Set Line and Paragraph Spacing

When using Word XP line and paragraph spacing is important. Learn how it works in this free lesson.

Paragraph spacing

Just as you can add spacing between lines in your document, you can choose spacing options between each paragraph. Typically, extra spaces are added between paragraphs, headings, and subheadings. Extra spacing between paragraphs adds emphasis and makes a document easier to read.

You can choose an extra space:

  • Before each paragraph
  • After each paragraph
  • Before and after each paragraph

To specify paragraph spacing:

  • Select the text you want to format.
  • Choose Reveal Formatting on the task pane and click any of the blue links under the paragraph heading.


  • Click Format on the menu bar.
  • Select Paragraph. The Paragraph dialog box appears.
  • Click the Indents and Spacing tab:
    • Alignment: Choose left, right, center, or justified.
    • Indentation: Adjust the left and right margins by clicking the up and down arrows. Use the Special drop-down menu to select the first line as having an indent or to create a hanging indent.
    • Spacing: To emphasize a block of text, click the up and down arrows.
    • Preview: This gives an idea of how your text will look.

Spacing Examples