Learn how to manage the paragraph settings within your Microsoft Word Document.  Includes, line spacing, indents, spacing before and after text and more.

Transcription for: Microsoft Windows 10: Changing Default Programs

Hi, Lynette from Kits and Bits here.

In this video, we’re going to look at paragraph basics within Microsoft Word.

Most people use Word’s default paragraph settings but you can actually make quite a few changes yourself.

I prefer to implement all my paragraph settings into styles but for that, you need to watch the Styles video.

In this one, we’re just going to look at individual paragraph settings as you’re moving through a document.

So the first thing that you need to do is select your text and then you’ve got this little group of controls under the paragraph settings but you can also expand that out using the little down arrow on the bottom right-hand corner of that group, and this allows us to have a lot more control over a paragraph.

Horizontal Alignment
We’ve got the Alignment which most people are used to. You can also set that here.
So we can change it to Centered.

Indentation. You can indent entire sections of text.
So while this paragraph that I’m selecting is centered, I could also say that I want it to be 2 centimetres, in from the left and 2 centimetres in from the right.

Now that will actually move that whole section of text in from the right so that it actually has a bigger margin, just on that paragraph, than on the rest of the document.

Spacing Before and After
We also then have spacing before and after.

This is particularly useful when you’re dealing with headings and you want a bigger gap before a particular heading so that you can see the heading more clearly.

You can also do it after to control the gaps between Paragraphs rather than always having to use an additional paragraph mark. So here we’re going to change the Before to 24 pts so that that spreads out here. So there you go.

We’ve got the larger margin and we’ve also got a bigger paragraph beforehand.

So it’s giving me a bigger gap. So even if I delete that paragraph, there’s still a bigger gap here than there was here.

A couple of other things I want to show you in here.

Hanging Indent/ First Line Indent
One is the hanging or first line indent.

If I was to make a first line indent of two centimetres.this was often used a long time ago to actually start a paragraph.

This was often used a long time ago to actually start a paragraph, there as always the first line indented. That’s pretty uncommon these days.

You can also do a hanging indent which is important for bullets so when you are dealing with bullets, they will automatically indent the first line.

Generally, they will line up but if you wanted to change the bullet, you can change the hanging indent.

So I can have the hanging indent as zero and it will bring it back to below the bullet.

So you can have a play with those settings as well.

You can also just play with indents here by increasing them and I’ll just skip them over and underlines two paragraphs of text.

Line Spacing
We can also change line spacing. This is really good if you are proofreading documents, printed documents and you want to be able to write notes in between them. This is a really good setting that you can use before you print so that you’ve got lots of space to make notations in between your lines.

So that’s my short little video on paragraph basics.

There are lots of other settings that you can use but these are the ones that a majority of people don’t necessarily know about and can use more of to manage their documents.

If you like this tip you might like others that I share on my Youtube Channel so you can go there and subscribe or go to my website www.kitsandbit.com.au and sign up to my email newsletter

Okay, thanks. Seeya.

End of Transcription
N.B. This transcription has been edited for better readability, however, the general structure is the same as the video.

Do you feel comfortable using paragraph settings in Microsoft Word?

I’d love to hear from you about why/ why not.


Lynette embodies an intrinsic ability to save business owners money by delivering back the all-elusive “spare” time so they can use it to do what they love. She puts these principles into practice in her own business – Kits and Bits. Lynette is an avid genealogist and tango dancer.

Lynette Delane

Tech Translator, Kits and Bits

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