How to Underline Blank Spaces in a Microsoft Word Document

I finally found out how to underline blank spaces in Microsoft Word 2007. It’s been driving me nuts for months and the support site just wasn’t helpful. I did this all the time with my 2003 version. Last resort (which should have been my first stop) was to Google my question and quickly went right to the answer on the Microsoft site. Here’s the secret no one wants you to know 😉

You can underline blank spaces by pressing SHIFT + HYPHEN (-).

That’s it! Earth shattering, I know. I do understand there are other ways, even considered better by Microsoft, but when all I want to do is a few quick, fast space underlines … voila! I was so relieved to find this today.


  1. Thank u,i got the answer for my question,this is very informative….

  2. A better solution is to go into Options/Advanced/Compatibility/Layout and select “Draw underline on trailing spaces” So obvious, isn’t it?

  3. The problem with this solution is that the underlines created by SHIFT+HYPHEN do not line up with underlined words.

    Another solution is to replace the blank spaces with a tab (and then adjust the size of the tabs to the desired width). Tabs are easily underlined with the CTRL+U keystroke, and these underlines line up with the underlined words.

    • Thank you, Scott. I don’t have the alignment issue with underlined spaces and underlined words — they view and print in sync. I appreciate your tab solution and I’m sure someone else may benefit from your note!

  4. OMG THANK YOU! I feel so dumb for not figuring that out on my own. Like, DUH! Thanks again.

  5. Thanks for posting this – it’s a big help.


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