How to Expand Character Spacing in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Expanding character spacing in Word is a breeze once you know where to look. Whether you’re looking to create a specific look for a document or just trying to make text more readable, adjusting character spacing is a simple process. After reading this quick overview, you’ll be able to tweak the spacing between characters with ease.

Step by Step Tutorial: Expanding Character Spacing in Word

Before diving into the nitty-gritty steps, let’s understand what we’re aiming for. Expanding character spacing can make a document look more polished and professional. It’s a small change that can make a big impact on the readability and appearance of your text.

Step 1: Select the text you want to adjust

Click and drag your cursor over the text you want to change.

Selecting the text is the first step because Word needs to know which part of your document you want to modify. Make sure you’ve highlighted all the text you want to adjust, including any spaces.

Step 2: Open the Font dialog box

Right-click on the selected text and choose ‘Font’ from the context menu, or go to the Home tab, click on the small arrow icon in the bottom-right corner of the Font group.

This is where all the magic happens. The Font dialog box is where you can customize your text to your heart’s content, including the character spacing.

Step 3: Adjust the character spacing

In the Font dialog box, go to the ‘Advanced’ tab, then under ‘Spacing’, click on the drop-down menu and select ‘Expanded.’ Set your desired amount and click ‘OK.’

You’ll notice other options like ‘Condensed’ or ‘Normal’ but since we’re expanding, ‘Expanded’ is the way to go. Play around with the amount until you find the perfect spacing for your document.

After completing these steps, you’ll see that the character spacing of your selected text has expanded. The change will be visible immediately, and you can always go back and adjust it further if needed.

Tips for Expanding Character Spacing in Word

  • Always preview your changes before finalizing them. This will give you an idea of how the text will look and if further adjustments are necessary.
  • Consider the purpose of your document. More formal documents might benefit from slightly expanded spacing, while for casual use, the default settings might be just fine.
  • Remember that too much spacing can make text difficult to read. Aim for a balance that enhances readability without stretching the text too far apart.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts to speed up the process. After selecting your text, press Ctrl + D to open the Font dialog box quickly.
  • Don’t forget that character spacing is just one aspect of text formatting. Pair your changes with other formatting options, such as font style and size, for a cohesive look.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I reset character spacing to the default settings?

Go back into the Font dialog box, choose ‘Normal’ under ‘Spacing’, and set the amount to 0.

Can I apply character spacing to a whole document at once?

Yes, press Ctrl + A to select all text in your document, then follow the same steps to adjust the spacing.

Will expanding character spacing affect my document’s layout?

It might, depending on how much you expand the spacing. Keep an eye on pagination and text alignment.

Is there a limit to how much I can expand character spacing?

Word allows quite a bit of flexibility, but extreme amounts can make text unreadable. Use your best judgment.

Can character spacing be saved in a template?

Absolutely! Once you’ve set your desired spacing, you can save the document as a template for future use.


  1. Select the text you want to adjust.
  2. Open the Font dialog box.
  3. Adjust the character spacing.


Expanding character spacing in Word can seem like a small detail, but it’s these small details that can elevate your documents from good to great. It’s an excellent way to tailor your text to fit the tone and style you’re aiming for. Plus, it can significantly impact the readability and overall aesthetic of your documents. Remember to use this feature wisely; too much spacing can be just as detrimental as not enough. But with a little practice and an eye for design, you’ll be a pro at adjusting character spacing in no time. Keep experimenting, and don’t be afraid to try different settings to find what works best for your needs. And there you have it, a straightforward guide on how to expand character spacing in Word. Now go forth and make those documents shine!

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