This tutorial shows how to adjust letter spacing in Microsoft Word. Although the default spacing between letters is appropriate for most projects, you may want to increase or decrease the spacing for style reasons or due to space limitations.
This tutorial is also available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than 100 other writing-related software tutorials on my YouTube channel.
The images below are from Word for Microsoft 365. These steps also apply to Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, and Word for Mac.
How to Adjust Letter Spacing
- Select the text you want to adjust. (If your document doesn’t have any content, place your cursor where you want the adjusted letter spacing to begin.)
Pro Tip: To select the entire document, PC users can press Ctrl + A and Mac users can press Command + A.
- Right-click (or Mac users can Control-click) and then select Font from the shortcut menu to open the Font dialog box.
Pro Tip: Use the Font Dialog Box Launcher (PC Only)
PC users can also open the Font dialog box by selecting the dialog box launcher in the Font group in the Home tab.
- Select the Advanced tab in the Font dialog box.
- Select Expanded to increase the spacing or Condensed to reduce the spacing in the Spacing menu.
- Use the increment arrows in the By menu to adjust the spacing, which is measured in points. (A point equals 1/72 of an inch.) Alternatively, you can type an amount into the text box.
- Review the Preview box to ensure that your new spacing looks appropriate.
Pro Tip: Carefully Consider Kerning
Kerning adjusts the spacing between certain pairs of letters but not all letters. As such, it can produce unexpected results and may even slow down your computer. Therefore, you should avoid selecting the Kerning for fonts option unless you have a specific reason to do so.
- Select the OK button.
The letter spacing for your selected text should now be adjusted.
You may need to experiment to find a letter spacing that compliments your font style, font size, font color, and text density. If your results are not satisfactory, remember that you can always undo your last action by pressing Ctrl + Z on a PC or Command + Z on a Mac.
Updated September 12, 2021