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Best Practice

Space Your Lines of Text Correctly – Important Technique

You need to learn this technique, even if you don't think you do. It's an important technique for ...

  • Gaining clarity: sometimes just opening up the space between lines of text a little bit makes the text much more readable; you don't always have to increase the size of text to achieve clarity
  • Using the slide real estate optimally: instead of automatically increasing the text size to fill up a slide, consider spacing the text. Large, "shouting" text usually the way to go, especially when you wind up with text in the body of the slide that is larger than the slide title (bad form); spacing the text is many time a better option
  • Managing text formatting: hard or soft returns (soft return is holding the shift key down as you press Enter) to add space between lines of text is definitely not professional; and it often creates spacing issues as the text is edited and reedited.

So, let's learn the right way to space your lines of text. We're using PowerPoint 2010 for the screenshots below.

  1. Highlight the lines of text that you wish to space and click on the Line spacing menu icon (Home tab on top ribbon, in the Paragraph section). See the right-most yellow-highlighted button below in "1"
  2. The Indents and Spacing menu will come up (see "2" below); in the Spacing section of the menu, add space in area next to After by increasing the point (pt) size, and then click OK
  3. The text that you highlighted will now be spaced to the point size you specified; increase it or decrease it as you like (see "3" below)

this menu also has other line-spacing options for you to use. Feel free to fiddle around with them if you like. We can look at these options closer in more best practices.