When most people want some space between paragraphs in a Word document, they simply press the Enter key a couple extra times. While that certainly does the trick, it’s a very sloppy way of formatting and can cause all sorts of formatting problems for anyone who gets stuck laying out the document later. A more precise and efficient way control the distance between paragraphs is to add space above or below the paragraphs. Here’s what you do:
- Click anywhere in the paragraph you want to add spacing above or below. To select everything, press Ctrl+A.
- Enter the Format Paragraph command:
- In Word 2007, click the Home tab and click Paragraph.
- In earlier versions of Word, click Format, Paragraph.
- Click the arrows next to the Spacing Above or Below boxes to add the desired amount of space before or after the paragraph. (I usually add 6 points below each paragraph and leave the Spacing Above setting at 0.)
- Click OK. You should now have a nice, uniform amount of space between paragraphs.
Tip: If you have a document with a bunch of extra blank paragraphs, you can get rid of all the extras by using Find and Replace (Ctrl+H) to replace ^p^p with ^p. Repeat the process several times until Word no longer finds ^p^p. You can do the same thing to remove superfluous spaces in your document. Just replace two spaces with one several times until all occurrences of two spaces are removed.