Word: Change Default Line Spacing

Word: Change Default Line Spacing

Microsoft Word uses 1.08 line spacing by default. It also automatically adds 8 points of space after each paragraph (after a hard return).

To change the default line spacing in Microsoft Word, complete the following steps:

  1. Open a new blank document in Word.
  2. Click on the "Layout" tab > Locate the "Paragraph" group.
  3. Click the small arrow in the lower right corner of the "Paragraph" group. A "Paragraph" dialog box will open.
  4. Click the "Indents and Spacing" tab > Locate the "Spacing" section.
  5. Set the line spacing in the "Line spacing" drop-down list to what you would like it to be.
  6. Set the spacing "Before" and "After" paragraphs as desired.  (If you want no extra spacing between paragraphs, set the spacing at 0 points.)
  7. Click the [Set As Default] button > Select "All documents based on the Normal template?" > Click [OK].

This is a machine-specific setting, so you will need to repeat these steps for any new computer that you log in to.


There have been a few cases on campus where the spacing defaults will not change permanently, and the line spacing has reverted to the system default of 1.08 when a new document is opened. Please submit an online Information Technology Request (ITR) if you experience this issue.

Keywords: space, single space, singlespace, double space, doublespace, research, paper, papers, term papers, rubric, paragraph, extra space, line spacing

Atomic Learning Video Email this to a Friend

Help Page Feedback

Did this content help you? *

What is your opinion about the content? *

Suggest new content or let us know how we can improve this content (optional):

If you desire a response, please provide your email address (optional):

Leave this field empty