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Fix cut off letters in Microsoft Word

This page is part of The Ultimate Font Guide, an introductory font manual that explains the basics of fonts and how to install fonts, use them in different applications and more.

Cause of fonts being cut off in Word

There are several reasons why it can happen that some letters and word don’t completely show in MS Word.  Most common problems that occur are:

  • Line spacing of the text is set to an exact height. In case the document shows ‘Exactly’ in the line spacing settings, it can happen that the measurement set is equal or less than the height of the font. This may cause characters to not show or being cut off.
  • The printer driver is substituting screen fonts at certain view percentages.
  • The Zoom percentage is preventing fonts to render incorrectly and appear to be cut off.

Solution 1 – Change the zoom percentage in Word

Changing the view percentage might trigger fonts to show completely.

Steps for Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Word 2002 & Microsoft Word 2000

  1. Go to the View menu
  2. Click on Zoom
  3. Try one of the following:
    • Under Zoom to, increase the view percentage to something bigger than the current setting. For example 200%. Click OK
    • Under Percentmodify the percentage to something bigger than the current setting. For example 120%

Steps for Microsoft Office Word 2007

  1. Go to the View menu/tab
  2. Click Zoom in the Zoom group
  3. Try one of the following:
    • Under Zoom to, increase the view percentage to something bigger than the current setting. For example 200%. Click OK
    • Under Percentmodify the percentage to something bigger than the current setting. For example 120%
  4. Click OK.

Solution 2 – Change the Document View

If Solution 1 didn’t solve your problem, try changing the document view.

MS Word will show the full height of the text you have in your document when you change the view of  your document to outline view.

Steps for Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Word 2002 & Microsoft Word 2000

  1. Go to the View menu/tab
  2. Click on Outline

Steps for Microsoft Office Word 2007

  1. Go to the View menu/tab
  2. In the Document Views group, click Outline.

Note that this problem may occur in multiple views (Normal, Print & Web layout). Also note that when you have your document in Outline view, the paragraph formatting is ignored.

Solution 3 – Change the Line Spacing

In case you didn’t have any luck with the previous 2 solutions, you definitely want to try changing the line spacing.

Steps for Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Word 2002 & Microsoft Word 2000

  1. Go to the Format menu
  2. Click Paragraph
  3. Take one of the following steps:
    • Look under Indents and Spacing for the Line Spacing box and set it to something different than Exactly. For example, change it to Single.
    • Change the At setting to a different setting that is slightly larger than the font point size you are using in your document. For example, if your font size is 12 points, change the At setting to 13 point.

Steps for Microsoft Office Word 2007

  1. Go to the Home tab
  2. Search for the Paragraph group and click the Paragraph dialog box launcher.
  3. Take one of the following steps:
    • Look under Indents and Spacing for the Line Spacing box and set it to something different than Exactly. For example, change it to Single.
    • Change the At setting to a different setting that is slightly larger than the font point size you are using in your document. For example, if your font size is 12 points, change the At setting to 13 point.

Solution 4 – Change Point Size

Steps for Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Word 2002 & Microsoft Word 2000

  1. Select your text (highlight it with your cursor)
  2. Click in the Format menu on Font
  3. On the Font tab, change the Size to something smaller than the size that you have your line spacing set to. If for example your line spacing is set to Exactly 14 point, change your font size to 13 point.

Steps for Microsoft Office Word 2007

  • Select your text (highlight it with your cursor)
  • Go to the Home tab
  • Click the Font dialog box launcher in the Font group
  • On the Font tab, change the Size to something smaller than the size that you have your line spacing set to. If for example your line spacing is set to Exactly 14 point, change your font size to 13 point.

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