In my last Microsoft Word tutorial, we adjusted the space between letters. Today, we’re going to adjust the space between words in Microsoft Word without altering the letter spacing.
A Word of Caution: You may be tempted to increase the space between words by adding multiple spaces. I strongly advise against this practice because adding unnecessary spaces (rather than making individual spaces bigger, as shown in this tutorial) can disturb other formatting in your document.
This tutorial is available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than 200 other writing-related software tutorials on my YouTube channel.
The images below are from Word for Microsoft 365. These steps will also work in Word 2021, Word 2019, Word 2016, and Word 2013.
How to Adjust the Space between Words
- Select the Home tab in the ribbon.
- (Optional) Select the Show/Hide button in the Paragraph group to reveal your document’s formatting.
- Select the part of the text you want to change. (Pro Tip: Press Ctrl + A to select the entire document.)
- Take note of your current font size in the Font Size menu. The default space between words is based on your current font size.
- Select the Replace button in the Editing group to open the Find and Replace dialog box.
- Place your cursor in the Find what text box and then press your spacebar once to create one space.
- Place your cursor in the Replace with text box and then press your spacebar once to create one space.
- Select the More button to expand the dialog box. (Disregard this step if your dialog box is already expanded.)
- Select the Format button.
- Select Font in the Format menu.
- Select a larger or smaller font size in the Size menu in the Replace Font dialog box. Alternatively, you can type a specific size into the text box at the top of the menu.
- Select the OK button.
- Select the Replace All button.
- A dialog box will report the number of replacements.
- Select Yes if you want to expand the replacements to your whole document.
- Select No if you only want the replacements in the text you selected in step 3.
- Select the Close button.
The spacing between words should now be changed in your selected text.
- (Optional) Reselect the Show/Hide button to hide your formatting (see figure 2).
Updated February 16, 2023