How to Fix Line Spacing That’s Too Big in Microsoft Word

Fixing line spacing that’s too big in Microsoft Word is a breeze once you know where to look. Navigate to the “Home” tab, click on “Line and Paragraph Spacing,” and select the spacing option that best suits your needs. You’ll see the change immediately, giving your document a cleaner, more professional appearance.

After completing this action, your document will have the spacing that you prefer, making it easier to read and format to your liking.


Ah, Microsoft Word. Whether you’re a student typing up an essay, a professional preparing a report, or just someone jotting down notes, you’ve likely used this ubiquitous word processing software at some point. But here’s a common problem: you’re typing away, and suddenly, you notice the line spacing is off. Maybe it’s too big, making your document look like a sparse, underpopulated desert of words. Fret not, because this is a fixable issue.

Knowing how to adjust line spacing is vital because it impacts the readability of your document. Too much space between lines can make a document look disjointed, while too little can make it appear crowded. Both extremes can be tough on the eyes, leading to a less-than-ideal reading experience. Plus, if you’re working within formatting guidelines for school or work, getting line spacing right is essential. This guide is here to help everyone—from students to office workers—get their documents looking just right.

Step by Step Tutorial: Fixing Line Spacing in Microsoft Word

First, let’s understand what we’re aiming for here. By following the steps below, you’ll adjust the line spacing in your document, ensuring that it meets your desired look and adheres to any specific formatting requirements you may have.

Step 1: Open the “Home” tab

Navigate to the “Home” tab in Microsoft Word.

This is where you’ll find most of the formatting tools you need for your document, including font style, size, and, of course, paragraph spacing.

Step 2: Click on “Line and Paragraph Spacing”

Find and click the “Line and Paragraph Spacing” button in the “Paragraph” group.

This button usually has an icon with up and down arrows. When you click it, a dropdown menu will appear, showing different spacing options.

Step 3: Select your desired spacing

Choose the spacing that fits your needs from the dropdown menu.

Options range from 1.0, which is single spacing, up to 3.0, which is triple spacing. If none of the presets work for you, click on “Line Spacing Options” at the bottom of the dropdown menu for more precise control.


Improved ReadabilityProper line spacing makes your document easier to read, which is crucial for keeping your audience engaged.
Professional AppearanceConsistent and appropriate line spacing gives your document a more polished look, enhancing its overall professionalism.
Formatting RequirementsAdjusting line spacing can help you meet specific formatting guidelines, such as those required by schools or publishers.


Limited OptionsMicrosoft Word’s spacing presets may not cover all the specific spacing needs you have for your document.
Overlooked FeatureSome users might not be aware of the line spacing feature, leading them to submit or share documents that are not properly formatted.
DistractionFocusing too much on line spacing can detract from other important aspects of document preparation, such as content quality and proofreading.

Additional Information

When it comes to line spacing in Microsoft Word, there’s a bit more to consider than just the steps above. For instance, did you know that you can also adjust the spacing before and after paragraphs? This can be just as important as line spacing for the overall look and flow of your document.

Remember, line spacing isn’t just about aesthetics; it can also affect how your document is received. Imagine submitting a resume that’s difficult to read because the line spacing is too wide—first impressions matter! So, it’s worth taking the time to understand all the formatting tools at your disposal.

Another tip is to use keyboard shortcuts to speed up your formatting process. After all, time is precious, and if you’re working on a lengthy document, every second counts. Keep in mind that depending on the version of Microsoft Word you’re using, the steps outlined in this article might vary slightly.


  1. Open the “Home” tab.
  2. Click on “Line and Paragraph Spacing.”
  3. Select your desired spacing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the default line spacing in Microsoft Word?

The default line spacing in Microsoft Word is typically set to 1.08 with additional 8 points after each paragraph, which can be adjusted to single spacing or any other preference.

Can I set custom line spacing in Microsoft Word?

Yes, you can set custom line spacing by clicking “Line Spacing Options” and entering your desired spacing values.

What is the best line spacing for readability?

Single spacing (1.0) can be best for documents with lots of text, whereas 1.15 to 1.5 is often optimal for most reading scenarios.

How do I change line spacing for only part of my document?

Highlight the text you want to change, then follow the same steps for adjusting line spacing, and it will apply only to the selected text.

What is the keyboard shortcut for line spacing in Microsoft Word?

There is no direct keyboard shortcut for line spacing, but you can use Ctrl + 2 for double spacing, Ctrl + 5 for 1.5 spacing, and Ctrl + 1 for single spacing.


Managing line spacing in Microsoft Word is a fundamental skill that can radically improve the presentation and readability of your documents. Whether you’re crafting an academic paper, a business proposal, or any written content, understanding how to adjust line spacing is key to maintaining a clean and professional layout.

By following the simple steps outlined above, you can ensure that your documents always meet the highest standards of formatting and design. Remember, the power to create well-spaced, visually appealing documents is just a few clicks away—so go ahead and give it a try!