How to Type Over a Line in MS Word

If you’re having a hard time figuring out how to type over a line in your document, then you’ve come to the right place.

Back then, files were forwarded and printed to be filled out. After that, they’re sent back to complete the cycle of document processing. Among the different types of documents, forms are the primary cause of these back-and-forth transmissions of files.

With today’s technology, we don’t need to print documents just to fill them out. MS Word allows us to easily fill in your name, address, and other information right in your document. Filling out forms in word-processing format requires users to be able to type in text over blank lines. 

Now, there are about three ways to type over a line in MS Word. 

3 Ways to Type Over a Line in MS Word

  • Using an underlined tab space
  • Using a line tool
  • Using a table cell

We’ll walk you through each step of these methods. You can rest assured that the steps in this guide are relatively easy to follow as we’ve written it with beginners in mind. So, don’t feel intimidated at all. 

Using an underlined tab space to allow users to type over a line in your document would be the most straightforward among the three methods. This is because you’ll only have to use a common text formatting feature. On the other hand, the other two methods make use of objects such as the line and table tools. You’ll find these two methods easier to format and more flexible in terms of layout. 

Let’s get started! 

Why Should You Type Over a Line in MS Word? 

More often than not, forms are filled out electronically, getting rid of the need for printing. When this happens, you’ll need to make sure your lines are intact when others type over them. A common mistake is when users try to fill out your form, and instead of the text being typed over the line, it actually cuts it.

This is why learning to correctly make the lines to type over is a crucial part of form creation. You’ll find typing over a line in MS Word an essential skill, most especially if you process electronic forms on a daily basis. Now, here are a couple of situations when typing over a line is most useful. You’ll want to type over a line when: 

  • You want to prepare a form to be filled out electronically. 
  • You want to create a form template that gives room for modifications and revisions. 
  • You want to fill out forms in word-processing format. 
  • You want to create a survey or an exam where respondents will have to type in their answers. 

These situations are simply general examples, meaning you don’t have to follow them strictly. We surmise that you’ll discover other reasons as you use this feature in the future. 

With that being said, here’s everything you need to know to type over a line in MS Word. 

Method 1: Type Over a Line Using an Underlined Tab Space

As mentioned above, this method is the most elementary among the three. In this method, you’ll learn how to use a text formatting tool to allow other users to type over a line in your document. 

Here’s how you can do that. 

Step 1: Open up a Word document. 

Before anything else, we need to open up a Word file. Feel free to use your own personal document where you need to type over a line. Otherwise, you can always create a new document to follow us every step of the way. Fill it up with a form or any related format.

Step 2: Use the Tab key. 

Once your document is ready, move your cursor where you want to start typing over the line. Then, press the Tab key multiple times to create ample space. Now, select the tab spaces you’ve just created. 

Step 3: Use the underline tool. 

Once you’ve selected the tab space, go to the Home tab and click the Underline button found in the Font group. Alternatively, you can also simply press Ctrl + U.

Notice that the Underline button provides several styles for your underline. A straight line is the standard format for forms.

Congratulations! You can now start typing over a line in MS Word. If you want to edit the spacing around the text over the line, you can skip to the Editing and Deleting Text Over a Line in MS Word section. 

Method 2: Type Over a Line Using the Line Tool 

In this method, we’ll walk you through the steps on how to use the Line tool to type over a line in MS Word. The Line tool is one of the many shape tools you can find in the Illustration group. You’ll learn how to place them properly around the text to outline the blanks to be filled out. 

Here’s how you can use the Line tool. 

Step 1: Open up an MS Word document. 

First off, we’ll need to open up a Word document. If you don’t have one yet, feel free to create a new file. Otherwise, you can opt to use your own personal document. Don’t worry about messing it up, as changes with this tool can easily be undone. Simply press the CTRL + Z keys on your keyboard to undo the steps. 

Step 2: Draw a line. 

Now that your document is opened, go to the Insert menu and click the Shapes drop-down menu. From there, select the Line tool found at the very first row in the selection. 

Click-and-drag your mouse to start drawing the line. Press the Shift key to ensure that the line stays completely straight.

Once the line is drawn, you can still resize and edit its length. Simply click the line and drag the ends to move it around. You’ll want to place your line just slightly below the main text line. 

Congratulations on using the Line tool to type over a line in MS Word!

Method 3: Type Over a Line Using a Table Cell

Another method to type over a line is to insert a table. If you’re creating a document that has a lot of to-be-filled-out blank lines, then you might as well create it using a table. This way, the layout of the labels and blanks lines will look nicer and more professional. 

Here’s how you can use a table cell to type over a line. 

Step 1: Open up an MS Word file. 

The first thing we need to do is to open a Word document. For this method, it’d be best to create a new blank document so you can later figure out the table layout you want to use. This way, you can simply copy-paste the finished table into your document instead of creating it there from scratch.

Step 2: Insert a table. 

Go to the Insert menu and click on the Table button. For this example, we’ll create a 4×3 table to allow six labels with corresponding lines. 

You’ll want to type in the labels at this point. Also, we’ll have to adjust the column width a bit so that we have ample space to type over the lines. By default, the columns and the rows are equally distributed. 

Step 3: Edit the cell borders. 

Select the entire table by clicking the Four-Arrow icon at the top-right corner of the table.

Go to the Design tab and click the Borders drop-down menu. Now, select No Border from the options. 

Click on any cell in the second column. Then, click the Borders button again and select Bottom Border. Repeat this process for the other cells. 

Note that you’ll have to do this one by one for each cell, as the borders of one cell can also be the borders of another cell. 

Voila! You’ve just used a table to type over a line in MS Word. 

Editing and Deleting Text Over a Line in MS Word 

In some cases, you might find yourself needing to edit or delete text over a line in MS Word. This is usually true when you need to revise or omit some parts of your form. 

Editing and Deleting an Underlined Tab Spaces 

To edit the underlined tab space we used for method 1, simply press the Tab key to add more tabs or the Backspace key to shorten the line. Select the whole tab space and press the Delete key to get rid of all of them at once. 

Editing and Deleting the Line Shape

Click the line and drag the circles on the edge to shorten or extend the line. Otherwise, press the Delete key on your keyboard to delete the line. 

In addition, you can go to the Format tab to further customize your line. 

Editing and Deleting Bottom Borders

If you used the third method, simply go to the Format tab after selecting your table. Select the cells you want to edit. Then, click the Borders button and select No Borders to delete the bottom borders of the table cells. 


We’ve finally come to the end of this article. Hopefully, we’ve helped you figure out how to type over a line in MS Word. Before we let you go, allow us to give you a brief summary of what we discussed today. 

There are a number of reasons why you might want to type over a line in MS Word. The most common situation is when you want to prepare a document that will be filled out electronically by others. In this guide, we showed you three methods to type over a line in MS Word. All are equally useful and easy to apply. The first method enables us to utilize the Underline text formatting feature of MS Word. On the other end, the second and third methods employ the Line and Table tools, respectively. 

We hope you’ve found this article helpful! 

Leave a Comment