Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Understanding Point Sizes.

Understanding Point Sizes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 1, 2017)

1

A point is a typographical term for a unit of measure. It is equivalent to 1/72 of an inch. Points are understood and used extensively by everyone in the publishing trade, particularly in design, typesetting, and printing. They are most commonly used with type specifications. Word uses point sizes to specify the height of all the fonts it uses. Thus, when you use a 12-point type, you are using one that occupies a character box approximately 12/72 (or 1/6) of an inch high from the top of the highest riser, to the bottom of the lowest descender. Likewise, 72-point type uses a character box that is about one inch tall.

In typesetting, points are also the measurement of choice when specifying line leading (as discussed in the next tip). It is not uncommon to specify type in the format 10/12, meaning 10-point type on 12-point line leading.

If you are familiar with points, you can use them as a standard measurement in Word. When entering a measurement in points, simply use the characters pt at the end of the measurement. Alternately, you can set your default measurement to points by following these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and Word 2013 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Select the Advanced option at the left of the dialog box.
  3. Scroll down until you can see the Display section. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The advanced options of the Word Options dialog box.

  5. Use the Show Measurements in Units drop-down list to choose Points.
  6. Click OK to save the change.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8797) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Understanding Point Sizes.

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

Understanding the Select Case Structure

Programming structures are an important tool used by any programmer. The VBA language used by Word's macros includes several ...

Discover More

Saving in a Macro Using a Desired File Name

Need to save a new document, from within a macro, to a specific file name? If you use the Record Macro capabilities of Word, ...

Discover More

Averaging without Hidden Cells

Grabbing an average of a range of cells is easy using Excel functions. If you want that average to ignore hidden cells when ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Automatic AutoCorrect Exceptions for Beginning Sentences

When automatically capitalizing the beginning of sentences, Word relies on how you historically have done your typing. This ...

Discover More

Precise Ruler Adjustments

When adjusting the position of things on the ruler (like tab stops), you can use the Alt key to get very precise in your ...

Discover More

Sign-in Sheets

Printed sign-in sheets are a staple at many meetings and seminars. Word can create them lickety-split just by using a few ...

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 4 - 2?

2017-07-06 06:32:14

Amith

I am designing some labels stickers in MS word. In word 1 inch = 72 points, but in my label it should be 1 inch = 100 points.

I am using a formula to convert which is: MS Word Point = (Given Point x 72) / 100

So for suppose i need to print a text with 8 points(given) the MS word point would be "5.76" , but MS word does not allow 5.76.

Is there any setup with which 5.76 is allowed in MS word ?? OR can we setup 1 inch =100 points in MS word???


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.