How to Change the Default Line Spacing in Word: A Simple Guide


Michael Collins

Changing the default line spacing in Microsoft Word is a simple task that can make your documents look more polished and professional. Here’s a quick guide: Open your document, go to the "Home" tab, select the "Line and Paragraph Spacing" option, and choose your preferred spacing. It’s that easy!

How to Change the Default Line Spacing in Word

In this section, we’ll guide you through each step to change the default line spacing in Microsoft Word. By following these steps, you’ll ensure every new document automatically uses your desired line spacing.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Word

Open Microsoft Word by clicking on the Word icon on your desktop or in your start menu.

Once Word is open, you can either start with a blank document or open an existing one. This will allow you to access the line spacing settings.

Step 2: Navigate to the "Home" Tab

Click on the "Home" tab located at the top left of the screen.

The "Home" tab contains various formatting options, including the one for line spacing.

Step 3: Select "Line and Paragraph Spacing"

In the "Home" tab, locate and click on the "Line and Paragraph Spacing" button, which looks like lines with up-and-down arrows next to them.

This button opens a dropdown menu where you can customize your line spacing.

Step 4: Choose Your Preferred Line Spacing

From the dropdown menu, select your preferred line spacing, such as 1.0, 1.15, 1.5, or 2.0.

Selecting your preferred spacing will immediately apply it to the document you have open.

Step 5: Set as Default

After choosing your preferred spacing, click on "Line Spacing Options" at the bottom of the dropdown menu. In the new dialog box, click "Set as Default."

This will apply your line spacing choice to all future documents, not just the current one.

Once you’ve completed these steps, your default line spacing will be changed, and all new documents will use the new settings.

Tips for Changing the Default Line Spacing in Word

  • Always double-check your line spacing settings to ensure they meet your needs before setting them as default.
  • For academic writing, typically double line spacing (2.0) is required.
  • Business documents often look cleaner with single (1.0) or 1.15 line spacing.
  • You can always revert to default settings by following the same steps and selecting the original setting.
  • Experiment with different line spacings to see which one improves readability for your specific document type.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I change the line spacing for only one paragraph?

Highlight the paragraph, follow the same steps, but do not click "Set as Default." This will change it only for the selected paragraph.

Can I change the line spacing in Word Online?

Yes, the steps are similar. Click on the "Home" tab, find the "Line and Paragraph Spacing" button, and choose your preferred spacing.

Does changing the default affect existing documents?

No, changing the default line spacing only affects new documents created after the change.

How can I make sure the changes are saved?

Always click "Set as Default" in the Line Spacing Options dialog box to ensure changes are saved.

What if I want to use different line spacings in the same document?

Highlight the specific sections you want to change, and adjust the spacing individually without setting it as default.


  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Navigate to the "Home" tab.
  3. Select "Line and Paragraph Spacing."
  4. Choose your preferred line spacing.
  5. Set as Default.


Changing the default line spacing in Word is a straightforward task that can significantly improve the appearance of your documents. Whether you’re working on a school project, a business report, or a personal letter, setting the right line spacing can enhance readability and make your text look more professional.

If you often find yourself adjusting the spacing for every new document, setting a default can save you time and hassle. So why not give it a try? Follow the steps outlined in this guide, and you’ll have your Word documents looking just the way you want in no time. For further reading, you might explore more advanced formatting options in Word that can help you customize your documents even more.

Remember, the right formatting can make a big difference in how your document is perceived, so take a few minutes to set it up correctly. Happy formatting!