If you look at the paragraph settings in Microsoft Word, there's an option for "Line spacing". This actually seems like a misnamed field, because it seems to control leading.

The default is single, but there are options for Multiple and Exactly. If you use exactly, you can approximate setting the leading value for lines (such as using exactly 15pt to get 12/15pt Arial).

What does the default value of "single" actually mean? Is it scaling somehow to the font? Using some value built into the font?

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    You've never used a typewriter, have you? – Stan Rogers Jul 6 '15 at 13:47
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    @Stan how does that relate to the question? – JohnB Jul 6 '15 at 13:56
  • It's where the term comes from, and it's what people were used to before graphic fonts were in common use, even in terminal-mode word processors. – Stan Rogers Jul 6 '15 at 15:08
  • @Stan Yeah, I get where the terms "single", "double", etc come from. My question is what value is the program actually using and where is it coming from – Scribblemacher Jul 6 '15 at 16:02

Please see https://support.office.com/en-za/article/Adjust-the-line-spacing-between-text-or-paragraphs-3eb8c1b8-d96a-4d9c-8bbb-48dc7e264d7f

The value of "single" line spacing is 1.15 or 115%. The page offers direction for changing the default value.

  • Hi lone, welcome to GD.SE and thanks for your answer. Could you please post the gist of the method as found in the link? That way, your answer will still be valuable in case the link breaks at a later time. Thanks! Link rot is rampant and it's the main reason we crack down on link-only answers. Thanks for understanding! If you have any questions about GD.SE, have a look at the help center or feel free to ping one of us in Graphic Design Chat once your reputation reaches 20. Keep contributing and enjoy the site! – Vincent Jul 8 '15 at 13:38
  • Perfect. According to that page single spacing means "the amount of extra space varies depending on the font that is used." After some testing, "single" and "exactly [font_size * 1.15]" seem to be equivalent. – Scribblemacher Jul 8 '15 at 14:02

The single line in Word is similar to using "auto" leading in the Adobe software or 100% in CSS, etc. The multi, double will scale too.

It gets adjusted with the size of the font and it's a default setting for leading indeed. Microsoft Adobe or else simply names it differently, as you already mentioned.

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    Not so much "named it differently" as used the terminology people were used to. It was also in WordStar and WordPerfect, as well as in dedicated word processors like the Wang machines. – Stan Rogers Jul 6 '15 at 15:10
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    Do you happen to know how this value is determined? I believe auto leading in CS is just 120% of the type size. For fun, I put two 10pt ipsum paragraphs side-by-side, and made the one's "line spacing" to exactly 12pt (i.e. 120% of the type size). This turned out to be different (slightly larger) than whatever "single" is. – Scribblemacher Jul 6 '15 at 16:05
  • No, I'm sorry, I don't know the exact values. I know you can import (link) the texts and stylesheets in InDesign if that can be of any help in your quest to find out the values! – go-junta Jul 6 '15 at 16:16

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