Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Inserting Special Spaces.

Inserting Special Spaces

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 16, 2020)

3

In other WordTips you learned different ways you can insert em spaces and en spaces in your documents. (These types of spaces are used for typographical purposes to insert wider-than-normal white space in a line of text.) You learned how you can use the numeric keypad, as well as use the Symbol dialog box.

If you use special spaces quite frequently, you may find it bothersome to continually use these two common methods of inserting the characters. Thus, you may have resorted to inserting them once and then using copy and paste to place them in other places. There is an even easier way, however—simply add tools to your toolbar to easily insert em spaces and en spaces with a single click. Follow these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or a later version, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left of the dialog box click Customize (Word 2007) or Quick Access Toolbar (later versions of Word). (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Quick Access Toolbar area of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. In the Choose Commands From drop-down list, choose Commands Not In the Ribbon.
  5. In the Commands list, select Insert Em Space and click Add.
  6. In the Commands list, select Insert En Space and click Add.
  7. Click on Close.

Now, just click on the new tools to insert the em or en spaces you need.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13191) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Inserting Special Spaces.

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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What is six more than 2?

2018-09-11 04:03:35

Ken Endacott

Two other special space characters are the Unicode characters “narrow space” and “medium space”. To enter the characters in Word 2010 or later, type in 202F then ALT+X for narrow space and 205F then ALT + X for medium space. Not all fonts support these characters in which case they will display as a small hollow rectangle.

These special spaces don’t have much application in Word but are used in text in internet screens and some publishing packages. They can creep into word documents for example in text pasted from one of these sources. Unlike other space characters they don’t show as a formatting mark and can be difficult to find. You can search for them in Find & Replace but just to be perverse you must use their decimal values, not their hex values as above. Thus to find narrow space use ^u8239 and for medium space ^u8287.


2018-09-10 19:52:57

Faye

Thank you so much for providing this information. It was just what I needed.


2017-06-22 08:28:16

Rebecca du Plessis

Thank you so much for this tip, which will save me a huge amount of time!


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