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 the Width of Characters.

Adjusting the Width of Characters

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 6, 2017)

Word provides a way you can adjust the horizontal size of characters in your document. Actually, the scaling can be applied to any characters in a selection. To format characters in this way, follow these steps:

  1. Select the characters you want to scale.
  2. Choose Format | Font. 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. Use the Scale drop-down list to specify the scaling you want applied to the characters. You can select from a pre-defined scale, or enter any value between 1% and 600%.
  6. Click on OK.

If you find you have a need to scale quite a few selections in your documents, you can add a scaling tool to a toolbar:

  1. Choose Customize from the Tools menu. Word displays the Customize dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Commands tab is selected. (See Figure 2.)
  3. Figure 2. The Commands tab of the Customize dialog box.

  4. In the Categories list, select Format.
  5. In the Commands list, select Character Scaling.
  6. Use the mouse to drag the selected command to the position you want it to occupy on your toolbars.
  7. Click on Close to dismiss the Customize dialog box.

With the Character Scaling tool in place, you can easily change the scaling of any selected text at any time.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (607) 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 the Width of Characters.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Disabling the F1 Key

Tired of hitting the F1 key by mistake and pulling up the Help system? Here's a couple of ways (one drastic and one not ...

Discover More

Summing Absolute Values

You can easily sum a series of values in Excel, but it is not so easy to sum the absolute values of each value in a ...

Discover More

Returning to Where You Were Before Finding Something

When you use the Find and Replace dialog box to do editing, you could easily lose track of where you were before ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Using Very Large Font Sizes

You can format your text to use some very, very large font sizes. The results you see from formatting with large fonts ...

Discover More

Changing Character Color

Need to easily change the color of some selected text? A quick way to do it is with a custom macro that sets just the hue ...

Discover More

Adding a Little Color

The normal way to change the color of selected text is through the use of the Font Color tool. If you have to use the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 + 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.