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: Double-Spacing Your Document.

Double-Spacing Your Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 25, 2020)

4

If you are writing for a living, you already know that many publishers require a printed copy of your manuscript to be submitted double-spaced. This allows them to manually edit the manuscript prior to typesetting. (Yes, there are still some publishers who do not edit manuscripts online. Sad, but true.) As you are writing, you probably will want to keep your manuscript single-spaced so you can see more of it on the screen at a time. When you are ready to print, there is a quick way to double-space your document:

  1. Save your document.
  2. Press Ctrl+A or choose Select All from the Edit menu.
  3. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  4. Click the small icon at the bottom-right corner of the Paragraph group. Word displays the Paragraph dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Paragraph dialog box.

  6. Choose Double in the Line Spacing box.
  7. Click on OK.
  8. Print your document.N
  9. Close your document without saving.

This last step is important. If you save your document before exiting, then the double spacing will be saved with the document, as well. Upon opening the document again, you will need to follow the steps above to change the line spacing back to what it was originally.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13317) 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: Double-Spacing Your Document.

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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Comments

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What is nine more than 0?

2018-12-11 09:23:17

Danny Nicholas

At least in Word 2016, you can change the spacing back at anytime by follow your procedure and selecting single, not double


2014-11-27 13:44:34

Maarten Daams

Selecting "Multiple" for Line Spacing shows the number 3 by default, but in this place you can enter fractional numbers to adjust your spacing very precisely. For instance, if you have a document formatted at 1.5 line, and one or two lines flow over two the next page, setting the space to 1.45 or 1.4 in this box will probably fit your doc on 1 page


2014-11-24 16:53:04

Liz J

Good, fast keyboard shortcuts, Nora. Thanks.
And Allen, I must say that some editors prefer to work on paper. Yes, on-line is faster, but the eye likes to wander, and keeping one's place on a screen isn't as easy as using an index card under each line on paper. So accuracy can suffer.


2014-11-22 13:05:24

Nora A.

Even faster:
[CTRL][A] selects all, [CTRL][2] (using the numeric keys at the top of the keyboard, not the numberpad) double-spaces.
Other useful combinations:
[CTRL][1] single spaces
[CTRL][5] produces space-and-a-half
[CTRL][0] gives extra space between paragraphs.


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