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Tips and Tricks: Condensing text to fit a space

How often does a line of text or a paragraph go over onto the next page, when you really want to squeeze it on the same page? Well this can be fixed by a number of methods.

Method 1: Decrease space between paragraphs:

Before correction

After correction

Sample

This is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample.

Sample
This is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample.

Notice in the above example that the space between the heading and the paragraph that follows is smaller. This is achieved by going to the Format menu of Word, clicking on Paragraph, and then setting the Space Before or Space After to 6 points instead of the normal 12 points. In fact if you insert a line by hitting the Enter key, you in fact insert 12 points of space as one line = 12 points.

Method 2: Pack lines more tightly

Before correction

After correction

Sample

This is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample,

Sample

This is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample, this is a sample,

In the above example, the space between every line in the corrected sample has been decreased from 12 points (standard) to 10 points. The effect of this is that the corrected sample has one more line of text but yet the paragraph occupies less space. This achieve by going to the Format menu of Word, clicking on Paragraph, and then setting the Line Spacing to an appropriate number of points. Be sure to change the setting to “Exactly” rather than its usual setting of “At least”.

Method 3:  Condense the font spacing

Before Correction

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper; A peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper picked.  If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper, Where’s the peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper picked?

After Correction

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper; A peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper picked.  If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper, Where’s the peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper picked?

In the above example, the Before and After Correction text has exactly the same number of words. However, after correction for Character Spacing, a whole line has been saved. This is achieved by going to the Format menu of Word, clicking on Font, and then clicking on Character Spacing. You should experiment by changing the spacing to Condensed and then trying different settings. Often condensing by 0.2 or 0.3 points is enough. You should know that condensing the font only saves a line when there is one or two words on the last line of the paragraph.

Try the activity

Download the document "Metropolitan West School Sport"

Note that this document is 17 pages long. Practise your document condensing skills and reduce the document to 8 pages without deleting any text and without changing the size of any font. You should still ensure that there is space between paragraphs, otherwise the document become more difficult to read.

 
 

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