Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Making All Lines in a Paragraph the Same Height.

Making All Lines in a Paragraph the Same Height

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 11, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


If you discover that all the lines in a paragraph do not appear to be the same height, it is probably because the line spacing option you are using for the paragraph is set incorrectly. Put the insertion point within the paragraph you want to check, display the Home tab of the ribbon, and then click the small icon at the bottom-right of the Paragraph group. This displays the Paragraph dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Indents and Spacing tab of the Paragraph dialog box.

On the Indents and Spacing tab there are a number of different controls, but you want to pay attention to the Line Spacing drop-down list. Chances are good that this is set to something like Single or Multiple. This means that Word calculates what the largest letters are on the line, and then adjusts the line height (leading) to compensate for the character size. If the characters on one line are a bit larger than the characters on another line, then the lines in the paragraph appear to be spaced differently.

To overcome this potential problem, you should always use the Exactly setting for Line Spacing, and then specify a point size for the spacing. A good rule of thumb is to make the line spacing 120% of the font you are using in the paragraph. Thus, if you are using 10-point Times New Roman, then you would set line spacing at exactly 12 points.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8657) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Making All Lines in a Paragraph the Same Height.

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. ...

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