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)?

  • I recommend LibreOffice if you need a more complex Office suite than Google Docs for free.
    – bcs78
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 11:39

2 Answers 2


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
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 12:11
  • 1
    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
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 12:27

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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