How to Change Line Spacing in Google Docs

772073 How to Change Line Spacing in Google Docs

Line spacing refers to the amount of vertical space between lines of text in a document. Adjusting line spacing is an important formatting technique in Google Docs to enhance readability and visual appeal.

When to Adjust Line Spacing

There are several situations where you may want to modify line spacing in Google Docs:

  • Meet specific formatting guidelines or requirements for academic papers, business reports, etc. Double spacing is commonly required.
  • Improve readability of dense text by increasing line spacing. Wider spacing makes text less crowded.
  • Fit more lines on a printed page by reducing line spacing. Narrower spacing fits more content.
  • Highlight specific text, like block quotes, by increasing line spacing to set it apart.
  • Enhance visual formatting for brochures, posters, newsletters by customizing line spacing.

Access Line Spacing Options

To access line spacing settings in Google Docs:

  • On desktop: Click the Line & paragraph spacing option in the toolbar or go to Format > Line & paragraph spacing in the menu.
  • On mobile: Tap the vertical icon to access formatting options, then choose Line & paragraph spacing.

Standard Line Spacing Options

Google Docs provides several standard line spacing options:

  • Single – Default option with standard spacing between lines
  • 1.15 – Slightly larger spacing than single
  • 1.5 – One-and-a-half times larger line spacing
  • Double – Twice as large as single spacing

line spacing options

These options are useful for quickly adjusting line height on the fly.

Custom Line Spacing

For precise control, use the Custom spacing option to set specific spacing:

  • Enter desired values in Lines field
  • Can also adjust Before paragraph and After paragraph spacing

Custom spacing allows fine-tuned control for specialized formatting needs.

Set as Default

To save custom line spacing as the default for new Google Docs:

  1. Apply desired custom spacing
  2. Go to Format > Styles > Options
  3. Click Save as my default styles

Keyboard Shortcuts

Handy keyboard shortcuts for quick access:

  • Single spacing: CTRL/CMD + 1
  • 1.5 spacing: CTRL/CMD + 5
  • Double spacing: CTRL/CMD + 2

Best Practices

Follow these best practices when adjusting line spacing:

  • Use consistent spacing within sections
  • Increase spacing for improved readability
  • Reduce spacing to fit more text when needed
  • Set spacing appropriate for intended output (web, print, etc)

Carefully customized line spacing gives documents a polished, professional look.


Properly adjusting line height is an important Google Docs technique to enhance formatting. The various options provide control over spacing for different needs. Consistent practices, customization options, shortcuts and best practices empower you to achieve perfect line spacing.