Thursday, October 09, 2014

Single Space +

2007+ gives you more than you ask for

This quote from The Microsoft Office Word Team's Blog explains their thinking behind making line spacing "looser" in 2007 than it was earlier.

"(A) lesson here for me is that lots of people seem to think of Word as a typewriter (remember typewriters?). There are many examples of this, in the way people construct a table of contents for their Word documents, use the TAB key to align columns, and the way they always hit ENTER twice after typing each paragraph (for those who are fans of extra space between paragraphs).

Many, many of the feedback comments on the line-spacing issue had to do with wanting "single spacing." But, of course the line spacing in the new template is single spacing. It's just that it's a little bit "more" than single spacing used to be: 1.15, instead of 1.0.

But what is 1.0? You might think that if you're using an 11-point font that line spacing of 1.0 would be 11 points. But if you lay out paragraphs that way - depending on the font you're using - the parts that stick below one line will crash into the parts that stick up from the line below. You need to allow some extra space between lines.

In a former life when I set type on a Compugraphic phototypesetting machine, the convention we used was about 20% extra space, so we'd set 10-point type on a 12-point line. Larger fonts demanded more breathing room. This was at a newspaper, so we spaced things a bit tighter than you'd expect to see in, say, a report or a brochure (or, dare I say a professional looking document).

What does single spacing really mean anyway?

How to fix it:
Default line spacing in Word 2007 differ from earlier versions of Word

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