This tutorial shows how to adjust line spacing in PDFs with Adobe Acrobat. Adjusting line spacing in Adobe Acrobat is different than in other word processing software, such as Microsoft Word and Google Docs, because text doesn’t automatically flow from page to page within PDFs.
Instead, you have to adjust the line spacing within the individual text boxes. As such, this process is only recommended for short documents.
If you need to adjust line spacing in a long PDF, strongly consider converting it to a Word document, adjusting the line spacing within Word, and then converting it back to a PDF.
This tutorial is also available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than fifty other videos about Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat on my YouTube channel.
The images below are from Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. The steps are the same in Adobe Acrobat Standard DC, Adobe Acrobat 2020, and Adobe Acrobat 2017.
Adobe’s free PDF software, Acrobat Reader, does not offer the ability to adjust line spacing.
How to Adjust Line Spacing in PDFs
The following steps are for adjusting line spacing within a text box on a single page. If the text expands beyond the page, it will disappear. If your text disappears, copy the excess text into text boxes on additional pages before adjusting the line spacing.
See the Pro Tip below if your text boxes overlap after adjusting the line spacing.
- Select the Tools tab.
- Select Edit PDF in the Tools Center.
- Select Edit in the Edit PDF toolbar. (This option may already be selected.)
- Select the text within a single text box.
- Select the arrow in the Line Spacing menu in the Format pane and choose a new number from the drop-down menu. The numbers are based on the size of your current font.
Alternatively, you can enter a specific number into the Line Spacing menu.
- (Optional Step) Select the arrow in the Paragraph Spacing After menu and choose a new number from the drop-down menu to add or reduce space after individual paragraphs.
Alternatively, you can enter a specific number into the Paragraph Spacing After menu.
Your new line spacing should appear immediately.
Pro Tip: Move Overlapping Text Boxes
The text box containing the text you are adjusting will lengthen to accommodate an increase in line spacing. However, the text boxes below won’t move.
If an overlap occurs, you can select one of the text boxes, hover your cursor over the border until it becomes a movement (crossed arrow) cursor, and then drag the selected text box to a different location.