How to Set the Paragraph Spacing on Microsoft Word

By Jennifer Walker

When you are writing a document in Microsoft Word, you may find it necessary from time to time to change the spacing between paragraphs. If you are using a block format with double spacing between paragraphs, you can set Microsoft Word to make the space for you so you do not have to remember to hit the Enter key twice. Putting this space between paragraphs makes your document easier to read. The publishing industry in particular is very particular about the format you use, and submitting a document with incorrect formatting will often earn you a rejection before the editor has read a single word. Some of them will ask you to add space between paragraphs to set them apart.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word 2007

Step 1

Open your document in Microsoft Word. If you have not started writing yet, you can set the paragraph spacing before you start. If you have already started writing, select all of the text before proceeding.

Step 2

Select the "Home" menu. In the Paragraph section, click on the little box to the right of Paragraph. A dialog box will appear. For Word versions from 1997 through 2003, click on the "Format" menu, then "Paragraph."

Step 3

Click on the "Indents and Spacing" tab. Look for the Spacing section toward the bottom. The Before and After boxes on the left side are for the amount of space before and after each paragraph. If you put 0 in the Before box and 10 in the After box, this is about the right amount of spacing between paragraphs.

Step 4

When you have made your selections, click "OK." Your paragraphs should now be spaced the way you wanted.