The Word team is lucky to have a whole host of very talented people working on it. This is the first of many guest posts where you'll be getting details on the features from the mouths of the feature designers.
Stuart J Stuple is a program manager on the Microsoft Office Word team who focuses on the formatting and editing experience of long or complex documents. His background is in book publishing and education.
One of the things that we hope you notice as soon as you start working with Word 2007 is that the new font, new line spacing, and space between paragraphs give your documents a fresh, more professional look. And when you insert content such as charts, diagrams, or material copied from other documents, that content shares the same fonts and colors as already in use in your document.
As described previously, the new fonts used in Word are based on the ClearType technology that provides a crisper, more easily read display of the fonts on most modern monitors. ClearType is a feature of the operating system and has been available since Windows XP; however, these are the first fonts from Microsoft designed to take advantage of this technology. The new font collection includes six fonts: Calibri, Cambria, Consolas, Candara, Corbel, and Constantia. Calibri was selected as the default font for Word because of its modern look and is appropriateness for onscreen documents. To complement the look of Calibri, Cambria was selected for use in headings.
For more information on fonts and typography see the team's fontblog,
The new spacing also contributes to the readability of your document. This new spacing comes from a combination of three things. The new font chosen is more “open” than Times New Roman, the font previously used. We also added a bit of space between each line within the paragraph. Though some folks have described this as “double-spaced,” it is actually 115% of the line height (double-spaced would be 200%). You could call this one-and-about-a-sixth spacing if you’d like. Finally, we added space after each paragraph. That means that rather than having to press Enter twice at the end of a paragraph in order to make the start of the paragraph noticeable, you simply press Enter once and we add the space for you.
While most documents look better with this new spacing, some documents require a “tighter” look and some people simply prefer less space within the paragraphs or are so used to pressing Enter between paragraphs, that they’d prefer the old spacing. If your preference is for the spacing used in previously versions, you will be able to easily obtain that by selecting the “Classic” look from the Style Set gallery on the Change Styles control of the Home tab. Style Sets not only change the appearance of the standard paragraph but also any text that has been formatted with the styles from the Styles gallery.
(NOTE: I’m sad to report that there’s a bug in the Beta 2 release that prevents the "Classic" look from working. For now, to get a document with the classic spacing, use the New command from the Office menu, select Installed templates at the left, and then double-click on the Office Word 2003 Look template.)