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Changing the Height of a Font

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: Changing the Height of a Font.

Word makes it easy to change the horizontal scale of a font, by using the Scale control on the Character Spacing tab of the Font dialog box. Using the control changes only the horizontal scale; the vertical height of the font remains exactly the same.

It is interesting to note that Word does not provide any corresponding method to change the vertical scale of a font without affecting the width. There is a way around this disparity, however: You can play with the font size and adjust the horizontal scale negatively.

For instance, let's say that you have a text selection that is formatted using 12-point type. Now suppose that you want your font to be 25 percent taller, but not to have the width changed. You could follow these general steps:

  1. Select the text you want to affect.
  2. Enlarge the font size to 15 points. (12 times 1.25 is 15.)
  3. Display the Character Spacing tab of the Font dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Character Spacing tab of the Font dialog box.

  5. Using the Scale control, specify a scaling of 80%. (100 divided by 1.25 is 80.)

That's it. You now have a font that is the same width as its base font, but is the desired height. Depending on the font, you may need to play with the sizing just a bit to get the desired effect, but this approach should work in all instances. Just remember that whatever you multiply the height by, you need to divide the width by (always starting at 100%).

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1646) 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: Changing the Height of a Font.

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Comments for this tip:

Ashley    07 May 2013, 14:53
You are the MS Word Master! Thanks for all the help!
Dawn    27 Mar 2013, 12:05
Thank you for such a great tip! I work in InDesign a lot but I'm currently writing a dissertation, and was worried that I'd be restricted by Word's font formatting. Now I don't have to!

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