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How to Limit the Characters Per Line in Microsoft Word

Updated April 17, 2017

The Microsoft Word word processing program does not have a native feature that allows you to limit the amount of characters per line in a document. Through the use of a monospaced font and a simple math equation, however, you can adjust the document's margins so that only a specific number of monospaced characters can fit on each line in a few simple steps.

Double-click the Microsoft Word application icon to launch the application. Click the arrow to the right of the assigned font in the font menu bar and select a monospaced font from the drop-down menu. Courier, Courier New, Monaco and Andale Mono are a few examples of monospaced fonts.

Click the arrow to the right of the assigned font size and select "12" from the font size drop-down menu. The font size 12 allows 10 characters per inch, making it easy to limit the amount of characters per line.

Use the equation "Characters per line / characters per inch = Print area in inches" to determine the amount of print area required to limit the amount of characters per line. For example, if you want 60 characters per line, the equation would be "60 / 10 = 6 inches."

Subtract the number obtained in Step 3 from 8.5 and divide the resulting number by 2. The resulting number is the required width of the document's left and right margins. For the example, "8.5 - 6 = 2.5" and "2.5 / 2 = 1.25." The left and right margins for the example document would both be 1.25 inches.

Click the "Layout" tab. In the space labelled "Left" beneath the "Margins" heading, type the margin size obtained in Step 4 and press the "Enter" key. In the space labelled "Right" beneath the "Margins" heading, type the margin size obtained in Step 4 and press the "Enter" key. Each line of the document will now be limited to the desired number of monospaced characters.

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About the Author

Alexander Poirier began writing professionally in 2005. He worked as the editor-in-chief of the literary magazine "Calliope," garnering the magazine two APEX Awards for excellence in publication. Poirer graduated from the University of the Pacific with a Bachelor of Arts in English.