WD97: How to Create Ruling Lines or Blank Underlines in Word

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Article ID: 195485 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

This article describes the most common methods for creating ruling lines or blank lines in a Microsoft Word document. These are useful if you are creating a form that will be printed and filled out with pen or pencil.

The following Five methods are described in this article:

  • Paragraph Border Method
  • Table Border Method
  • Blank Space Method
  • Tab Leader Method
  • Draw Method

MORE INFORMATION

Paragraph Border Method

This method places a line (Border) under each line that has a paragraph mark (hard return).

  1. Select all the paragraphs to be underlined.
  2. On the Format menu, click Borders and Shading.
  3. Click the Borders tab.
  4. Click to select the line style you want.
  5. Click to select the center and bottom borders in the sample (Preview area) of the dialog box.
  6. Click OK. Each line with a hard return should now have a border beneath it.
NOTE: Multiple blank paragraphs formatted this way can be placed in text boxes and positioned "underneath" the normal text area to form lines that are not affected by typing text; lines created using the Draw method are also not affected by typing text. To learn more about using text boxes type "Text Boxes" (without the quotation marks) in the search area of the Help index.

Table Border Method

This method places a border on the bottom of the table cell. There will be a line under any text typed in the table cell. When text wraps to a second line, there will still only be a single border at the bottom of the cell.

  1. Place the insertion point on a blank line where you want the underlined text to appear.
  2. On the Table menu, click Insert Table.
  3. In the Number of Columns box, type 2. In the Number of Rows box, type 1 and then click OK.

    NOTE: A two-column, one-row table now appears at the insertion point.
  4. On the Table menu, click Select Table.
  5. On the Format menu, click Borders and Shading. Select the Borders tab.
  6. In the Style area, select the line style you want to use for the border.
  7. In the Border area, click the bottom of the example. Click OK.

Blank Space Method

With this method, you can underline one space at a time. Word does not normally underline blank spaces. The following instructions explain how to create non-breaking spaces, which Word will underline.

  1. Place the insertion point where you want the ruling line (underlining).
  2. On the Format menu, click Font. In the Underline list, select Single and click OK.
  3. For every blank space you want to underline, press CTRL+SHIFT+SPACEBAR.

Tab Leader Method

  1. Place the insertion point on the line where you want the underlining.
  2. On the Format menu, click Tabs.
  3. In the Tabs dialog box, click Clear All.
  4. Under Tab Stop Position, type a number that corresponds to the number of inches you want the line to extend from the left margin. (For example, 6.0 inches goes from margin to margin in a document with 1.25-inch left and right margins.)
  5. Under Alignment, click Right. Under Leader, select 4 (the underline).
  6. Click Set, and then click OK.
  7. Press the TAB key. A line extends from the insertion point to the tab created in step 4.
  8. Press ENTER to move to a blank line, and then press the TAB key again. Repeat this step as needed.
NOTE: Multiple blank paragraphs formatted this way can be placed in text boxes and positioned "underneath" the normal text area to form lines that are not affected by typing text; lines created using the Draw method are also not affected by typing text. To learn more about using text boxes type "Text Boxes" (without the quotation marks) in the search area of the Help index.

Draw Method

  1. Click the Drawing button from the Standard toolbar, or click Toolbars on the View menu, click to select Drawing, and then click OK.
  2. Click the Line button on the Drawing toolbar.
  3. Place the pointer where you want the line to start. The mouse pointer is a crosshair (+).
  4. Click and hold the mouse button, and drag the line to the length you want.

    NOTE: Holding down the SHIFT key while drawing a line makes straight horizontal or vertical lines.

    NOTE: Holding down the ALT key while drawing a line prevents the line from snapping to the grid and allows exact line placement.

    To turn off the snap to grid feature, click Draw on the Drawing toolbar, and then Click Grid. Click to clear the Snap To Grid check box, and then click OK.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 to add as many ruling lines you want.

Properties

Article ID: 195485 - Last Review: January 23, 2007 - Revision: 1.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbualink97 KB195485
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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