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: Understanding Underlines.

Understanding Underlines

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 2, 2015)

There are several different types of underlines you can use in Word. Underlining of characters is handled from the Font dialog box (select Font from the Format menu). The dialog box allows you to select from a variety of underline types. The following are the major types available:

Underline Type Meaning
None Removes any underlining from the selected text
Single Adds a single underline, the entire length of the selected text
Words Only Underlines only the words (not spaces or tabs) in the selected text
Double Adds a double-line underline, the entire length of the selected text
Dots Same as Single, but uses a line of dots instead
Dashes Same as Dots, but uses dashes instead of dots

The actual types of underlines available, and how those types are presented in the dialog box, depend on your version of Word. For instance, Word 2003 offers 18 different options of underlines. Most of these options represent variations on the Single, Dots, and Dashes options mentioned above.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1224) 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: Understanding Underlines.

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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