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How to Double Space in Word?[Complete Guide]

Please explain how to double space in Microsoft Word. Even though it seems like a straightforward issue, the answer is not cut and dry because there are many different approaches to achieving the same goal. How to create empty space when you need it is the subject of this tutorial. What does it signify, and when should you go for two? (so to speak).

What Is Double Spacing in Word?

When you double space, you add an extra blank line between each line of text for emphasis. This procedure yields a larger and more legible document than before.

The typewriter was the first source of all written text, therefore it makes sense that it would be the origin of the extra line. In the days of the typewriter, it was used to set the line spacing at 6 dpi. A writer would skip a line to make an extra place on the page.

A good summary can be found in a line from Matt Samberg’s “Line Spacing, Explained.”

When Should You Double Space?

how to double space in word

There are a lot of benefits to using double spacing, especially when it comes to the editing process. A piece of writing that has been double-spaced is more comfortable to read and provides additional white space for the reviewer to make notes or make suggestions as they see fit (on a digital copy).

Several grammatical style guides, including the APA, Chicago Manual of Style, Modern Language Association, and others, recommend using double spacing for academic and professional writing.

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How to Double Space in Word

For Most Versions

You can use the following steps in Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, and Microsoft 365 on both desktop and mobile devices to force the software to double space all of the text:

Use the Spacing Button

  1. Go to the toolbar.
  2. Click the button with four lines and up and down arrows.
  3. Select the desired spacing option.

Use the “Design” Menu

  1. Go to the “Design” menu.
  2. Go to “Paragraph Spacing.”
  3. Click “Double.”
how to double space in word

Use “Format” Context Menu Option

  1. Highlight the text you wish to double space.
  2. Right-click the highlighted text.
  3. Click “Format” and then “Paragraph.” (This may be labeled only as “Paragraph” in some versions” of Word.)
  4. In the “Paragraph” window, go to the tab, “Indents and Spacing.”
  5. Click the drop-down menu for line spacing.
  6. Click “Double.”
  7. Click “OK.”

Use Keyboard Shortcuts

  1. Highlight your text.
  2. Use Ctrl+1 (⌘ Command+1 for Mac) to single space.
  3. Use Ctrl+2 (⌘ Command+2 for Mac) to double space.
  4. Use Ctrl+5 (⌘ Command+2 for Mac) for 1.5 spacing.

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Microsoft Office 365 (Microsoft Word 2016+)

Use “Paragraph”

  1. Go to the “Home” tab.
  2. Go to the “Paragraph” group.
  3. Click “Option.”
  4. Use the line spacing options for the desired spacing.

Microsoft Word 2007, 2010 and 2013

Use “Styles”

  1. Click the “Home” tab.
  2. Click “Styles.”
  3. Click “Normal,” or the first option.
  4. Select “modify” on the drop-down menu.
  5. Under formatting, click double space.
  6. Click OK.
how to double space in word

Here’s a hint: If you don’t want to change the formatting of a “Normal” style, you can create a new style just for double spacing.

  • Go to “Styles.”
  • Click the “More options” button.
  • Click “New Style” and name it something you’ll remember when you refer back to it and hit OK.
  • Right-click on the newly created style and select “Modify.”
  • Under formatting, click double space.
  • Click “OK.”

Use “Page Layout”

  1. Go to “Page Layout.”
  2. Click the down arrow in the bottom right corner.
  3. You’ll see this right next to the “Paragraph” window.
  4. Go to “Indents and Spacing.”
  5. Click the down arrow next to the box for line spacing.
  6. Double click OK.

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Double Spacing for Some Text

This strategy works for double-spacing specific parts of text in Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, and Microsoft 365.

Microsoft Word 2003

  1. Select the text you’re going to double space.
  2. Press Ctrl+A (or ⌘ Command+A on Mac) to select all the text..
  3. Go to “Format” and go to “Paragraph.”
  4. Click the “Line Spacing” drop-down box.
  5. Pick your desired spacing option.
  6. Click OK.
how to double space in word

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Double Spacing for a New Paragraph

This strategy works for Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, and Microsoft 365.

Use “Ctrl+Enter”

  1. Press “Enter” for a new paragraph.
  2. The default setting adds a space between the two graphs.
  3. To go to the next line and not start a new paragraph, press “Ctrl+Enter.”

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