is it possible to give text some kind of spacing around it in MS Word (in the way padding works in CSS)? For instance, if I have text with a background, I want the background to extend further, so that it's no only behind the text, but looks like a box around it.

enter image description here

The background of this text, for example, should extend a bit more around the text, as if there was a fixed spacing around the paragraph. How do I achieve this?

I use MS Word 2016.

1 Answer 1


One option is to put the text into a text box or a table.

What I usually do, though, is just add a border that's the same color as the paragraph shading.

For example, if I want light blue shading and 6 points of 'padding,' I first set the shading on the Shading tab of the Borders and Shading dialog box.

Shading tab of the Borders and Shading dialog box

Then, on the Borders tab, I select the same light blue color as the border color and select 6 pt as the border width.

Borders tab of the Borders and Shading dialog box

Finally, I click Options, and set Top, Bottom, Left, and Right to 0 pt.

Border and Shading Options dialog box

The result is this:

Paragraph shading with padding

I could also have achieved the same thing by setting the border width to, say, 1 pt and then setting Top, Bottom, Left, and Right to 5 pt.


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