How to Change the Default Line Spacing in Word 2010 to Double

Changing the default line spacing in Word 2010 to double spacing may seem like a daunting task, but it’s quite simple. All you need to do is access the Paragraph settings in the Word ribbon and adjust the spacing options. With a few clicks, you’ll have your document looking exactly the way you want it.

Step by Step Tutorial: Changing Default Line Spacing in Word 2010

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand what we’re trying to achieve. Adjusting the line spacing to double will make your document easier to read and edit, especially if you’re working on a lengthy piece of writing. Double spacing is often used in academic settings to allow room for annotations or comments.

Step 1: Open the Paragraph Dialog Box

Begin by opening the Word document you wish to adjust the line spacing for and select the Home tab.

The Home tab is where you’ll find most of the formatting options for your Word document. It’s your go-to for changing the appearance of your text.

Step 2: Click on the Line and Paragraph Spacing Button

Within the Paragraph group, you’ll find an icon that looks like two up and down arrows with lines next to them. Click on this button.

This button gives you a quick access to some of the most commonly used spacing options, including double spacing.

Step 3: Select ‘Line Spacing Options’ from the Dropdown Menu

After clicking the Line and Paragraph Spacing button, a dropdown menu will appear. From this menu, select ‘Line Spacing Options.’

The ‘Line Spacing Options’ is where you can customize the spacing to your preference, beyond just the default options.

Step 4: Under ‘Spacing,’ Choose ‘Double’ from the Line Spacing Dropdown

In the Paragraph dialog box that appears, look for the ‘Spacing’ section. There, you’ll find a dropdown menu for Line Spacing. Select ‘Double’ from this menu.

By selecting ‘Double,’ you’re telling Word to make the space between lines twice as large as the default single spacing.

Step 5: Click OK to Apply the Changes

Once you’ve selected ‘Double’ spacing, click the OK button at the bottom of the Paragraph dialog box to apply the changes to your document.

Clicking OK will close the dialog box and your document will now reflect the new double spacing setting.

After completing these steps, you’ll notice that the text in your document is now spaced out more, making it easier to read and mark up. This setting will also be saved as the default for any new documents you create, until you change it again.

Tips for Changing Default Line Spacing in Word 2010

  • Always make sure you’re in the Home tab to access the necessary formatting options.
  • If you only want to change the spacing for a portion of your document, highlight the specific text before opening the Paragraph dialog box.
  • Double spacing can make your document appear longer, so keep this in mind if you have a page limit.
  • Remember that changing the default setting will apply to future documents unless you change it back or specify different settings.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl + 2) to quickly apply double spacing to selected text.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is double spacing the same as setting the line spacing to 2.0?

Yes, when you select ‘Double’ from the line spacing options, it sets the line spacing to 2.0, which means the space between lines will be twice the size of your font.

Can I set a custom line spacing value?

Absolutely, in the Paragraph dialog box, you can type in a specific value under ‘At:’ to set custom line spacing.

Will changing the default line spacing affect existing documents?

Changing the default line spacing will not affect documents that are already created and saved. It only applies to new documents you create after the change.

Can I change the default line spacing for just one document?

Sure, you can change the line spacing for a single document by adjusting the settings without setting it as the default. Just don’t click the ‘Set As Default’ button in the Paragraph dialog box.

What if I want to go back to single spacing?

To revert to single spacing, simply follow the same steps and choose ‘Single’ from the line spacing dropdown menu.


  1. Open the Paragraph Dialog Box
  2. Click on the Line and Paragraph Spacing Button
  3. Select ‘Line Spacing Options’ from the Dropdown Menu
  4. Choose ‘Double’ from the Line Spacing Dropdown
  5. Click OK to Apply the Changes


Mastering how to change the default line spacing in Word 2010 to double spacing is a skill that will serve you well, whether you’re a student, professional, or casual Word user. It’s one of those little tweaks that can significantly enhance the readability and professionalism of your documents. By following the simple steps outlined in this guide, you can make the changes swiftly and ensure that your future documents meet the formatting standards you desire. Remember, the default settings in Word are just a starting point. You have the power to customize your documents to suit your specific needs and preferences. So go ahead, give double spacing a try, and see how it transforms your Word documents.

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