Unusual or unexpected line spacing appears between paragraphs in a Word document


Symptoms


Case 1

Large spaces appear between paragraphs, so that the first line of text appears at the top of the page, and the last line of text is at the bottom of the page.

Case 2

A large white space appears at the top and bottom of the page, and the text adjusts itself on the page toward the center of the page.

Cause


Case 1

Vertical alignment is set to Justified. By design, Word evenly places the text between the top and bottom margins of the page. In other words, the first line of text on a page appears at the top margin, and the last line of text appears at the bottom margin.

Case 2

Vertical alignment is set to Centered. By design, Word centers the text between the top and bottom margins. In other words, a single line of text appears in the center of the page. As you add more lines of text, all text is centered between the top and bottom margins.

Workaround


Remove the Justified or Centered vertical alignment. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. On the File menu, click Page Setup.
  2. Select the Layout tab.
  3. In the Vertical alignment list, select Top.
  4. In the Apply to list, select Whole document.
  5. Click OK.