How to Double the Length of Any Essay (Without Writing a Word!)

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As promised, here are a few tips to help double the length of any essay.

All of these statistics/instructions are for Microsoft Word 2007, but they apply equally well to older versions of Word or OpenOffice.

Replace All the Periods
Increase in size: 42.9%
How to do it: Go to edit->replace and place a period (.) in both boxes. Highlight the period in the "replace with" box, and click on "more" in the lower-right hand corner. Then click format->font.
Under "size," increase the font-size significantly – I used 16 in this example.
Click OK, then hit "replace all."

Increase the Paragraph Spacing
Increase in size: 21.6%
How to do it: Higlight everything (edit->select all), right-click->Paragraph. Set "Line Spacing" to multiple, and set it to something between 2 and 3 (or between 1 and 2 if it’s a single-spaced essay). I set it to 2.5 for this example.

Change the Font Size
Increase in size: 9.1%
How to do it: The font size is right next to the font face, at the top. After highlighting everything, increase it by up to a whole point – I set it a half-point larger (11.5) for this example.

Use a Different Font
Increase in size: 9.1%
How to do it: Highlight everything, and just change the font from something other than the default, Calibri. I changed it to the old default, Times New Roman (12 pt font), for the 9.1% increase, but there are probably other similiar-looking fonts that will increase that even more.

Change the Margins
Increase in size: 7.2%
How to do it: Go to Page Layout->Margins->Custom and increase the margins. They default to 1" all around – I changed it to 1.15" all around.

Change the Character Spacing
Increase in size: 7.1%
How to do it: Select everything (ctrl+a), then right-click->Font->Character Spacing. Change the spacing to something small (Half a point or less). I use 0.3pt

All effects put together:
Increase in size: 114.5% (over double!)

Additional Reading:


  1. lay says:

    This MS Word hack is good but not sustainable. Writers, or at least those who are paid by the wordcount struggle all too long to reach the target and losing the quality of the content in the process. – Lay of

  2. John says:

    I’m an English teacher. We know these tricks, we can spot them instantly, and we know that you are doing this because you can’t meet the page limit. If you can’t hit a page limit, you’re probably forgetting something important that you didn’t write about

  3. Philip James says:

    Can you do a version for Word 2017 please?

  4. gay says:

    Very useful. you should make one for google docs. Also a tip to reach a certain word count is to type your paper and if you don’t have the right amount of words, turn your font color white and type away.

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