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Best Practice

Adjust Line Spacing the Smart Way

Fitting text into a fixed-size graphic can be challenging because there are so many options.

  1. Editing the text down to fewer words is usually the best starting point. As Mark Twain said, "I'm sorry I wrote such a long letter. I did not 't have time to write a short one." Getting the text message to it's essential form is always preferable on slides.
  2. Reducing the size of the text is always an option, but only if the text is still easily readable. Also, it is a best practices to use the same size font on message text (not necessarily on labels and headings). This will prevent the audience from interpreting that some messages on the slide are of lesser value or import than others because the text is smaller. Be careful with this one.
  3. Another way is to reduce the space between the lines of text. There are a couple of ways to do this, but you want to make sure that you format the spacing in a way that does not get you in trouble later as the presentation is edited. We suggest that you format the spacing as follows:
    1. Select the field of text
    2. Click on the Home tab on the ribbon
    3. In the paragraph section, click on the Line Spacing icon
    4. Select Line Spacing Options
    5. In the Spacing section next to Line Spacing, select Multiple
    6. In the At window, type 0.9
    7. Click OK.

The reason you want to reduce the line spacing this way is important. If, in a later version of the presentation, you want to change the font size, the line spacing will retain the same 0.9 spacing regardless of the size of the font. If you choose to reduce the line spacing by using "Exactly" and then setting the point size, the line spacing will not adjust to the new font size and it may create a readability issue for you.

Remember, you always want to format so that editing (when time might be tight) will be quick and easy.