How to Change the Character Scale in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing the character scale in Word is a simple process. By adjusting the character scale, you can make your text appear wider or narrower without changing the font size. This can be especially useful for fitting text into a specific space or creating a unique look for your document. Let’s dive into how you can do this with a few easy steps.

Step by Step Tutorial: Changing the Character Scale in Word

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand what the following steps will achieve. By the end of this tutorial, you will have learned how to adjust the character scale in Microsoft Word, making your text wider or narrower while keeping the same font size.

Step 1: Select the text you want to adjust

Select the text whose character scale you want to change.

When changing the character scale in Word, you need to highlight the text you want to modify. You can do this by clicking and dragging your mouse over the text or by using the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+A to select all the text in the document.

Step 2: Open the Font dialog box

Open the Font dialog box by pressing Ctrl+D on your keyboard or by clicking the small arrow in the corner of the Font section on the Home tab.

The Font dialog box is where you’ll find all the settings related to the appearance of your text, including the character scale. Once you’re in the Font dialog box, you’re one step closer to customizing your text just the way you want it.

Step 3: Adjust the Scale

In the Font dialog box, look for the ‘Scale’ option and adjust the percentage to make the text wider or narrower.

The Scale option allows you to increase or decrease the width of your characters. By default, it is set to 100%, which means no scaling. If you increase the percentage, your characters will become wider; if you decrease it, they will become narrower.

Step 4: Preview and Apply

Preview your changes in the Font dialog box and click ‘OK’ to apply them to your selected text.

Always make sure to preview your changes before applying them. This way, you can see how your text will look and make any necessary adjustments before finalizing the changes.

After completing these steps, your text will now have a different character scale. This will give your document a fresh look and can help you fit text into tight spaces without compromising on font size. Remember that scaling affects the width of the characters, not their height, so your text will maintain its readability.

Tips for Changing the Character Scale in Word

  • Remember to use the preview option in the Font dialog box to see how your changes will look before applying them.
  • Small adjustments to the scale can make a big difference, so start with changes of 10% and adjust from there.
  • If you’re scaling down, be mindful that characters can become harder to read if they’re too narrow.
  • Character scale adjustments are great for fitting text into tables or making headings stand out.
  • Don’t forget that you can also use the ‘Character Spacing’ options in the same dialog box for even more control over your text appearance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between character scale and font size?

Character scale adjusts the width of the characters without changing their height, while font size increases or decreases the size of the entire character.

Can I adjust the character scale of multiple text selections at once?

Yes, you can. Simply hold down the Ctrl key while selecting different sections of text, then follow the steps to adjust the character scale.

Will changing the character scale affect the layout of my document?

It can. Adjusting the character scale may cause text to reflow, which could alter the layout of your document. Be sure to review your document after making changes.

Is there a shortcut to open the Font dialog box?

Yes, pressing Ctrl+D on your keyboard is the quickest way to open the Font dialog box.

Can I save a character scale setting for future use?

While you can’t save character scale settings, you can save a styled text as a new Style Set for easy access in future documents.


  1. Select the text you want to adjust.
  2. Open the Font dialog box using Ctrl+D or the Home tab.
  3. Adjust the character scale percentage.
  4. Preview and apply the changes.


Changing the character scale in Word is like having a secret weapon for making your documents look just right. Whether you’re tweaking text to fit into a certain space or aiming for a specific visual effect, this simple yet powerful feature offers you the flexibility you need. Just remember to use it wisely—after all, with great power comes great responsibility, and you wouldn’t want to make your text so wide or narrow that it becomes unreadable. So, go ahead and play around with those scale settings. Find the perfect balance that makes your document stand out while keeping it as clear as crystal. And if you run into any trouble or have further questions, remember that the Word help center is just a few clicks away. Now go forth and scale to your heart’s content—we believe in your ability to make every word count.

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