Create blank lines in a printed Word form the easy way

Creating printed forms can be a hassle if you can't get those blank lines to cooperate. Learn one of the easiest and most versatile ways to set up your form: using underlined tabs.

Word users often create printed fill-in forms that include underlined blanks spaces for writing in form data. While you can press Shift + - (hyphen) repeatedly to create these underlined spaces, it's difficult to line up the lines. Leader tabs make it easier to create even lines, as well as saving keystrokes, but you're limited to four underline styles.

Using the Underline button to underline tab characters gives you all the advantages of leader tabs with a wider choice of underline styles. For example, say you have used tabs to lay out your form, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

tabbed form

To create the lines, just follow these steps.

  1. Click the Show/Hide button on the Standard toolbar so that you can see tab marks in your document. In Word 2007, click Show/Hide on the Home tab in the Paragraph group.

  1. Select the first tab mark you want to underline, then hold down the Ctrl key while you select each of other tab marks (Figure B).

Figure B

tab selection

  1. Go to Format | Font, choose the thick underline style from the Underline drop-down list, and click OK. In Word 2007, go to the Home tab, click the Underline button arrow in the Font group, and select a style from the Underline style list (Figure C).

Figure C

underline format

All lines will be printed, as shown in Figure D.

Figure D


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