How to Make Periods Bigger on Your Word Document

By Aaron Parson

You've just finished writing a paper, and you think you've got it down perfectly -- you don't need a single additional word. Problem is, your teacher is looking for half a page more text and has a strict font size requirement. One possible workaround is to bump up the size of your periods to slightly increase the size of each line. If you get caught, you'll probably end up worse off than if you'd submitted a short paper, but if you want to take the risk, Word can cut down on the busywork of replacing each period.

Step 1

Click "Replace" in the Editing section of the Home tab in Word 2010 or 2013, or as a shortcut, press "Ctrl-H."

Step 2

Type a single period in the "Find What" field and type another period in the "Replace With" field.

Step 3

Click "More" and open the "Format" drop-down menu in the Replace section at the bottom of the dialog box. If this section is titled Find, place the typing cursor in the "Replace With" field to switch to the Replace section. Pick "Font" from the "Format" list.

Step 4

Choose the font size you want for your periods. To keep the periods from standing out too noticeably, move up only one size from your text. You can also type in a custom size, such as "13" for a smaller move up than jumping from 12-point type to 14-point periods.

Step 5

Click "OK" and press "Replace All" to make every period larger. Using Word's default font, Calibri, changing the periods from 12 point to 13 point adds about four lines per page.

Tips & Warnings

  • Increasing period size lengthens papers by adding additional spacing around each line. To get the same effect without making your periods stand out, directly increase the spacing instead. Click the arrow in the lower right corner of the Paragraph section on the Home tab, choose "Multiple" as the Line Spacing and increase the number. Word accepts decimal values, so you can increase the spacing by small amounts that won't stand out much.
  • Twelve-point type is a common expectation for papers, but recent versions of Word actually default to 11 points. Moving your entire paper up to 12 points could make a significant difference without breaking any rules.
  • OpenOffice offers the same functionality with nearly identical steps: just press "Ctrl-F" instead of "Ctrl-H" to start.
  • If your teacher is a stickler for page length, he probably has an eye out for essay-lengthening tricks. As you might expect, the best solution is probably to stay out of trouble and just write a few additional lines.