Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Using Dot Leaders in a Paragraph.

Using Dot Leaders in a Paragraph

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 30, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Dot leaders are dots (which look like periods) that appear to the left of information. Dot leaders are often used in tables of contents or in some tabular material. Word allows you to automatically place dot leaders in tabular material. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the insertion point is in the paragraph in which you want the dot leaders.
  2. Choose the Tabs option from the Format menu. You will see the Tabs dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Tabs dialog box.

  4. Either select an existing tab stop location, or enter a tab stop measurement in the Tab Stop Position box.
  5. Make sure the Alignment type is set as desired.
  6. In the Leader area, click on the second option, which looks like a line of periods or dots.
  7. Click on Set.
  8. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (618) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Using Dot Leaders in a Paragraph.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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