How to double space in word - Microsoft Office explained

How to double space in word

How to double space in word

As a word processor developed by Microsoft, Microsoft Word has been a popular tool for creating and editing documents for several decades. Its popularity is due in part to its ease of use and its ability to handle a wide variety of document types, from simple letters to complex reports and manuscripts. In this guide, we will take you through how to double space in Word.

The word processor is widely used in both personal and professional settings, and is often a required skill for many job positions. In addition to its core features, Microsoft Word also offers a range of customization options and add-ons that allow users to tailor the software to their specific needs.

Some users might be wondering how to use the double space feature, as it is different based on the version of Word they are using. But worry not, as we'll tell you how to double space in Word below.

How do you double space?

Double spacing in Word can be accomplished in various ways. It is quite a simple process once you know what to do. It's important to know how to get that extra white space when and where you need it. In this guide, we'll cover different options for double spacing as the versions of Word have different options.

Before we get into it, let’s find out what double spaces are all about. Double spacing, in essence, involves adding a blank line between each line of text, providing an extra layer of clarity and making the document easier on the eyes. Interestingly enough, the genesis of the extra line comes from the original generator of all printed text: the typewriter. During the typewriter's days, line spacing was typically set at six lines per inch. If a writer wanted to create more room on the page, they simply skipped a line.

When should you double space?

Utilizing double spacing has several advantages, especially during the editing process. Double-spaced work is easier to read and provides more space for reviewers to either write notes, if the document is being read in print, or add comments if it's a digital copy. You can find the usage of double spacing commonly in schoolwork and professional settings. Several popular grammar style books, such as APA, Chicago, MLA, have it as a standard component.

Whether you are a student, a professional, or someone who simply wants to make your text more legible, understanding how to double space in Word is a skill that can come in handy in a variety of contexts.

Here are all the ways that you can use the double text feature in most versions of Word to create more space between lines and make your document look more professional and easier to read.

Use the Spacing Button

Go to the toolbar and look for the button with four lines and up and down arrows. This button is called the "Spacing Button." Once you find it, select the desired spacing option. You can choose from single, double, or 1.5 line spacing.

Use the Design Menu

If you prefer to use the Design menu, go to it and look for the "Paragraph Spacing" option. Once you have found it, click on it and select Double. This will double space the selected text.

Use Format Context Menu Option

Another way to double space selected text is by using the "Format" and "Paragraph" options. To do this, highlight the text you wish to double space, right-click on it, and select "Format" and then "Paragraph" from the context menu. Note that in some versions of Word, the "Paragraph" option may be labeled only as "Paragraph."

In the "Paragraph" window, go to the tab labeled "Indents and Spacing," click the drop-down menu for line spacing, and select "Double." Finally, click "OK" to apply the changes.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts

If you prefer to use keyboard shortcuts, you can highlight your text and use the following:

  • Ctrl+1 (⌘ Command+1 for Mac) to single space
  • Ctrl+2 (⌘ Command+2 for Mac) to double space
  • Ctrl+5 (⌘ Command+2 for Mac) for 1.5 spacing

Use Paragraph

Finally, you can also use the "Paragraph" group located in the "Home" tab. To use this option, click on "Option" and choose the line spacing option that you desire for your text. This option offers various spacing options such as single, double, or 1.5 line spacing.

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How to Double Space in Older Microsoft Word versions (2007, 2010 and 2013)

Microsoft Word has been popular for many years, and people still like to use older versions like 2007, 2010, and 2013. These versions are more straightforward and user-friendly, and are cost-effective as they do not require a subscription. Here are the methods to double space in these versions of Word:

Using Styles

Click the “Home” tab and click on “Styles.” Select “Normal” and click double space. Or, create a new style by clicking “New Style” and follow the prompts to double space.

Using Page Layout

Go to the “Page Layout” tab, click the “Paragraph” window, and adjust the spacing.

Double Spacing for Some Text

Double spacing is useful when you want to create a clear distinction between certain parts of your document. This is particularly helpful when you want to highlight a specific section or when you want to create a break between paragraphs. Here’s how to double space in Microsoft Word 2003:

  1. Select the text you wish to double space.
  2. Navigate to the "Format" menu and click on "Paragraph."
  3. In the "Line Spacing" drop-down menu, choose your desired spacing option.

To double space a new paragraph, simply use the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl+Enter" to begin a new paragraph.


We hope that this guide has been useful in helping you understand how to double space in Word. This simple formatting technique can greatly enhance the readability and overall professionalism of your document.

However, formatting is just one aspect of crafting a clear and effective message for your audience. Along with proper formatting, it's important to carefully consider your content and structure, and to use Word's many tools and options to your advantage. By taking these steps, you can create a document that not only looks professional, but effectively communicates your message to your readers.

So, whether you're writing a report, a proposal, or any other type of document, remember to pay close attention to both form and content in order to achieve the best possible results.

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