Microsoft Word 2003 Paragraph Formatting

Custom Spacing in a Paragraph

Summary: Add custom spacing options in your Word 2003 documents above and beyond merely single or double-spacing text.

It’s relatively easy to adjust the line spacing of paragraphs in a Microsoft Word 2003 document. Simply highlight the paragraphs to adjust, then click the line spacing toolbar button – it looks like a double-sided arrow next to four lines, and if it is not visible, click the button on the far-right of the Microsoft Word 2003 toolbar to view invisible buttons.

From here, you can make paragraphs single spaced, double-spaced, 1.5 spaced, and more. However, what if you need more control over the paragraph spacing?


A. Click the aforementioned toolbar button and click the “More” button that appears.


B. Access the paragraph options.

1. Right-click the selected paragraph(s) and choose “Paragraph”.
2. When the “Paragraph” multi-tabbed dialog box appears, select the “Paragraph” tab.

From here, you can adjust the following:

* Need to add spacing before each paragraph? Click the spinner button next to “Before” and choose your desired line spacing.

* Likewise, if you need to add spacing after each paragraph, click the spinner button next to “After” and choose your desired line spacing.

* To change the line spacing inside a paragraph, click the pull-down underneath “Line spacing”. From here, you can select single, 1.5, or double spacing, or you can decide to space paragraphs at least, exactly, or a multiple of the value of your choice.

For example, to triple-space paragraphs, select “Multiple” and enter “3” in the textbox underneath “At”. Or, to add 20 pt spacing between each line of a paragraph, select “Exactly” and enter “20 pt” in the textbox underneath “At”.

Note that as you make your changes, refer to the “Preview” area to see how they will affect your document.

When you are satisfied with your paragraph spacing changes, click “OK” to close the dialog box.