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How to insert spaces between bullet points in Microsoft Office Word (without doing it manually)

I was searching the high heavens (Google) the other day to find out how to insert spaces automatically between bullets in Microsoft Word. While I found a lot of people asking the same question, I didn’t find an answer… until today (cue music).

Here’s what a numbered list of items looks like without spaces between:

“But wait,” you say, “that’s not so bad.” True, it actually looks pretty organized. But what about bulleted items that go for more than a single line?

VOMIT. That’s what that looks like. How about we double space those lines?

Better, but only a little. It’s still hard to quickly follow where one item ends and another begins.

Let’s try adding a space between those bullets to see if it makes a difference.

These instructions are for Microsoft Word 2007 and could vary slightly in other versions of Word.

  1. Start Word, and then open your document.
  2. Select the list items to which you want to add spaces between.
  3. On the Format menu, click Paragraph.
  4. In the Spacing section, enter “10 pt” in the After area.
  5. Make sure that the box that says, “Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style” is unchecked. It should look like this:

And does it make a difference?

Wow, sure does. Even with text as repetitive as that, I can clearly see what’s going on with my points. Adjusting the spacing between bullets using this method will work with numbered lists and standard bullets. You can get the same effect by manually pressing Shift+Enter, but who has time to do that?

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