If you’ve worked with too many documents in which others have used spaces to align text and images, you know it can be very time consuming to manually remove the extra spaces from the beginning and end of each line.

Word does not provide a straightforward way to remove extra spaces on lines. You’ve probably been manually deleting the spaces by repeatedly pressing the delete or backspace keys. However, we’ll show you a quick and easy way to remove the extra spaces from multiple lines at once, saving you time.

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To begin, we want to see where the spaces are, so we need to show non-printing characters. To do this, make sure the Home tab is active on the ribbon and click the “Show/Hide ¶“ button in the Paragraph section. Spaces are shown as dots.

Select the lines that contain spaces you want to delete and center the lines by pressing Ctrl+E, or clicking the Center button in the Paragraph section of the Home tab. Notice that the spaces on the lines are now gone.

Now, you can format the lines the way you want without the extra spaces. Here we left-aligned the selected lines and now they’re lined up neatly on the left.

You can also delete extra spaces on lines in .txt and .rtf files this way. Simply open the files in Word and follow the steps outlined in this article.

Profile Photo for Lori Kaufman Lori Kaufman
Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She's been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business.
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