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Word – Adjusting the default spacing between paragraphs

Many new users of Word 2010 and 2013 have found the default paragraph spacing in new documents rather perplexing.

This is because, by default, Word places 10pt spacing after each paragraph.

Traditionally when the ENTER key was pressed the insertion point was moved directly to the paragraph below with no spacing in between.

In Word 2010 and 2013 we are now given a huge gap between paragraphs and in most instances the gap is not welcome.


Here’s how you can adjust the paragraph spacing so that the gap disappears:

  1. In Word on the Home tab click the dialog box launcher arrow in the right corner of the Paragraph group.
  2. The Paragraph dialog box will be displayed.
  3. From the Spacing options in the After box set the value back to 0pt.  You can also set the Line spacing option back to single.
  4. Select one of the options following options
    a) if you only want to change the paragraph spacing for this document click OK.
    b) if you would like to apply this new paragraph spacing setting to all new documents you create from now on click Set As Default.
  5. Select the option All documents based on the Normal.dotm template.
  6. Click OK and then OK again.

Each time ENTER is pressed there will be no spacing placed between the paragraphs.

In the video tutorial below I demonstrate the whole process, step-by-step in Word 2010.  The steps are exactly the same for Word 2013 and 2016 as well.

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