Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Underlining Quoted Text.

Underlining Quoted Text

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 2, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


For some documents, you may have the need to underline information within quotes. For instance, for some legal documents you may need to find all material surrounded by quotes, and then make the information between the quotes underlined. This is different from regular prose writing, where you would use either underlines or quotes, but not both.

If you have a need to search for all quoted text and make it underlined, you can use the following macro. It searches for quote marks and when it finds one, it underlines everything up to the next quote mark. Note that it will not actually underline the quote marks themselves.

Sub UnderlineQuoted()
    Dim bDelQuotes As Boolean
    Dim bMvRt As Boolean
    Selection.HomeKey Unit:=wdStory

    ' controls deletion of quote marks
    bDelQuotes = False
    
    With Selection.Find
        .ClearFormatting
        .Text = Chr(34)
        .Replacement.Text = ""
        .Forward = True
        .Wrap = wdFindStop
        .Execute
    End With

    While Selection.Find.Found
        Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1
        ' switch on selection extend mode
        Selection.ExtendMode = True
        bMvRt = True
        ' find second quote of this pair
        Selection.Find.Execute
        If Selection.Find.Found Then
            Selection.MoveLeft Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1
            If Len(Selection.Range.Text) > 0 Then
                ' make it underlined
                Selection.Font.Underline = True
                ' delete quote marks, if appropriate
                If bDelQuotes Then
                    Selection.Cut
                    Selection.TypeBackspace
                    Selection.Delete Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1
                    Selection.Paste
                    bMvRt = False
                End If
            End If
        End If
        Selection.ExtendMode = False
        If bMvRt Then
            Selection.Collapse Direction:=wdCollapseEnd
            Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1
        End If
        Selection.Find.Execute
    Wend
End Sub

Pay attention to the setting of the bDelQuotes variable. If set to False (as it is here), then the quote marks themselves are not deleted by the macro. If you change the value of the variable to True, then the macro gets rid of the quote marks in the document. Note that it only gets rid of the quote marks if it actually underlines text between those quote marks.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10473) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Underlining Quoted Text.

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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