MS Word 2003 and 2013 line spacing

Posted on 2013-09-24
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2016-04-20
Hello Experts!

I have an issue with 1000s of our company’s documents after upgrading Word 2003 to 2013.  

When I open one of our documents in 2003 and 2013 and compare them, the line spacing is different on print out as shown on attached photo

I have set the ‘Spacing’ – ‘Before’ and ‘After’ options to 0pt and ‘Line spacing’ to single for the new document but the lines still do not match.

Is it because of a new behaviour in Word 2013?  I have also noticed the font width looks wider on Word 2013 compared to Word 2003.  Could this also be a result of some changes due to the version update?

Thanks for your help!
Question by:Vires_PtyLtd
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 39520979

you have not attached a photo.

LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:Eric Fletcher
ID: 39522445
File > Options >Advanced, then scroll to the bottom for the "Compatibility options" settings. Change the "Lay out this document as if created in:" to "Microsoft Word 2007".

You can adjust individual layout settings as well, but choosing a previous version overcomes most problems such as what you describe. Note that this is a per document setting--but if you choose to have it apply to all new documents, it applies the compatibility settings to your default template (i.e. Normal.dotx).

Author Comment

ID: 39523180

Sorry about the missing attachment, must had forgotten to press the upload file button.

@EricFletcher I have tried your solution and I made a print of the document but the line spacing issue still persist when I compared it to the original document that was printed using Word 2003

I have attached the screenshot where I have labeled left part of the document from Word 2003 and Word 2010/2013 for the right part

Thank you for the assistance
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 39524143

So to recap

Same document with identical fonts, font sizes and paragraph spacing, renders differently on 2003 and 2010/13 office as per you illustration.

Do they both have the same default printer and same normal.dot?

Also in 'Line Spacing Options' can you see if the 'Don't add spacing between paragraphs...' is ticked or not?

LVL 21

Accepted Solution

Eric Fletcher earned 2000 total points
ID: 39531267
From your example prints, the differences are subtle, but the effect is obvious as you go down the page. It is hard to be sure from the image, but the font in the Word 2010 appears to be slightly different to me. Even if the name is the same, a different version of the font may have slightly different metrics to cause this sort of effect.

I ran into this with a client who could not match the same Adobe named font: it turned out the original was done on a Mac with a fairly old "trial" version of the Garamond font face, and didn't match the Garamond face on his Windows system. The solution was to purchase the font from Adobe for both OSs.

In your case, the only way to ensure that the font is the same is to check the properties of the system's font file in both cases -- and reinstall the original one if that is still available. Not usually a great option when the original was created on a computer many years ago...

However, I'd noted that you can adjust individual layout settings within the Layout Options. The list is a bit daunting, but look for options that involve fonts.

For example, in my Word 2010, the "Disable OpenType Font Formatting Features" option is turned off when I select compatibility to Word 2003. This means that font features such as ligatures or number spacing won't be used in the document. Since the OpenType option wasn't available for Word 2003, so if you find it unchecked, turn off the option and see if it makes a difference (hint: compare then ending pages of a long document to be able to detect the accumulated effect of subtle changes).

It may be that tweaking some of these options could help eliminate differences.

The other -- and perhaps more likely -- possibility can only be checked by looking at the file and the underlying templates. If the space between paragraphs is managed by pressing multiple returns, the settings in your underlying Normal template may be the culprit. Styles are usually based on the Normal style in the Normal template, so unless you are careful to manage this, any slight differences in a different Normal template can cause this sort of problem.

Interparagraph spacing is best managed by space before/after and the line spacing settings of the Format Paragraph dialog (manually or, more properly, via styles) instead of by adding multiple returns. If the default paragraph style (Normal) is not managed specifically, it will use the definition from the current Normal.dotx template. If that is not identical to the original Normal.dot template from Word 2003, the differences will be more apparent when there are multiple Normal-styled paragraphs.

If you use File > Options > Advanced > Display to set a width for the style area pane (say 1"), you can then see the styles in effect for every paragraph when you are in the Draft view. Empty paragraphs will be probably labelled with the Normal style. (If they are not, you should examine the definition of the named style.)

The default settings for the Normal style in Normal.dot (Word 2003's default template) and the default Normal.dotx for Word 2013 have several differences that may be contributing to the problem: for example, line spacing is set to 1.15 instead of single (I've changed mine so I can't confirm the exact value).

If your document uses a combination of styles and multiple Returns, eliminate this possibility before looking at possible font differences

Good luck with this; it is a problem many of us face when dealing with old documents that suddenly appear to be different!
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Expert Comment

ID: 41557702
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