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 Space Before.

Adjusting Space Before

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 28, 2020)

Word provides a wide variety of shortcuts that affect the formatting of your document. One such shortcut, Ctrl+0 (that a zero) adds or removes a single line of space from before the selected paragraph. In this case, a "single line" is defined as 12 points of space. For some formatting needs, you may want to add more or less space before a paragraph, and so may wonder if you can change Ctrl+0 so it adds or removes the desired space.

There is no configuration setting you can use to modify how Ctrl+0 does its work; it will always add or remove the 12 points. If you have a variety of spacing needs before paragraphs, the most versatile solution is to define styles that control how you want the text to be formatted. Styles can add any amount of space desired before a paragraph, or none at all. You can then assign the styles to keyboard shortcuts and use the shortcuts to apply the styles to your text.

If you don't want to use styles, but instead want to "recode" what Ctrl+0 does, you can create your own macro. The Ctrl+0 shortcut actually runs an internal command named OpenOrCloseUpPara. If you create a macro that uses this same name, it will be run whenever you press Ctrl+0 instead of the internal command. The following macro is just one example of the type you could create:

Sub OpenOrCloseUpPara()
    If Selection.ParagraphFormat.SpaceBefore = 0 Then
        Selection.ParagraphFormat.SpaceBefore = 18
    Else
        Selection.ParagraphFormat.SpaceBefore = 0
    End If
End Sub

This code first checks to see if the space before the paragraph is 0. If it is, the macro sets the space before to 18 points (a line and a half). If the space before is not 0, then it is set to 0 to effectively remove any space before.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3846) 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 Space Before.

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

Displaying Negative Percentages in Red

Excel includes quite a few different formats you can use for the information in a worksheet. One format that isn't as ...

Discover More

Resetting a Function Key

Function keys are often used, in Word, for common operations. You can, if desired, change the way in which a function key ...

Discover More

WordTips Annual Archives

WordTips is a weekly newsletter that provides tips on how to best use Microsoft's word processing software. At ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Indenting a Paragraph to the Next Tab Stop

Need to indent an entire paragraph from the left margin? It's easy to do using the tool described in this tip.

Discover More

Preventing Straggling Heads

Undoubtedly you will want to format your document so that headings stay with the paragraph that follows the heading. ...

Discover More

Using Dot Leaders in a Paragraph

Adding dot leaders to your text is easy through the application of tab stops. This tip explains the steps you need to ...

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 nine more than 2?

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.