How to Change Letter Spacing in PowerPoint

By Filonia LeChat

Microsoft PowerPoint may seem like a fairly rigid design dictator, giving you slides to fill with pre-placed text boxes, already-selected fonts and spacing that appears as you type. All of this may be overridden to optimally suit your presentation, including adjusting the space between your letters. Use custom character spacing to make an impact in your slide shows, call attention to points and break up large sections of data.

Step 1

Launch PowerPoint. Check the Recent column on the splash screen; if the PowerPoint presentation with the lettering to change appears here, double-click it. If not, click “Open Other Presentations,” browse to and double-click the slide show. Press “Page Down” or scroll to the first slide to change.

Step 2

Click the text box with the first area of letter spacing to change. Click the "Home" tab, then Click the “More” arrow in the Paragraph section of the ribbon to open the Paragraph window. Click the “Line Spacing” drop-down menu and select a different option, such as "Multiple" for more space between lines or “At least,” which lets you type specific spacing into the "At" box. Click “OK” when satisfied.

Step 3

Scroll to and click into another text box. Click the “More” arrow on the Font section of the ribbon to open the Font window. Click the “Character Spacing” tab. Click the “Spacing” drop-down menu and select a different option, such as “Condensed,” which makes lettering tighter or closer together, or the “Expanded” option, which puts more space between the letters. Use the “By” box to click up or down to manually adjust how much space is removed from or added to the letters.

Step 4

Move to another section of text and reopen the Character Spacing window. Click into a bullet, line or paragraph. Click the “Kerning for fonts” check box if it is not already checked. Change the “Points and above” field to adjust character spacing. By default, this field is set to 12.

Step 5

Click the cursor onto a single word or highlight a section of text. Click the “Home” tab. Click the “Character Spacing” menu, which looks like the letters “AV” with a blue double-headed arrow below them. Choose options here to spread out or tighten letter spacing, such as “Tight” or “Very Loose.” Clicking “More Spacing” here will open the same “Character Spacing” tab on the Font window mentioned above.

Tips & Warnings

  • Having to adjust character spacing in a lengthy slide deck may seem daunting, so take advantage of the Slide Master, in which you can make one change that gets pushed out to the whole deck. Click the “View” tab, then click the “Slide Master” button. Click a slide, and make the changes discussed above. Make them on each different slide, where applicable, such as title slides or standard deck page slides. When you click “Close Master View,” the slides in the deck will take on the changes.
  • These instructions are written for Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 users. Earlier or later versions of the software may behave differently.