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: Understanding At Least Line Spacing.

Understanding At Least Line Spacing

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 27, 2015)

There are several methods Word can use for line spacing. Typically, the default spacing type (as specified in the Line Spacing field of the Paragraph formatting dialog box) is Auto. This means line spacing will be adjusted, automatically, based on the largest font size or element on each individual line.

The effect of the Auto setting is that if you end up with a line that has nothing but small type on it, then the spacing for that line will be less than for the other lines in the paragraph. If you don't want this to occur, you can use the At Least line spacing setting. This setting allows you to specify the minimum line spacing for the paragraph. Word is free to increase spacing beyond what you specify, but it cannot reduce it.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (169) 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: Understanding At Least Line Spacing.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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