Controlling paragraph spacing in Word

For those of us who don’t spend a lot of time in Word documents, getting the right and/or consistent paragraph spacing seems to be an effort in manual line feeds. But as pointed out by a colleague, there is an easy way to set the paragraph spacing automatically for a specific paragraph or an entire document. Here’s how…

Here is a Word document with two paragraphs copied from another source. As you can see, there is no spacing between the paragraphs:


To let Word do the spacing without injecting manual line feeds, I highlight the two paragraphs and select Home > Paragraphs > Line Spacing Options:


In the Indents and Spacing tab, there’s an option for Spacing that controls the spacing before and after a paragraph. Right now, it is set to 0 points after a paragraph:


I can change that to a different value, like 12 points, and then click on OK:


Now all my paragraphs have a 12 point break between them automatically:


If I had highlighted the entire document, I could have made that setting permanent for the entire Word document.

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