Underline text or spaces

The quickest way to underline text is to press Ctrl+U and start typing. When you want to stop underlining, press Ctrl+U again.

You can also underline text and spaces in several other ways.

What do you want to do?

Example

Underline words and the spaces between them

Underline words, but not the spaces between them

Change the underline style and color

Underline style and color

Use a double underline

Underline blank spaces

Remove underlining

text without underline

Underline words and the spaces between them

  1. Select the text that you want to underline.

  2. Go to Home > Underline. Or press Ctrl+U.

    Click Underline

Underline words, but not the spaces between them

  1. Select the text that you want to underline.

  2. Go to Home and select Font dialog box launcher Button image .

    Clicking the Font dialog box launcher

  3. Go to Font and select Words only in the Underline style drop-down list.

Change the underline style and color

  1. Select the text that you want to underline.

  2. Go to Home and select Font dialog box launcher Button image .

    Tip: You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+D.

    Clicking the Font dialog box launcher

  3. Use the Underline style drop-down list to select an underline style.

    Use the Underline color drop-down list to change the color of the line.

Use a double underline

  1. Select the text that you want to underline.

  2. Go to Home and select Font dialog box launcher Button image .

    Clicking the Font dialog box launcher

  3. Select double underline in the Underline style drop-down list.

Underline blank spaces

You can underline blank spaces by pressing Shift+Hyphen (-), but it is difficult to line up the underlines — if you are creating a fill-in form, for example. Also, if the AutoFormat option for changing underscore characters into border lines is turned on, pressing Shift+Hyphen (-) three or more times in a row will result in a line that extends the width of the paragraph, which may not be what you want.

A better way to underline blank spaces for a printed document is to use the Tab key and apply the underline formatting to the tab characters.

When you want to create an underline in an online form, insert table cells with the bottom border turned on.

Underline blank spaces for a printed document

To underline blank spaces for a printed document, use the Tab key and apply the underline formatting to the tab characters.

  1. Go to Home > Show/Hide ¶ so that you can see the marks that indicate spaces and tab stops.

  2. Press the Tab key.

  3. Select the tab characters that you want to underline. A tab character looks like a small arrow.

    Tab

  4. Do one of the following:

    • Press Ctrl+U to apply a simple underline.

    • To apply a different style of underline, go to Home and select Font dialog box launcher Button image .

      Select Underline style to choose a different underline style.

Underline blank spaces for an online document

To create an underline in an online document or form, insert a table cell with the bottom border turned on. This method ensures that when someone types on the line, the line stays in place.

  1. Click or tap where you want to insert a blank underline.

  2. Go to Insert > Table.

    Insert a table

  3. Select the upper-left box to insert a 1x1 Table.

    If you want to add introductory text, such as a name or Social Security Number, before the underline, insert a 2x1 Table.

    To change the length of the line, move the pointer over the end of the table until it becomes a resize pointer resize pointer (double-headed arrow) , and then move the arrow right or left to lengthen or shorten the line.

  4. Click or tap in the table (or in the second table cell if you created a 2x1 table).

  5. The Table Tools appear. On the Design tab, select Borders > Borders and Shading.

  6. Under Setting, select None.

  7. Under Style, select the line type, color, and width that you want.

  8. In the diagram under Preview, click or tap between the lower margin markers to add the bottom border. Make sure only the bottom line is displayed.

    Note: If you prefer to view the table without the light gray gridlines that do not print, select the table, go to Layout next to the Table Design tab and select View Gridlines.

    If you used a 2x1 table to make room for introductory text, you can type the text before the line.

Remove underlining

To remove single underlining from words and spaces, select the underlined text and press Ctrl+U.

To remove other styles of underlining, press Ctrl+U twice.

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