How to Change the Default Line Spacing to Single Space in Outlook 2010 or 2007

Your lines in Outlook may not be single-spaced. Here’s how to set the default line spacing to single space if that’s what you want:

  1. Go to your Inbox.
  2. Click on the New button in the upper left to start a new email.
  3. Click on the Format Text tab at the top of your screen.
  4. You’ll see the buttons are grayed out. Click in the big white box where you’d write the body of your email to activate them.
  5. Click on the dialog box in the Paragraph group. The dialog box is located in the lower right-hand corner of the group. It looks like a tiny arrow inside a square.
  6. In the section under “Spacing,” change the “Before” and “After” to zero.
  7. Change the Line Spacing to Single.
  8. Click on the Default button at the bottom of the box.
  9. Click OK in the box that pops up.
  10. Click OK to get out of the Paragraph dialog box.

Your text should be single-spaced from now on.

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Used with permission from Microsoft.

  

76 Responses

  1. Thank you for this post. I am using MS Outlook 2007 and have read over your instructions and have also found the paragraph settings that I wish to change. My problem is, every time I make the change and then click on Default button, it reverts right back to Auto. Is there something else that I should be doing besides what you have mentioned in your post? I only get the double space from people who use something other that Outlook AND only when I reply. There emails come through with a single space but when I reply it has two spaces.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. Hi Jim, I think I know what you’re describing. Maybe the following article will help you:

    http://www.slipstick.com/problems/dblspace_html.htm

  3. THANK YOU. This has been very annoying for me and now it is back to normal. Thanks again.

  4. Is there a setting somewhere for line spacing of incoming mail? I have a user that keeps getting mail, from different senders, that have the spacing to small for the font. This results in cutting of the top of the text. Opening the same users inbox from another computer displays the same email normally.

  5. Hi Jim,
    What type of email is the person using? Is it a type of webmail? Or Outlook?

  6. This is in Outlook. I believe he’s using 2007.

  7. I wish I could help you, but I couldn’t find a setting. I hope you’re able to find a solution.

  8. Could it, possibly, be something in Word? I only ask because it seems that Outlook 2007 uses Word as it’s editor.

  9. That’s a very logical thought. I think Word affects how you compose messages. However, I’d take an educated guess Word doesn’t affect incoming mail.

    • word definitely affects incoming mail since word’s rendering engine is what renders the email (instead of a normal html parser) for outlook 2007 and outlook 2010.

  10. thank you so much!! this was a big pain for a while

  11. Thank you SO much! My helpdesk could not fix this and it’s been driving me batty for about 6 months now. I checked a few sites before I came across yours and their answers were not useful, but yours solved the problem. Happy New Year! Helen

  12. You’re welcome Helen! I’m glad the instructions helped.
    Happy New Year to you too!

  13. Is there anyway to adjust the line spacing in Outlook 2010 for incoming emails? We print our emails, process them, scan, shred and the 1.15 is making a one page email into two. That doubles everyones work and kills more trees.

  14. Sorry for the late reply… Not that I know of. You can’t edit incoming emails.

  15. I have the same problem. Changing paragraph spacing settings to 0 did not correct the problem.
    The first e-mail I send keeps the single spacing once they reply my e-mail and I reply the chain of incoming and outgoing emails changes to double or triple or more spaces.

    Thanks for your help

    • Hi Tere,
      Some web email programs, such as Gmail and Yahoo, treat a normal return in Outlook like a “hard return.” If you hit Shift + Enter when you’re writing your emails instead of Enter, that should correct the problem. I know it’s a pain, but that’s the only way I know of to solve the problem. I think people with web-based email programs get accustomed to the spacing issues, although it’s certainly not ideal.

      • Dear Kara

        Thanks for your help. I change the spacing as per your instructions it did not work. I use Outlook 2007 to send and receive messages. My first e-mail goes with single space but when I receive the reply and send the second e-mail there are 2 or 4 or 6 spaces. Every time the chain grows the spaces are bigger .My signature appears with 4 spaces between lines.
        I have word as the mail manager. I tried to change the email.dotm template by first closing Outlook and then locating the template in windows explorer but it wont open. I get a message “outook is being used by another program” and actually Outlook is closed.
        Do you have an idea on how to solve the problem modifying the template or through any other means?

        Thanks again for your help

        Tere

  16. Hi Tere,
    Hmm, yeah, I don’t know the answer to your problem. However, the Outlook experts on the Microsoft forums could probably help you. They’re really good with this stuff. The link to the Outlook forum is:

    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/outlook

    Good luck, and I hope you get your problem fixed!

  17. THANK YOU!

    As simple as this was to correct, I could not find an answer on the Office Outlook web site.

  18. You’re welcome Paul! Glad I could help!

  19. A huge THANK YOU for your post, regarding default line spacing, in Outlook. This has been bugging me for weeks, I must have accidentally changed the default and could not locate the setting to change it back.

    many thanks

  20. Thanks so much, Kara, your ‘fix’ has resolved my issue and I now have single spacing in Outlook 2007. By the way, I have your address in my Address Book now so I’ll likely be in touch again.
    Again, Kara, thanks for your help and have a great day!
    Laura in Toronto

  21. Thanks for this post! Helped me resolve a long-standing support case. :)

  22. Hi Kara,
    Thanks for the info on how to Change the Default Line Spacing to Single Space in Outlook 2007.

    So now: When using Excell 2007 I go >Options> Formulas>Enable Iterative Calcs.
    However I have to do this each time I use Excell.
    Is there some way to make this the default?
    Regards
    Solly,
    Denver

  23. Hi

    I have the following:

    ** Problem Description **
    Two Problems on Office 2007:
    1- When I press enter on the place where we write emails, the cursor moves down like if I hit double ‘Enter’.
    2- When I prepare the format of the email and send that email to anyone (I tried to send it to myself), the received email has a lot of spaces and seems to be corrupted, somehow …

    ** What I have done for the issue to come up **
    -I have selected text > Right Click > Paragraph > Indents and Spacing > on that page, I have pressed on ‘Default’ > I got:
    “You are about to change the alignment, indentation and spacing of the paragraphs in this document. Do you want this change to affect all new documents based on the NORMAL Template”.

    and from that very moment, I am not able to revert back !!

    Could you please let me know how can I revert back to previous conditions?

    B.Regards
    Mahmoud Ashoor

  24. Hi Mahmoud,

    Are you sending your emails to a web-based email program? HTML programs, such as Gmail and Yahoo!, read hard returns differently. Try hitting Shift + Enter instead of just Enter between paragraphs, and see what happens. I know doing that every time can be a pain, but I sometimes use Shift + Enter if I know the recipient has web-based email.

    As far as reverting back, do you remember what your settings were previously? If not, maybe you could try following the above blog post again, and see what happens. At least that will change the line spacing to single.

    I hope I was able to help you somewhat.

    Kara

  25. the best help i have ever received on the web..even a dummy like me could follow you step by step and precise directions

  26. Best help site I’ve found–succinct and well-written with instructions that are easily followed. You avoid making the assumption that your students “think” in the terms that you employ. Instead, you lead them to the solution. Thanks.

    –Mark

  27. Thanks for this, solved my problem. I had hit the default button earlier in the day assuming it would ‘apply defaults’, not ‘make default’. Uffda.

  28. Great Eric. Glad you figured it out.
    Kara

  29. Thanks for the double spacing fix back to no spacing.
    I very much appreciate it and have sent your link to others with the same problem.
    John

  30. Thanks. That really helped me :)

  31. Thank you so much. I could have looked for ages.
    All the best,
    Yaniv

  32. I have tried your solution numerous times and it continues to revert back to the more problematic formatting each time. Your link you offered to another who said theirs too reverted back seemed a bit complicated, changing the actual normal.dot template and so forth. Is there a simpler solution? Could it be that our Outlook programs are corrupted or…?

    • You know, I’m not sure what the issue could be. The solution has worked for so many people. I think your question is beyond my scope of knowledge. I hope you’re able to find an answer it.

  33. Thanks you so MUCH !!! This was driving me crazy and I could not figure it out, Now my headache is gone, haha !!

  34. THANK YOU! THIS WAS SO HELPFUL.

  35. OMG THANKS! I can’t tell you how annoying this has been for the past two weeks!

    Super, super helpful!

  36. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. I’m pretty good at office programs, but this one thing I could NOT fix, and even hunting on line I couldn’t find an answer until I found your post. It worked!! I’m really grateful.

  37. Hi,Iam using win 7…and all of sudden last week my outlook settings changed from single space to double.Your post really helped me.I cant tell you how annoying this was for me from last week although I am good at microsoft offie but could not fix this permanently. I am really grateful your solution DID WORK!

  38. That’s what i need… :)

    It worked perfectly… Thanks a ton

  39. thanks for the post. not able to donate from my pocket right now. but in future will do so.

  40. Kara

    I was editing my signature to change Hard Returns to Line Breaks and used CTRL+SHIFT+8 to show all formatting characters to ensure I got them all.

    THEN when I create a new message, there appear TWO Hard Returns at the Beginning of my signature and TWO at the END that are NOT in my Signature ….

    any Idea what is causing these to be ADDED?

    • Hi Doug,
      Have you tried using Shift+Enter when you go to type a new line in your signature instead of just Enter? That should give you a soft break instead of a hard one.
      Kara

      • my signature only has Shift+Enter and no hard returns. The Two hard returns are ADDED when I begin a new email.

      • Hmm… then I’m not sure what’s wrong. Sorry I can’t help you!

  41. Thanks Kara, It solved my issue in outlook 2010.

  42. Thank you….life is back to normal with 2010 !!

  43. This was the most helpful post I have encountered when dealing with a problem – thanks for the clarity and for not leaving out any steps:-)

  44. HI, Kara…

    I have a slightly different issue. We have Outlook 2007 at work. We have one user that is reporting that when she prints out her emails, they print out like there is a word wrap, but each following line gets shorter and shorter. The message appears fine on the screen. I’ve looked at all the settings I could possibly find in both Outlook and MS Word (2007), but I can’t figure it out. I’m thinking of just recreating her Outlook profile. Any suggestions before I do that?

    Thank you so much!

    Maria

    • Hi Maria,

      You might actually want to check the print settings in her Internet Explorer browser. I’m not sure what version of IE you have. However, in IE 10 you get to the settings like this:

      1. Click on the cog wheel in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.
      2. Click on Print in the top of the menu that pops up.
      3. Click on Page Setup in the next menu.

      Please let me know if that helps.
      Kara

  45. Thank you very much that was really helpful

  46. Thanks! Very helpful

  47. Thank you so much Kara. This was so annoying and I searched everything for an answer. Finally I came across your site and your solution works.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  48. Thanks a lot for this post.
    It really helped me out a lot.

  49. Thank you very much Kara. Clean and clear – it works. Great described by you!

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