing. From left to right, these images show default line spacing, single spacing, and double spacing.
Line spacing is also known as leading (pronounced to rhyme with wedding).
Your line spacing options aren't limited to the ones in the Line and Paragraph Spacing menu. To adjust spacing with more precision, select Line Spacing Options from the menu to access the Paragraph dialog box. You'll then have a few additional options you can use to customize spacing.
Just as you can format spacing between lines in your document, you can adjust spacing before and after paragraphs. This is useful for separating paragraphs, headings, and subheadings.
In our example, we'll increase the space before each paragraph to separate them a bit more. This will make it a little easier to read.
From the drop-down menu, you can also select Line Spacing Options to open the Paragraph dialog box. From here, you can control how much space there is before and after the paragraph.
You can use Word's convenient Set as Default feature to save all of the formatting changes you've made and automatically apply them to new documents. To learn how to do this, read our article on Changing Your Default Settings in Word.