How to Single Space in a Microsoft Word Document

By Laurie Senese

Microsoft redesigned Word 2007 templates with the reader in mind. One of the changes made the text easier to read by adding 15 percent more space between paragraphs. In Word 2003, the space between paragraphs was a single space, and you had to press the "Enter" key twice to create more space between sections. Old habits die hard, and those of you who want single line spacing again are in luck. Word 2007 gives you several ways to revert to single spacing.

Set the Default to Single Space in New Documents

Step 1

Select the "Home" tab. This displays "Styles" group.

Step 2

Click the "Change Styles" drop-down arrow. This displays the "Style Set," "Colors," "Fonts" and "Set as Default" options.

Step 3

Click the "Style Set" option. This displays several style sets.

Step 4

Click the "Word 2003" style set option. A check mark appears indicating your selection.

Step 5

Return to the"Styles" group, and click the "Change Styles" drop-down arrow again.

Step 6

Select the "Set as Default" option. All new blank documents that are opened in Word 2007 will now be single-spaced. Notice that this does not affect the document that's currently open.

Step 7

To restore the Word 2007 default multiple space style, click the "Change Styles" option in the "Styles" group. Select "Style Sets" and click the "Reset to Quick Styles from Template" option.

Set Single-spaced Paragraphs and Headings

Step 1

Click the left mouse button anywhere inside a paragraph or heading. You don't need to select the whole paragraph or heading.

Step 2

Click the "Page Layout" tab. This displays the "Paragraph" group.

Step 3

To single space before a heading, click the "Before" drop-down arrow in the "Spacing" section and select "0 pt."

Step 4

To single space after a paragraph, click the "After" drop-down arrow in the "Spacing" section and select "0 pt."

Set Single Spacing Using the Paragraph Dialog Box

Step 1

Select the "Home" or "Page Layout" tab. This displays the "Paragraph" group.

Step 2

Click the small arrow in the lower right-hand side of the "Paragraph" group. This displays the "Paragraph" dialog box.

Step 3

In the "Spacing" section, click the "Line Spacing" drop-down arrow and select "Single."

Step 4

Click the "Before" drop-down arrow and select "0 pt."

Step 5

Click the "After" drop-down arrow and select "0 pt." Click the "OK" button.

Set Single Spacing with the Line Spacing Icon

Step 1

Click the left mouse button and drag the mouse to select the desired paragraphs.

Step 2

Select the "Home" tab. This displays the "Paragraph" group.

Step 3

Click the "Line Spacing" icon. It is the fifth icon from the left in the second row.

Step 4

Select "1.0" from the fly-out menu that appears.

Step 5

Another way to single-space text is by selecting "Line Spacing Options" from the fly-out menu, which opens the "Paragraph" dialog box.