Lines that Don't Change When You Type

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 27, 2017)

6

Susan, like many people, needs to create a form in a Word document. The form needs to contain lines in it, with each line showing where someone should type something. Susan is wondering how to create the lines so that they remain looking the same after someone actually types something where the lines are located.

There are a couple of things you can do. The first is to try using tabs to indicate where you want people to enter information. For instance, let's say you want a line to begin 1.5 inches from the left margin and then have that line extend for 3 inches from that point. You can do this by setting two tab stops: one at 1.5 inches and the other at 4.5 inches. The first tab stop should be left aligned and the second should be right aligned.

Then, select the second tab stop and apply the underline attribute. You now have a line exactly 3 inches wide. If someone positions the insertion point at the beginning of the line and starts typing, their typing is also underlined, so it looks natural. As long as what is being typed does not extend beyond the 3 inches, you are fine.

Another approach is to draw underlines where you want information to be entered. Since the underlines are graphical, they are not affected by what you type and will remain visible on the document. (Their visibility, of course, can be affected by how they are placed in relation to other drawing objects or to the text itself, so you may need to do a bit of experimentation to get lines exactly as you want.)

The way that most people approach the problem of underlines in forms, however, is to use tables. Just set up a table that is as simple or complex as necessary to accommodate what you need. The cells in the table can be selected and borders applied, as necessary, to create the lines you need. When someone needs to enter information, all they need to do is click in the table cell and start typing. The line (which is really the cell border) is not affected by what is typed.

For a good discussion about how to set up lines in forms, see this page at the Word MVP site:

http://wordmvp.com/FAQs/TblsFldsFms/LinesInForms.htm

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3376) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Choosing an Equation Style

You can define styles for different characters used in the Equation Editor. It is not as full-featured as styles in Word, but ...

Discover More

Deleting Footnotes and Endnotes

Deleting either footnotes or endnotes is a simple process. Just select the reference mark and delete it. Assuming you are ...

Discover More

Putting a Macro Name on the Quick Access Toolbar

In older versions of Word you could customize the program so that either icons or text (or both) could appear on the ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Ensuring Consistent Lines on Each Page

Need to have a specific number of lines on each page in your documents? What if those documents are subdocuments to a master ...

Discover More

Font Substitution Problems

When your document uses fonts that are not available on your computer system, Word substitutes other fonts that it feels are ...

Discover More

Extending a Paragraph into the Left Margin

Word allows you to format a paragraph so that it extends into the left margin of the document. This is done by setting a ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 + 5?

2017-01-16 10:33:19

Sandra

I am trying to fill out a nomination form created in word. Everytime I type on the lines provided the line are moved as I enter in the space. How can I fix this in a word document that I didn't create?


2016-12-13 20:05:01

rylie

On word ill try to write something and the line will move as i type. Its like the word is between the line every time i type a word how do i fix that?


2015-08-28 03:03:55

Milt

I have a form that I created in Word. I added lines. Is there a way that I can type characters on the line without the line moving? My version of word is 2010.


2015-06-01 12:09:05

Gerri

I'm trying to fill out a application in word but everytime I try the lines move please help


2015-04-12 01:05:53

Travis Kuest

I am currently filling out forms that have underlies already and am trying to find a way to keep the underline on permanently. everytime I come to a new line, I have to re-click the underline button and that is getting tedious.


2014-04-02 13:35:04

geri

When I try to add a table box like the one above that my first name appears in, I cannot get the on the same line and the text before it, like in "Name:" on this page above.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.