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How To Keep A Letter On One Page

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One of the key pieces of advice I include in all of my letter writing kits is that you should always try hard to keep a letter on a single page.

Regardless of the subject of your letter, you should be able to make your key point(s) on one page. That doesn’t mean that you won’t sometimes have supporting documents as attachments. However, even in cases where attachments are necessary, you should always try to make the covering letter a one-pager.

I’m sure you’ve received letters that overflow onto a second page for the sake of a few words or a sentence or two. Such letters tends to look very tacky and unprofessional, and they’re very wasteful to boot. So try to avoid doing that when you are writing your own letters – especially business letters.

Nowadays it’s easy to do this. With standard word processing software there are a number of handy little tricks that you can use to help squeeze your letter (or other document) onto a single page.

So, here are some page squeeze tips:

  • Move both the left and right margins out about 1/4 in. closer to the edge of the page. No more than that, however, as it will look too obvious.
  • Move the top and bottom margins out about 1/4 in. closer to the edge of the page. Again, no more than 1/4 in.
  • Take a good look at your draft letter and see if there are any paragraphs that have an ending sentence that overflows onto an additional line for the sake of one or two words. If so, make a minor edit or two in the paragraph to shorten it a little so that it will no longer overflow onto the following line. Don’t forget to reread to make sure it still makes sense!
  • Another thing you can do is, try reducing the size of the font size by 1 point, say from 12 to 11 points. Note: your font size should never be smaller than 10 points.

If your letter still doesn’t fit, but it is close, there’s one final thing you can try if you are the author of the letter. Go back and edit it one more time. Look for redundant thoughts and phrases, or those that can be combined into one sentence rather than two. Is every word and phrase absolutely essential to your message? You’ll be amazed at the space savings that this final edit process can result in.

Try the above methods in sequence, one-at-a-time, checking each time to see if your latest change has done the trick for you.

18 thoughts on “How To Keep A Letter On One Page

  1. EXCELLENT

  2. Dear professor,
    I should thank you for publishing such useful articles. I enjoy reading such articles on the usage of English. Please keep it up. Thank you.

  3. Thanks Shaun for these pieces of important suggestions on keeping to a one page letter.
    This is indeed very useful. Happy New Year. Looking forward to more useful posts.

  4. Hi Shaun

    Happy New Year to you and yours. Thanks again for your continued informative articles. It is greatly appreciated.

  5. Dear Shaun,
    As always, all the information you provide is much appreciated. As English is my second language, you cannot imagine the things I have learned from you.
    Thank you and you can be sure I am already waiting for your next e-mail.

  6. Hello Shaun
    Thank you once more for always educating and expanding our mental horizons.
    We appreciate a lot and wish you all the best.
    happy new year.

  7. Dear professor,
    I should thank you for publishing such useful articles. I enjoy reading such articles on the usage of English. Please keep it up. Thank you.

  8. Hi Shaun,
    I find your articles interesting and thought provoking. Keep them coming!

    Colin (NZ)

  9. Thanks Shaun, No doubt there will be something in you verbiage of which I shall gain some wise advice. I will look forward to additional helpful points. As ever – LKL.

  10. Hi Shaun,

    Thanks for an interesting article.

  11. Thanks Shaun for the wonderful work you are doing. You have really transformed me into a good writer now. Hope to learn more from you.

  12. Hi Shaun
    Happy New Year to you and yours. Thanks again for your continued informative articles. I use them to help one of my grand kids who is attending Junior College. Thanks AGAIN
    Eddie Cordero

  13. This is another priceless piece from you, Shaun.

    I have been trying some of these tricks before in my official letters, but I was not convinced if I was professional trying to reduce margins, etc. Now, I’ve got the endorsement.

    Thank you very much.

  14. Hi shaun,
    Thanks a million

  15. Happy New Year to you and your family ..thanks a lot for your articles..

  16. Nice and workable tricks. Thanks

  17. Dear Shaun
    Thank you for the information. I always reduce the font size when I want a letter to fit on one page.
    May God continue to richly bless you.

    Happy New Year to you and your family.

  18. Dear Shaun,

    Thank you for the write-up; it gave me additional information on how to solidify more on previous information I already have about compressing letters or write-ups into a page.

    Remain blessed and happy new year!

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