Letters Bunched Up at the Left of the Page

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 25, 2018)

Something seems very odd with Skip's Word documents. When he creates a new document and starts typing, all of the characters he types are at the left margin, jumbled on top of each other. (Sort of like they are "piled up" in a single character space.) If he clicks one of the paragraph alignment tools (such as Right or Center), then the paragraph will behave properly. Skip is at a loss as to what is causing this problem and how he can fix it.

This is very odd, indeed. There are, however, a few things you can check. First, it is possible that your Normal template is corrupted or on the verge of being corrupted. The easiest way to check if this is the case is to get out of Word and use the search capabilities to find the Normal template (it will be named something like Normal.dotx or Normal.dotm) and rename it to something else, such as OldNormal. When you restart Word, the program will not be able to find the template, so anything in that template won't be applied to the new document. If the problem doesn't occur, you know that the issue is with the Normal template.

If that doesn't fix the issue, then you may want to check to see if the paragraph has some weird setting in play, such as being set to a right-to-left language (Hebrew, Arabic, etc.) for proofing. You might also display the Paragraph dialog box and check the settings to see if the margins are extremely wide.

Finally, it is possible that there is a problem with whatever font is being used for the paragraph. If the font file is messed up (perhaps it has its horizontal spacing corrupted), then you could get all sorts of weird effects. You can check this by simply selecting the paragraph and applying a different font to the text. If it spaces out normally, that is a strong indicator that it may be a font issue. Apply the original font back to the paragraph's text, and if the letters again bunch up, then that cinches it as a font issue.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (953) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Correctly Repeated Words

There are times when you need to repeat a word in a document, but doing so triggers an "error reaction" from Word's ...

Discover More

Can't Merge Alphanumeric Data Correctly

When you merge data from Excel into a Word document, you may need to do some conditional processing based on the data you ...

Discover More

Using More CPU Power when Calculating

Today's PCs are more powerful than ever, but you can still have slowdowns when it comes to calculating large workbooks. ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Protecting Hidden Text

Formatting some of your text as hidden can be a great help when you need to keep some things from being viewed or ...

Discover More

Creating Thin Spaces

Thin spaces are a typographic device that allows you add a bit of space between elements of a document. There are no thin ...

Discover More

Changing the Height of a Font

Scaling the width of a font is easy to do with Word's formatting capabilities. Scaling the height of the fonts is not so ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 - 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.