How to make MS Word single-space all the time

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It’s one of the big frustrations with MS Word – you hit the Enter key, and the next line in your document is a DOUBLE space down from the last line. There are two ways to fix this.

MS Word frustration


You know what I’m talking about. You open a new blank document and start typing a letter, and the first time you hit Enter, there’s that huge space between the lines and it looks like you are double-spacing the whole thing. Why does Microsoft set that as the default? Are there that many people who are actually double-spacing every document they create? No idea.

To fix this, there are a couple of options.

The quick, “right now” fix is this: hold down the Shift key while you’re tapping the Enter key. This will cause that line return to just be a single space so you won’t have that big gap. But that only solves the problem for the document you are typing right now. Next time you open a new blank Word document, it will still be double spaced.

The permanent solution is this:

Open a new blank Word document. With the Home tab selected, look over to the Paragraph section.

MS Word spacing


In the Paragraph section, find the drop down menu called Line and Paragraph spacing and click the drop-down menu, then choose “Line Spacing Options”.

MS Word spacing


In the Spacing section, make sure the “Before” and “After” numbers are set to zero. Then, at the bottom click on “Set as Default”.

MS Word spacing


You’ll get a little question that pops up asking if you want to set this as the default for just THIS document, or for all Word documents. For me, I chose all documents since that’s the way I prefer to create documents.

Then just click OK, and you’re done. Now, on the probably rare occasion you need to have a double-spaced line in Word document, you can just hit Enter twice.

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