How to double space or change line spacing in Microsoft Word

Updated: 11/30/2020 by Computer Hope
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When typing in Microsoft Word, you might need to change the line spacing, depending on the document's style. The steps to enable double spacing in differ slightly between versions. Consequently, you may need to use some intuition to adapt them for older versions. To proceed, decide which situation applies to you, then follow the steps in that section.

Tip

Use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+1 to single space, Ctrl+2 to double space, or Ctrl+5 to set the spacing to 1.5 line spacing on any line, paragraph, or all highlighted text.

Note

When pressing Enter, it starts a new paragraph with extra space between the two paragraphs. If you want to go to the next line without starting a new paragraph, press Ctrl+Enter.

Enable double spacing for the whole document

Microsoft Word 2016 (Office 365)

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click the Line and Paragraph Spacing (Line and Paragraph Spacing icon in Word 2016) icon.
  3. Select the desired spacing option from the available list.
  4. For additional spacing options, select Line Spacing Options in the list.

Line and Paragraph Spacing options in Word 2016

Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, right-click Normal.
  3. Select Modify from the drop-down menu.
  4. Under Formatting, click the Double Space button (shown below).

Double space button icon

  1. Click OK.

or

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Click the Page Layout tab.
  3. Click the down arrow in the bottom right corner next to Paragraph to bring up the Paragraph window.

Microsoft Word Spacing

  1. In the Paragraph window, make sure you are on the Indents and Spacing tab.

Microsoft Word Line spacing settings - new document

  1. Click the down arrow next to the Line spacing box.
  2. Select Double and click the OK button.

Modify line spacing for all or part of an existing document

Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016

  1. Open Microsoft Word and the document you want to modify.
  2. Highlight the text you want to have double spaced or select all.
  3. Right-click the highlighted text and click Format and then Paragraph, or only Paragraph depending on your version of Word.
  4. In the Paragraph window, make sure you are on the Indents and Spacing tab.

Microsoft Word Line spacing settings - existing document

  1. Click the down arrow in the Line spacing drop-down box.
  2. Select Double and click the OK button.

Additional information