Do you have any idea how to set a document in Microsoft Word to have exactly 25 lines per page? That’s what the agents and publishers I’m approaching want as a standard format, (1″ margins and 25 lines) but every attempt I’ve made to do that has fallen short one way or another — the occasional 24 or 26 lines. Any ideas? I’ve queried a lot of my other writer friends, but their solutions don’t quite work. They may not be Mac folks. Help! If you don’t have an answer I’m going to be doing a lot of line counting and eyeballing of pages.
An interesting question and one whose answer is more subtle than it may initially seem. I asked my friend Allan Wyatt, author of my favorite Microsoft Word Tips newsletter, for his assistance. Here’s what he shared with me:
“It is probably because he has orphan/widow control turned on for the paragraph styles he is using. Turn it off, and it should be fine.”
Before I show you how to do that, however, let’s look at how to set a document to have 25 lines per page. It’s ridiculously complex, sorry to say. Here’s what Allan explains:
“There is no setting where you indicate “number of lines per page” because most places never worry about that anymore. Instead, you have to calculate it.
- Start your font size. (A fairly standard font is 10-point, so I will use that in the following calculations.)
- If you display the Indents and Spacing tab of the Paragraph dialog box (Format | Paragraph), the Line Spacing should be set to “Single.” This allows Word to calculate a normal line spacing, which typographically is 120% of your font size. In other words, with 10-point type you end up with 12-point line space, baseline to baseline. (If you use a different font size, this will obviously change.
- There are 72 points in an inch, so that means you can get 6 lines per inch if you are using single line spacing with a 10-point font. (72 / 12 = 6).
- If you have 1-inch top margin and 1-inch bottom margin on your page (Format | Document), that means you have 9 inches of printable space on a standard 11-inch sheet of paper.
- If you have 6 printed lines per inch (step 3) and 9 inches of printable space (step 4), that means you have 54 printed lines per page.
- You can adjust margins, font size, or line spacing as necessary to get a desired number of lines per page.
- If you need to print double-space lines, then use the Indents and Spacing tab of the Paragraph dialog box (Format | Paragraph) to set the Line Spacing to “Double.” The only thing this does to your calculations is to divide the number of lines per page (step 5) by 2.
If you can follow all of that, you can set your document to be exactly 25 lines per page. Good luck!