Is there a way to fix the spacing in word? (text only fill 1/2 of lines)

I’m not sure what people do to get this result (because it’s not a problem with what they made the margins since they’re all set to six inches), but a number of fanfics I’ve read end up having only half the screens filled with text - the text goes across to four inches before starting on the next line. This is consistant throughout the entire document. The document as a result ends up looking disjointed as well as being close to twice as long as it would with normal margins.

Changing the word-wrap feature doesn’t change this. Nor does ajusting the margins. I know you can manually delete the extra spaces by dragging or highlighting and cutting them, but is there anything you can do with word 97 or word XP to make this task less time consuming? It takes hours to do that to what should be a 200 page story.

You’re talking about an MS Word or other word processing document, not a Web page, right?

If so, they have probably inserted hard returns at the end of each line. (This sometimes happens when you cut and paste from a Web site.) You can easily remove them with the search and replace feature, <ALT>-H in MS Word. (The rest of the advice below assumes in its particulars that you’re using MS Word.)

Go through the document and make sure that there are two returns breaking every paragraph. Replace ^p^p with ~ or some other character that isn’t likely to appear elsewhere in the file.

Then replace all ^p with a space.

(Usually, I then replace all double spaces with a single space. You might have to repeat this a few times until it doesn’t find any more double spaces.*)

Then replace all the ~s with ^p or ^p^p.

I’ve created a macro to do all this automatically.

BTW, the author may have created it that way on purpose. Columns of about 39 to 52 characters make reading easier and faster. (But they shouldn’t have done it with hard returns.)

*Don’t tell me that there’s supposed to be a double space between sentences. That is so typewriter age. What are you, a hundred years old? Modern wp programs space sentences correctly without a double space.

Thanks a lot, you just saved me hours of frustration! And you’re right, I know for a fact that they copied them from a web-site, because I’ve dicussed with these writers the virtue of writing a document then copying to a website vs the otherway around (I do the former, they the latter). Your method worked great, especially when I realized why one might want to replace ~ with ^p^p instead of ^p. :smiley: