Formatting Text Handling Paragraphs Spelling
Selecting Text Edit Text Keyboard Shortcuts

Paragraphs – Line Spacing and Indentations

Correcting the default line spacing as was        in older versions
Setting the line spacing
Setting the spacing between paragraphs
Setting paragraph indentation
Setting paragraph's first line indentation

When you start writing a document in the current version of Word (2007 and later), you will quickly notice a difference from the former versions (2003, Xp, 2000 etc.), which is the new default spacing between lines and between paragraphs.

How to get rid of the extra space that appears after hitting "Enter"

When you hit the “Enter” key, it looks like the cursor has jumped two lines down, instead of one. This is because the default space “after paragraph” is defined as “10 points”, instead of “0 points” (meaning “no extra space”) which used to be in all older versions of Word.

The easiest way to change it back, is to define the default “Style” to “Word 2003”.
  1. Click the “Change Styles” button on the ribbon (its located at the right side, when the regular “home” tab is selected).
  2. Choose “Style Set” and then choose “Word 2003”.
  3. The line spacing has now turned to “single” (it was a bit wider before, 15% greater than this), and there is no extra space between paragraphs.
  4. If you wish to set this as the default style for all future documents, click the “Change Styles” button again (after you have set it to “Word 2003”), and then choose “Set as Default”.
When using this Word 2003 style, one easy way to add spaces between paragraphs is by clicking the “Enter” key before or after the paragraphs.

Setting the line spacing of the text

  1. Select the relevant text.
  2. Click the Line spacing button The line spacing button located on the ribbon.
  3. Choose a new line spacing from the appearing list:
The line spacing menu

Note that changing the line spacing, will affect the line spacing within paragraphs, as well as between the paragraphs of the selected text area.
If you wish to apply more spacing between paragraphs only see the following section.

Setting the line spacing between paragraphs

  1. Select the relevant text.
  2. Open the "Paragraph" dialog box, by clicking the small arrow at the lower-right corner of the Paragraph group in the ribbon.
  3. Set the new spacing between paragraphs, by entering a new value in the “After:” text field.
Note that the “After:” field relates to the spacing after every paragraph, but it actually doesn’t make much difference if you set the value in the “After” or in the “Before”, the outcome will look very much alike. (that is because ones paragraph’s “after” space, is the next paragraph’s “before” space). The difference between the two will be more relevant when using advanced features such as applying different Word Styles.

Setting the paragraph indentation

You can set the left margin of a specific paragraph (its “indentation”) as follows:
  1. Select the relevant paragraph.
  2. Click the “Increase Indent” button in the mini toolbar The increase indent button (you can find this button on the ribbon too).
  3. Repeatedly clicking this button will increase the indentation more.
  4. You can decrease the indentation by clicking the complementary “Decrease Indent” button The decrease indent button next to it.
You can set the indentation to a specific value, by opening the Paragraph Dialog box, and setting a value inside the “Before text” field. (The Paragraph Dialog box can be opened by clicking the small arrow in the lower right corner of the “Paragraph” group in the ribbon, when the “Home” tab is selected).

Setting the indentation of the paragraph's first line

  1. Select the relevant text.
  2. Open the Paragraph dialog box (by clicking the small arrow at the lower-right corner of the “Paragraph” group on the ribbon).
  3. Change the “Special:” field from “(none)” to “First line”.
  4. Set the value of the first line indentation inside the “By:” field.
  5. Click the “OK” button.