Change the spaces between text

You can change the spacing between characters of text for selected text or for particular characters. In addition, you can stretch or compress an entire paragraph to make it fit and look the way that you want it to.

Change the spacing between characters

Selecting Expanded or Condensed alters the spacing between all selected letters by the same amount. Kerning alters the spacing between particular pairs of letters - in some cases reducing and in other cases expanding the space depending upon the letters.

Expand or condense the space evenly between all the selected characters

  1. Select the text that you want to change.

  2. On the Home tab, click the Font Dialog Box Launcher, and then click the Advanced tab.

    Font Dialog Box Launcher

    Note: If you're using Word 2007 the tab is called Character Spacing.

  3. In the Spacing box, click Expanded or Condensed, and then specify how much space you want in the By box.

    Use the font dialog to specify whether your character spacing should be expanded or compressed

Kern the characters that are above a particular size

Kerning refers to the way spacing between two specific characters is adjusted. The idea is to give a better looking result by reducing the spaces between characters that fit together nicely (such as "A" and "V") and increasing the spacing between characters that don't.

  1. Select the text that you want to change.

  2. On the Home tab, click the Font Dialog Box Launcher, and then click the Advanced tab.

    Font Dialog Box Launcher

    Note: If you're using Word 2007 the tab is called Character Spacing.

  3. Select the Kerning for fonts check box, and then enter the point size in the Points and above box.

    Allow Word to set kerning between characters that are of a certain font size or larger

Stretch or scale the text horizontally

When you scale the text, you change the shapes of the characters by percentages. You can scale text by stretching it or by compressing it.

  1. Select the text that you want to stretch or compress.

  2. On the Home tab, click the Font Dialog Box Launcher, and then click the Advanced tab.

    Font Dialog Box Launcher

    Note: If you're using Word 2007 the tab is called Character Spacing.

  3. In the Scale box, enter the percentage that you want.

    Percentages above 100 percent stretch the text. Percentages below 100 percent compress the text.

Change the line spacing

To increase or decrease the amount of vertical space between lines of text, within a paragraph the best method is to modify the style the paragraph uses.

  1. Find the style you're using on the Style gallery on the Ribbon.

  2. Right-click the style you want to change and select Modify.

    Right-click the Caption style in the Styles gallery to modify the formatting of your captions.
  3. Near the center of the dialog box you'll find the line spacing buttons that let you set the line spacing to single, 1.5x or double spaced. Choose the spacing you want to apply and click OK.

    Modify the line spacing options in your style to adjust vertical spacing in Word.

If you'd like to apply more specific line spacing to the style, choose the Format button at the bottom left cornher of the Modify Style dialog box, select Paragraph and towards the bottom right you'll find the Line spacing drop-down that lets you select or set more specific line spacing.

Use the Paragraph dialog box to set more specific spacing between lines of text

For more information on modifying styles in Word see: Customize styles in Word.

See also

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