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    Line spacing (Word 97/2000)

    Someone asked me to fix the line spacing on a document so the text lines up with the 28 pleading line numbers. I've attached a short sample of that document.

    The document is badly set up, but ignoring that, I have a question.

    On the second page (the one titled MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES), you can see that the text at line 4 doesn't line up with the "4". The line spacing is currently set to "Exactly 24". But if you change the line spacing to "Exactly 12", the first line jumps up and lines up with the "4".

    Why does changing the line spacing affect the position of the first line? I thought line spacing only affected the wrapping lines. (I've had this happen before and still don't know why.)

    How would you do a quick fix on this document to get the text to line up with the line numbers?
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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Line spacing (Word 97/2000)

    Well... Word's spacing between paragraphs can be a bit tricky. When Word is feeling HTML-ish, it will decide when and how to suppress "extra" space, but when it is following explicit directions, it will show all the space. Here you have an extra 12 points after of line spacing in the (a) heading.
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    Re: Line spacing (Word 97/2000)

    Hi Russ:
    The document is a combination of different spacings. First of all, to make your text & numbers line up, you should have the same spacing on each. Why have 12 spacing on numbers & double space them & then use 24pts spacing on the text. Secondly, the text didn't line up because in addition to line spacing, certain paragraphs had space above or below added. You don't want to mix that with exact line spacing. See the attached file in which everything is set for 24 pts spacing, no space above or below.

    The reason the first line "jumped" is because it had 24 pts spacing & the pargraph above had 12 points of space below. When you either reduce the space below to zero (the correct way) or set the first line to exactly 12 pts, you remove the extra spacing. See attached.
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    Re: Line spacing (Word 97/2000)

    Jefferson and Phil,

    I knew this would be confusing when I posted it, so let me try to clear up what I was trying to say.

    I tried using Exactly 24 with no Space After on the paragraphs on lines 1, 2 and 3, but they wouldn't line up right. Line 1 moves down about 6 points when I use these values. So to get line 1 back up where it needs to be, I simply used the Exactly 12 plus 12 points Space After because that was all that would work for me.

    Then I tried the same thing on line 2 (using Exactly 24 with no Space After), but that line moved down about 6 points, just like line 1. So to get that line back up where it belonged, I used the Exactly 12 plus 12 Space After again because that's all that worked.

    That phenomenon happened for each successive line when I tried to use Exactly 24.

    So my question really is: Why is the first line of each of these paragraphs affected by the line spacing value? Whether it's single-spacing, double-spacing, Exactly 12 or Exactly 24, the first line shouldn't be affected. Only the wrapping lines of a paragraph should be affected by the line spacing value. But every time I try to use Exactly 24, the first line moves down one-half line.

    (Phil, it appears that you didn't have the problem I did because your attachment showed lines 1, 2 and 3 lining up properly when you used Exactly 24. I can't get that to happen.)

    I've attached that same document using Exactly 24 with no Space After on all lines. Notice how the first line is one-half line too low.

    (P.S. I've got to get out of here (the office) and get to bed. I'll check here tomorrow. Thanks for your feedback as usual.)
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    Re: Line spacing (Word 97/2000)

    Line spacing can affect the first line of a paragraph. Space above will push the first line down. Space below on a preceding paragraph will push the first line of the next paragraph down. There are also compatibility options that affect spacing. I took your document & checked the box at Tools/Options/Compatibility/Suppress extra line spacing at top of page. See attached.
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    Re: Line spacing (Word 97/2000)

    I wasn't familiar with that Suppress Extra Line Spacing at Top of Page option. I tried it and it eliminated that half line of extra space.

    I agree that line spacing can affect the first line of a paragraph, but only if you've changed the line spacing of the preceding paragraph. If you only change the line spacing of the one paragraph, its first line should not be affected.

    What confuses me even more is that this phenomenon only happens occasionally. Most of the time when I change the line spacing of a paragraph, its first line isn't affected.

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    Re: Line spacing (Word 97/2000)

    Hi Russ:
    It's more complicated than that. The option to suppress extra spacing at the top doesn't work if you check Paragraph/Page & line breaks/page break before. But it works if you put in a hard page break. This inconsistency makes it difficult to have pages come out with even margins at the top. And space above does affect the first line of a paragraph because it pushes it down (the same as space below pushes the first line of next paragraph down).

    Even more confusing, Word 97 & 2000 are different. If you have para1 with 6 pts below & para2 with 12 pts above, what happens? In Word 97, you get 18 pts. between. In Word 2000, you get 12 pts. (the smaller) unless you check Tools/Options/Compatibility/Don't use HTML paragraph auto spacing. <img src=/S/dizzy.gif border=0 alt=dizzy width=15 height=15>

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    Re: Line spacing (Word 97/2000)

    We use Word 2000 and I have noticed that the total of Space Below of para 1 and Space Above of para 2 don't always add up.

    I agree that Space Above affects the position of the first line of a paragraph because it of course pushes the first line down. But in my attachment, there was no Space Above on the paragraph, so I'm still puzzled why the first line moved down 6 points when I changed the line spacing to Exactly 24. It was as if I had changed Space Above to 6, but I hadn't.

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    Re: Line spacing (Word 97/2000)

    Word's spacing with "Exactly" is funky. Example attached from long ago. You can see from my earlier graphic that there is a lot of height allocated below the text baseline when you use Exactly 24 pt. the only way to match this to the numbering you've put in the heading is to use the same thing there.
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    Re: Line spacing (Word 97/2000)

    When you use Exactly 24 points & you have 12 pt. text, Word must put the extra spacing either above, below, or both. There are compatibility options that affect this choice, such as "Don't center exact line height lines". I don't have the file any more, but I seem to recall ~6 pts above & below. Space above +12pt. text + space below = 24.
    Cheers,

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    Re: Line spacing (Word 97/2000)

    Well, guys, I thank you for your heroic efforts to explain this to me. As a long-time WordPerfect user and a relatively new Word user, it all just seems so crazy that a word processing program would have so many issues with this one little aspect of basic formatting. I have run into this kind of thing in Word (big issues with basic formatting) many times and have wasted hours and hours of time trying to understand this stuff.

    Word processing used to fun, but ever since Word took over the world, I just don't enjoy it any more. I've seen secretaries in tears trying to fix formatting problems that were unfixable in a document that had to be filed that same day. We just never had that kind of problem with WordPerfect.

    Our firm is switching to Word soon (we use both WordPerfect and Word now) and I'll certainly be posting many more questions here. Forgive me for the soapbox speech, but I get so angry when problems that I think shouldn't be problems continue to occur.

    I hope someday I'll discover that Word is as easy to work with as WordPerfect and that there is some fun to be had in working with it. But I'm still struggling with many basic issues at this point.

    You both are always so helpful to me and I'm very grateful to you. Thanks again for your excellent information and for being so generous with your time. I do appreciate it.

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    Re: Line spacing (Word 97/2000)

    Hi Russ:
    You're quite welcome. To get an idea about how Word & WordPerfect differ, see this article.
    Cheers,

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    Re: Line spacing (Word 97/2000)

    Russ:

    Line spacing drove me absolutely nuts at first too. This odd behavior is controlled by the compatibility settings for the document. This being the case, if you copy the text into a blank document - it doesn't work the way you would expect unless the compatibility settings (specifically - Don't center "exact line height" lines) are an exact match.

    I tell my clients not to use anything but the recommended options for the version of Word they are using. BTW - I HIGHLY recommend upgrading to 2002 in a legal office. Tying to get WP users to switch to Word using 97/2000 without MAJOR headaches is next to impossible in my experience.

    So there IS a solution for line height. Use the "multiple" not "exactly" or "at least" options for paragraph spacing for your styles. You might end up with a weird multiple to fit your font size - like 1.81 or something, but it will stop the weird behavior.

    Also - unless your firm uses 10pt font - get away from 28 lines. These line numbers came out back in the typewriter days.
    10 pt font "double spaces" to 28 lines (all of these of course depend on margins and Font face - number some lines and give it a try....)
    11 pt font "double spaces" to 26lines
    12 pt font "double spaces" to 24 lines

    I know that line spacing isn't a "problem" in WP - but WP has line spacing AND line height controls - Word doesn't.

    The reason so many WP hate Word is that you can use WP like a typewriter and you can't do that successfully in Word. Believe me when I tell you that Paste Special Unformatted Text and the use of Styles is truly the best way to switch from WP to Word.

    Good Luck!

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    Re: Line spacing (Word 97/2000)

    Phil:

    Thanks for the link to that article. It's very nicely explained. I've seen similar explanations of the differences between WordPerfect and Word. Kind of reminds me of the difference between linear access, as with backup tape (WordPerfect), and random access, as with disks (Word). Certainly, random access is a more powerful concept, but I wonder if we really need that extra power in word processing since it seems to come with a price: daily hassles that we didn't have before.

    (I had a little more to say from my soapbox, so I've added that below as a separate response. I didn't want to clutter up this one too much!)

    Kris:

    Wow, you've given me some great information. I've never used the "Multiple" option under line spacing. I tried it and it works (it took a 1.6 value in my problem document). I'll pass along your suggestion of moving to Word 2002 to our systems people.

    We use 12-point fonts in our firm, but I can't imagine convincing the attorneys to give up 4 lines per page (from 28 down to 24). Not only that, but with the exchange of documents by email, we're constantly using documents that were created in other firms and all of them use 28 lines. By using your "Multiple" suggestion, however, I think we can make it work with 28 lines.

    Yes, we're all intimately familiar with the Paste Special Unformatted Text routine. That's something we learned right away. I would never dare take text from WordPerfect to Word (or vice-versa) any other way. And we use styles religiously. The biggest problems come from documents originated outside our firm. Many of those documents are all in Normal with nothing but direct formatting.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to respond.

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    Re: Line spacing (Word 97/2000)

    Phil:

    Just to show you where I'm coming from, I still prefer WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS. I was never a fan of WordPerfect for Windows because all it did was slow down screen response and add more bugs. I can't work as fast in any Windows word processing program as I could in W.P. 5.1 DOS. Windows just carries too much baggage with it that we don't need for word processing. Climbing a mountain requires just a few tools. Taking too many along with you only slows you down. Word processing works the same way.

    So WordPerfect for Windows was a step backwards for word processing. Now we're taking another step backwards by switching to Word. So many of its features are simply inferior to WordPerfect's: table of contents (puts the whole paragraph in your TOC unless you Mickey-Mouse your document with hidden carriage returns to "fool" Word), footnotes (easily corrupted--no way to fix this that I know of), columns (newspaper only, no parallel), table format (very hard to work with--column boundaries often snap back to a previous position when you try to drag them), Jason tab (one of the most outrageous abominations I have ever seen in word processing), and finally, to me the most damning of all, the fact that you must be a sophisticated user to successfully use Word. It all kind of reminds me of Karl Marx's dream of communism: Looks great on paper but is a failure in real life.

    But because of the nature of the business world, the marketing departments of the companies that make the word processing software keep egging their technical people on to keep "improving" their product with heavy-duty features the marketers can tout to the decision-makers in their customer firms. Never-mind the workers in the trenches who have to use this stuff.

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