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U is for Underline

Underline is not used today. This may or may not be something new to you.

Years ago in the past we would use underline for titles, subtitles, heading, and words or phrases that we wanted to mark as important.
A business communication class will tell you that that is no longer correct.

The only items underlined in any document, whether in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Outlook, Google docs, etc., is a hyperlink.

Hyperlink is a link to a webpage or an email address. Those are the only items we should see underlined in any document.

We can use a border to identify areas within a document such as below. The line/border goes from one margin to the other border as shown below. No lines directly under letters.

We use borders in Excel under headings and numbers, not underline.


  1. Back in the day we used underline and other formats extensively in footnotes. The pressure was extreme to format everything correctly. Seems nit-picky now, but there was a purpose to it. Interesting to learn the underline is now reserved for hyperlinks. Makes sense if you think about it - avoids confusion.

    1. You are right. Footnotes are still done "nit-picky" it is just for the last 20 years the underline has been replaced with " " quotes and italic.
      Word is great for laying it out correctly. Pick which layout you want [chicago, APA...] and Word will do the rest for you.

  2. I rarely write anything anymore that requires perfect footnote formatting. Mainly I just do it for myself out of habit. But it's good to know that feature is available if I need it!