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: Adjusting Spacing After a Paragraph.

Adjusting Spacing After a Paragraph

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 20, 2022)

If you use a typewriter, or even some rudimentary word processors, to add space between paragraphs you simply press the Enter key a few times. While you can also do this in Word, the program gives you much greater control over the spacing between paragraphs—if you choose to use it. To modify the amount of space left between the end of one paragraph and the start of the next, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the insertion point is in the paragraph that you want to adjust spacing after.
  2. Choose the Paragraph option from the Format menu. Word displays the Paragraph dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Paragraph dialog box.

  4. Change the amount in the After box to reflect how much space you want to leave after the current paragraph.
  5. Click on OK.

To adjust the value in the After box, you can use the up and down arrows to the right of the box, or you can enter a value directly. Values can be entered in any of the standard measurements accepted by Word.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (171) 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: Adjusting Spacing After a Paragraph.

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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