How to Fix Unintended Line Spacing in Microsoft Outlook Emails

How to

When you receive a reply from a web-based email software, Outlook adds unwanted line spacing to messages owing to formatting difficulties.


Microsoft Outlook users may have noticed that the program frequently adds unintended line spacing to messages, particularly between lines that should have no spacing and paragraphs that should only have single spacing.
When you get a reply to one of your emails from someone who uses a web-based software like Gmail, this happens.
Because of the way Outlook treats line and paragraph breaks for web-based email clients, the problem only arises in HTML mode.

If you’re bothered by this problem, there are a few options depending on how much time you want to devote to solving it.
I’m using Outlook from the Microsoft 365 suite for these procedures, but they should work in any of the previous versions of Outlook.

Compose an email that comprises multiple lines and paragraphs one after the other to test the formatting issue.
A single paragraph break should be used to divide the lines, whereas two paragraph breaks should be used to separate the paragraphs. Send the email to yourself or someone else at a Gmail account after you’re done.

figure-a.jpgIn Gmail, you’ll notice that the email formatting is correct. Respond to the email that was sent.
Examine the response in Outlook. There are now spaces between single lines and double spaces between paragraphs, as well as spaces between single lines and paragraphs.


How can you deal with this annoyance? Here are a few suggestions.

Use plain text instead of HTML

If you’re sending messages with varied fonts, bullet lists, embedded images, or hyperlinks, HTML is the default format in Outlook. Plain text, on the other hand, can be used for a simple text-based email.
In Outlook, select Plain Text from the Format Text tab on the Menu bar to modify the format of a new email.

Rich Text is another option; however, RTF is only compatible with Outlook, thus an email structured in rich text may be transformed to plain text or HTML depending on the third-party email client. As a result, plain text is the more secure option.


Press Enter once after each paragraph

In the HTML format, Microsoft treats a single paragraph return as a double return, which causes problems with Outlook formatting. One solution is to only press the Enter key once after each paragraph rather than twice.
The disadvantage is that the email may be more difficult for you to read and work with. However, the proper formatting will be kept.


Press Shift+Enter once after each line and Shift+Enter twice after each paragraph

In Outlook, pressing Enter puts a hard paragraph return, while Shift+Enter inserts a line break.
As a result, in HTML mode, Shift+Enter will keep your line and paragraph formatting.
Yes, pressing Shift+Enter in this manner is inconvenient and time-consuming, but it may be feasible for shorter emails. After you’ve finished writing a new email in this manner, go to the Format Text tab on the menu and select the Show/Hide Paragraph Mark button.
Instead of the standard paragraph mark, each line should conclude with an arrow pointing to the left.


Use find and replace to replace each paragraph mark with a regular line break.

Instead of manually inserting line breaks, use Outlook’s Find and Replace feature to clean up your email. Move your cursor to the top of the message and click the Replace button on the Home ribbon after you’ve finished writing your email. Select Paragraph Mark from the Special menu with the cursor in the Find What field. Select Manual Line Break from the Replace with field, then click the Special button. To begin the search, click Find Next.
After that, you can either select Replace for each instance or Replace All to change all instances at once.


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