Add a signature line

You can create a signature line by underlining blank spaces. The best way to do this depends on whether you want to print the document or distribute it online.

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Underline blank spaces for a printed document

You can underline blank spaces by pressing SHIFT+HYPHEN (-), but it is difficult to line up the underlines — if you are creating a fill-in form, for example. Also, if the AutoFormat option for changing underscore characters into border lines is turned on, pressing SHIFT+HYPHEN (-) three or more times in a row will result in a line that extends the width of the paragraph, which may not be what you want.

A better way to underline blank spaces for a printed document is to use the TAB key and apply the underline formatting to the tab characters.

Apply underline formatting to tab characters

  1. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click Show/Hide.

Word Ribbon Image

The marks that indicate spaces and tab stops are displayed.

  1. Press the TAB key.
  2. Select the tab characters that you want to underline. A tab character looks like a small arrow.

Tab

  1. Do one of the following:
    • To apply a simple underline format, press CTRL+U.
    • To apply a different style of underline, on the Home tab, in the Font group, click the Font Dialog Box Launcher, click the Font tab, and then select a style from the Underline style list.

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Underline blank spaces for an online document

To create an underline in an online document or form, insert a table cell with the bottom border turned on. This method ensures that when someone types on the line, the line stays in place.

You can create a line on its own, or you can create a line that has introductory text, such as Signature or Date.

Create a line

  1. Click where you want to insert a blank underline.
  2. On the Insert tab, in the Tables group, click Table.

Word Ribbon Image

  1. Click the upper-left box to insert a 1x1 table.

To change the length of the line, move the pointer over the end of the table until it becomes a resize pointer Resize pointer (double-headed arrow), and then move the arrow right or left to lengthen or shorten the line.

  1. Right-click the table, click Borders and Shading, and then click the Borders tab.
  2. Under Setting, click None.
  3. Under Style, click the line type, color, and width that you want.
  4. In the diagram under Preview, click between the lower margin markers to add the bottom border. Make sure that only the bottom line is displayed.
  5. Under Apply to, click Table, and then click OK.

 Note   If you prefer to view the table without the light gray gridlines that do not print, on the Layout tab, in the Table group, click Show Gridlines.

Create a line that has introductory text

  1. Click where you want to insert a blank underline.
  2. On the Insert tab, in the Tables group, click Table.

Word Ribbon Image

  1. Click the upper-left box to insert a 2x1 table.

To change the length of the line, move the pointer over the end of the table until it becomes a resize pointer Resize pointer (double-headed arrow), and then move the arrow right or left to lengthen or shorten the line.

  1. Right-click the table, click Borders and Shading, and then click the Borders tab.
  2. Under Setting, click None.
  3. Under Apply to, click Table, and then click OK.
  4. Right-click the cell where you want to add the underline, click Borders and Shading again, and then click the Borders tab.
  5. Under Style, click the line type, color, and width that you want.
  6. In the diagram under Preview, click between the lower margin markers to add the bottom border. Make sure that only the bottom line is displayed.
  7. Under Apply to, click Cell.
  8. Type the introductory text that you want in the cell that doesn't display the line.

 Note   If you prefer to view the table without the light gray gridlines that do not print, on the Layout tab, in the Table group, click Show Gridlines.

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Applies to:
Word 2007