Changing the Color of a Tab's Leader Character

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 30, 2017)

Pyvn often uses a right-aligned tab with an underscore as a leader in order to create fill-in-the-blank lines in his documents. The color of these leader characters matches the color of the text in the paragraph, but he would like to make the leader character a different color than the paragraph text.

There is no way to do this automatically. In other words, you cannot specify in the Tabs dialog box what color you want the leader character to be. You can, however, format the leader character manually. This is because the leader is considered nothing but a single tab character by Word. All you need to do is to select this single character and then change its color.

For example, the following figure shows two paragraphs, both with a tab set at 3 inches. This tab is right-aligned, with an underscore used as the leader character. The only difference between the two paragraphs is that the tab character in the second paragraph was selected and manually changed to red. You could, if desired, change the tab character to any other color desired, the same as you would change any other character. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Example of coloring a tab's leader character.

When you are changing the color of the tab character, you can (if desired) change any other text attribute of the leader character (for instance, you might want to make it bold).

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5135) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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