How to Double Space in Word - All The Methods Explained

Velina Nenova
Velina Nenova

Updated · Sep 13, 2022

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If you want your presentation to look super-neat, you should double-space it. It looks longer, but it’s also easier to read and more professional.

Don’t worry if you don’t know how to double space in Word. You can apply this format when you’re finished or at any time during the writing process.

Read on for a thorough guide with detailed steps for newer versions of Word and Microsoft Office 2007-2010.

But, first things first:

What is Double Space in Word?

Spacing is setting the distance between lines within paragraphs. Double spacing in Word refers to adding blank space between every row of text as wide as a full line between the different paragraphs.

As a result, you get a Word document that is doubled in size and easy to read. Teachers and editors prefer it because it leaves plenty of room for comments

When Should You Use Double-Spacing?

The main purpose of double-spacing is to improve text readability. Editors especially like double-spaced work because there is space for written suggestions (if it’s an actual paper document). It’s also easier to add comments on a digital document. 

Teachers read or skim a considerable amount of text. If the lines of the document are crammed, it’s more difficult to go through it. That’s why most universities favor double-spacing. Some of the writing styles that prefer double-spaced papers are: 

  • APA
  • Chicago/Turabian
  • MLA

And, if you are planning to write a book, the standard is to double-space your novel. That said, you first need to check with the editor as requirements may vary. 

How to Double Space in Word?

Now that you know why many prefer double-spacing their text, let’s see how to do it.

Here are the various available double-spacing options:

Most Microsoft Word Versions

There are a few ways to double space your paragraphs or the whole text. You can apply the following methods in desktop and mobile versions of Microsoft Word from 2007 onwards, as well as Microsoft 365:

Use Line Spacing Button

This is a fairly easy option because it is a basic command on the Home tab of the Word Ribbon. Here are the steps:

  1. Select the text you wish to double-space.
  2. Go to the Home tab.
  3. Go to Line and Paragraph Spacing (the button with four lines and arrows pointing up and down).
  4. Click on the drop tag.
  5. There are different choices but you should pick 2.0 from the drop-down list for double-spacing.

picking 2.0 from the drop-down list

Use the Design Menu

This option has one drawback. It double-spaces the whole text and paragraphs. You can’t select only a part of it.

You can find the Design tab at the top toolbar in Microsoft Word's newer versions.  

  1. Open the Word document you want to double-space. 
  2. Go to the Design tab in the main menu
  3. Under Document Formatting, click on the drop-down list in Paragraph Spacing.
  4. Select Double.

Selecting the Double option from the menu

Use Text Context Menu (Right-Click Options)

If you are comfortable with using the right-click options, then this is the right method for you to apply double line spacing in Word:

  1. First, select the text you want to apply the double space to.
  2. Right-click on the selected text.
  3. Select Format and then Paragraph (some Word versions label it Paragraph only).
  4. In the Paragraph dialog box that will open next, go to the Indents and Spacing tab.
  5. Open the Line Spacing drop-down menu.
  6. Select Double.
  7. Finally, press OK, and your document is double spaced in Word!

The double spaced option in Word selected

Microsoft Office 2007, 2010, and 2013

Microsoft Word 2007-2013 double space options can be slightly different from the newer versions.

Use Styles Toolkit

Every new blank document starts out using the Normal style with default paragraphs and character formatting. You can modify the line spacing within this style and change the whole document.

This is how you can do it:

1. Ensure that you are on the Home tab.

2. In the Style group on the Ribbon, go to Normal Style which is the first option.

3. Right-click on it. 

4. Select Modify and a dialogue box will appear.

Selecting Modify from the drop-down menu

5. Click on Format in the bottom right corner of the box. 

6. Select Paragraph from the drop-down list.  

Selecting Paragraph from the drop-down list

7. A new dialogue box will appear. Go to Indents and Spacing

8. From the Line Spacing drow-down menu, choose Double.

9. Click the OK button twice.

If you don’t want to change the formatting of the Normal style (since it affects other styles based on it), you can create your own style just for double spacing in Word.

Follow these steps:

1. Go to Styles.

2. Select the More Options button. It’s the one in the lower-right corner of the Styles group. It’s the small down-pointing arrow.

3. Click on the New Style icon in the left corner and give it a recognizable name (Double-Spacing Style for instance) and press OK.

New Style icon open

4. Right-click on the newly created style and pick Modify again.

5. In the Formatting section, click on the Double Space icon. It’s the seventh icon from the left in the middle section of the dialogue box.

6. The explanation beneath the text sample should read Line spacing: Double.

7. If everything looks right, click the OK button to confirm the changes.

Double Space icon in the Spacing menu

Use Page Layout

There is another Word double space option from the Ribbon that’s worth mentioning.

  1. Highlight your text.
  2. Go to the Page Layout tab
  3. Click the ‘Down’ arrow in the bottom right corner. 
  4. Next, go to Indents and Spacing.
  5. Click on the Line Spacing drop-down menu.
  6. Select Double.

Selecting Double spacing from the Menu

  1. Click OK.

Other Alternatives

Use Keyboard Shortcuts

When you are in a hurry, double space in Microsoft Word can be done using key combinations on the keyboard. These shortcuts are very handy if you need instant formatting.

  1. Select the paragraph or the whole text (Use Ctrl+A or ⌘Command+A for Mac).
  2. Press Ctrl+1 (⌘ Command+1 for Mac) for single space.
  3. Press Ctrl+2 (⌘ Command+2 for Mac) for double space.
  4. Press Ctrl+5 (⌘ Command+5 for Mac) for 1.5 spacing.

Use Mini Toolbar

The Mini Toolbar is available in versions older than 2007. However, the extra option for double-spacing is not present in all Word versions.

But if you are using Microsoft 2019, 2021, and Microsoft 365, here’s what you can do:

  1. The Mini Toolbar pops up after you’ve selected a text.
  2. It’s fainter at first but if you hover your mouse over it, the commands come into focus.
  3. From the Line and Paragraph Spacing menu, select 2.0 for double-spacing.

Line and Paragraph Spacing menu open

Format Option

This option is available in most Microsoft Word versions. However, it’s easiest to find in Word 2003 because it is right on the menu bar. In Microsoft 2007, 2010, 2016, 2019, and 365 it is harder to find. There is no Format tab but all the items from the drop-down menu are placed in different groups on the Ribbon.

If you want to have a document double spaced in Word and you’re using Microsoft Word 2003, 2007, 2010, or 2013, follow these steps:

Microsoft Word 2003

  1. Highlight the text you’re going to double-space.
  2. Go to the Format tab, then to Paragraph.
  3. Press the Line Spacing drop-down box.
  4. Select Double.
  5. Finish by clicking OK.

Microsoft Word 2007/2010/2013 (if you have Classic Menu for Office)

  1. Select the text (Ctrl+A for the whole text) you want to be double-spaced.
  2. Go to the Menus tab at the far right of the Ribbon. 
  3. Click on the Format drop-down box. 
  4. Select Paragraph and the dialogue window will open.
  5. Click on the Line Spacing drop-down box.
  6. Pick Double.
  7. Click OK.

Wrap up

Now you know what double spaced format is and the tricks and tips for applying it to your text. This useful function of MS Word will take only a minute of your time.

So, next time you need a professional and readable layout for your presentation, remember the above options

FAQ.


Is 1.5 spacing double spacing?

No, but 1.5 spacing is one of the three most commonly used spacings — together with 2.0 double-spacing and 1.0 single spacing. Depending on the font and size, 1.5 spacing may enhance readability as well.

What is the shortcut to double spacing?

You can instantly format paragraph spacing with only a couple of keystrokes. After selecting the text in question, press Ctrl+2 for double space.

Where do I find the option to double space in Word?

How to double space in Word depends on the version of Microsoft Word you are currently using. There are various options to do the same thing. In most Word editions you’ll find the icon with four lines and two arrows pointing up and down in the Ribbon. Click on it and choose 2.0 for double-spacing. This method is the basic one. There are other advanced options, such as using the Paragraph dialogue box or the right-click option.

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Velina Nenova

Velina Nenova

Velina describes herself as passionate media savvy and a versatile individual with numerous different interests, most a result of her Media & Communications BA. She has also developed a keen interest in Digital Marketing and Advertising. Her never-ending desire to constantly learn new things and enrich herself and her ultimate dream to go around the globe before 45 are her driving forces.

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