Line and Paragraph Spacing

Line spacing in Word 2013 can help improve readability. In Word paragraph spacing can make documents look cleaner too.

Paragraph spacing

By default, when you press the Enter key Word 2013 moves the insertion point down a little farther than one line on the page. This automatically creates space between paragraphs. Just as you can format spacing between lines in your document, you can adjust spacing before and after paragraphs. This is useful for separating paragraphs, headings, and subheadings.

To format paragraph spacing:

In our example, we'll increase the space before a paragraph to separate it from a heading. This will make our document easier to read.

  1. Select the paragraph or paragraphs you want to format.

    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting a paragraph to format
  2. On the Home tab, click the Line and Paragraph Spacing command. Hover the mouse over Add Space Before Paragraph or Remove Space After Paragraph from the drop-down menu. A live preview of the paragraph spacing will appear in the document.
  3. Select the paragraph spacing you want to use. In our example, we'll select Add Space Before Paragraph.

    Screenshot of Word 2013Adding space before a paragraph
  4. The paragraph spacing will change in the document.

    Screenshot of Word 2013The new paragraph spacing

From the drop-down menu, you can also select Line Spacing Options to open the Paragraph dialog box. From here, you can control how much space there is before and after the paragraph.

Screenshot of Word 2013Adjusting the spacing before and after paragraphs

You can use Word's convenient Set as Default feature to save all of the formatting changes you've made and automatically apply them to new documents. To learn how to do this, read our article on Changing Your Default Settings in Word.