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My friend's college professor asked her to write a paper for class with the following criteria:

  • written in MS word
  • A4 paper, margins 35mm on top, 30mm on sides and bottom
  • font size 11pt (it's a japanese essay so the font is MS P 明朝)
  • line spacing 18pt, 36 lines per page

However, neither of us have MS word, and would rather not pay over a hundred dollars + a monthly fee just to write an essay.

Is there anyway to fulfill these requirements using Google Docs? The essay will be printed and handed in, no digital copy.

I found the settings for line spacing in Google docs, but it's measured in number of lines, not in "points". And when I do the math (18pt / 11pt (the font size) = 1.64), the number of lines per page comes out to 30 instead of 36.

Is there anyway to make the formatting work correctly using Google Docs (or another free solution)?

migrated from superuser.com Aug 1 '18 at 14:33

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  • I recommend LibreOffice if you need a more complex Office suite than Google Docs for free. – bcs78 Jul 30 '18 at 11:39
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You might want to give Open Ofice or LibreOffice a try. You will fnd all the needed options there. To get around your lines/page issue i would recommend to just adjust the linespacing.

From my experience in the academic world, its a lot easier to just use the demanded software (MS Windows & Office, Citavi, etc.) and most of the times the faculties offer licenses for their students. I use a spare laptop for my university stuff only.

  • I hadn't thought to try OpenOffice yet. I already had it installed, but had forgotten it existed. :P It has an option to set line width by centimeters, so I just converted the "point" measurement to centimeters, and it came out to exactly the right number of lines. – Skeets Jul 30 '18 at 12:11
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    Its possible to use point instead of centimeters. Just type XXXpt into the field it will be converted or accepted (long time no text editing ;-) – pitchzer0 Jul 30 '18 at 12:27
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You can find free versions of Word on the Android and Apple stores. This might be enough for the assignment (although I have no experience with them).

Another option is Word Online, which is Microsoft’s own cloud-based solution for working with Word files. It’s part of the Microsoft Office Online suite, and you can access it without a subscription. You just have to sign in with a free Microsoft account.

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