Why, Microsoft?

Frustration (was: threesixtyfive | day 244)Microsoft, can you please tell me why you felt it was necessary to change the default line spacing to 10 pts. after a line? The default should be 0 pts., and if a user wants to change it, they can change it. I have to teach my students how to make this change every time they write a paper. Now that we are standardizing Word 2010 at my school, I can see I will need to help faculty and staff change this default, too. I cannot think of a single defensible reason for monkeying with this particular default feature, which prior to Word 2007, was always 0 pts.

Correct formatting for MLA (and every other style I can think of) calls for double-spaced line-spacing, and this setting you changed introduces extra space after each paragraph. You have introduced incorrect formatting by default and have forced users to change this default in order to correctly format their writing. That is not user-friendly, and it is not cool.

Also, I hate Calibri.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Sybren A. Stüvel

Related posts:

13 thoughts on “Why, Microsoft?

  1. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have always wondered the same thing. It is so annoying!

  2. I hate this change, too and couldn't figure out what was going on. I'm trying to learn my way around WORD 2007. It was causing grief for my students writing research papers. At least now I can help them better with that format.

    • I will probably update soon with simple instructions to change it; lots of folks don't know how, or at least my students don't.

  3. Agreed!! We made the change last year, and it has taken about that long to feel comfortable with where all my familiar tools are located. What has made matters worse for me is that some of our student computers are (or were) still using the old version, so I had to try to train them in formatting on both..

    • Yeah, the UI is completely different, which is also a hassle, but I really can't understand the thinking behind changing the defaults on line-spacing.

  4. Is it possible to open the "Normal" template and change the line spacing and saving it as a template? I did this to change the default margin spacing, but I don't have 2007 or 2010, so I couldn't tell you if it would work.

  5. I don't hate Calibri but I do hate this spacing issue you described. You're right that there appears to be no obvious benefit to it, and it's a total pain in the butt to teach kids how to do every time we do a paper. And, as another poster mentioned, having to navigate at least two versions of Microsoft Word in the computer labs is added pain!

    • I can't imagine, Deb. I can only think they were trying to achieve the effect of line spacing one sees on websites, but that is not the default application for constructing websites for anyone I know! I'm sure they justified it by thinking users could easily change defaults, and they can, but the default shouldn't be to introduce space after each line.

Comments are closed.