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 Single Line Spacing.

Understanding Single Line Spacing

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 18, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


There are several methods Word can use for line spacing. Typically, the default line spacing (as specified in the Line Spacing drop-down list of the Paragraph dialog box) is Single. (See Figure 1.) This means line spacing will be adjusted based on the largest font size or element on each individual line. Thus, if you have multiple font sizes on the same line of a paragraph, then the spacing for that line is dictated by the largest font size.

Figure 1. The Paragraph dialog box.

If your word processing needs are simple in nature, then Single line spacing is more than adequate. If you have more demanding word processing needs, then you may need to adjust the line spacing method used by Word to reflect the desired effect for your document. Display the Paragraph dialog box, then use the Line Spacing drop-down list to select a different spacing.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1719) 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 Single 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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