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Smushing Text Together

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Smushing Text Together.

I'll bet you already knew that "smushing" is a technical term, right? It is, I believe, a combination of the words "smashing" and "pushing." In this usage, it simply means to squeeze text together by reducing the distance between characters.

Normally, each font installed on your system has a default distance between characters. This distance is calculated based on the typeface used and on the way the font designer wants the typeface to appear. There are simply times when it is necessary to push text closer together, however. In order to do that, simply follow these steps:

  1. Select the text you want to condense.
  2. Choose the Font option from the Tools menu. Word displays the Font dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Character Spacing tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Character Spacing tab of the Font dialog box.

  5. Using the Spacing drop-down list, choose Condensed.
  6. Using the By control, just to the right of the Spacing drop-down list, specify how much you want your text condensed, in points.
  7. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1473) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Smushing Text Together.

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Comments for this tip:

Bret    22 Dec 2015, 21:05
I used this method to condense Chinese text. Worked perfectly! Thanks!
Mesheril    01 Jul 2015, 10:54
How do I smush words on Mac Word? We don't have a box come up when going into fonts - just a list of all the fonts.
The old Apple program AppleWorks was so much better & easy to find 'smushing' options but I've never been able to find it in Office.
Please help. Thanks!
Wendy    16 May 2015, 13:33
This is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you!!

Any tips to smush text vertically? :)
shelly coleman    02 Apr 2014, 12:22
how do i condense separate words together/overlap?
Mickey    07 Mar 2014, 06:25
This was a very good tip, I didn't catch the typo, but I went to format out of habit. This is one of those tips that will be worth it's weight in gold when the need arises. Great work Allen
awyatt    22 Feb 2014, 19:14
That's a typo, Bill. Step 2 should say "Choose the Font option from the Format menu."

Sorry for the confusion.

-Allen
charlie    22 Feb 2014, 12:17
Bill, click Format > Fonts from top toolbar. Adjustment will be in 2nd tab.
Bill M.    22 Feb 2014, 09:26
Under the Tools menu I find 15 choices. None are for fonts. There is a choice called "options". Under it there are 10 tabs --none refer to fonts. I have Word2000.
What am I missing?
 
 

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