Fixing the Underlying Problems with Underlines.

I’ve always thought that underlining words within body copy looked absolutely atrocious, so I avoided using them at all cost. Over the years, this lead to arguments with some coworkers who felt (just as strongly) that the words “needed” to be underlined to stand out. I would argue that underlines are, in many cases, too heavy for the typeface and much to close to the baseline. Because of this, underlines make words stick out, not standout. The problem is that sometimes people who feel the “need” for underlines are in charge. There has to be a way to make underlines look better.

When I used to use Quark, the solution was Custom Underlines and in InDesign it’s Underline Options. Select the copy you have to underline, and under the Options menu of the Character palette, select Underline Options. In the window that opens, check “Underline On” and “Preview.” Then choose the weight of the underline, its offset, type of rule used, and its color before pressing OK. And best of all, like any Character formatting, these options can be saved as a Character Style by selecting “New Style” under the Options menu of the Character Styles palette.

Tip provided by Jeff Witchel, Certified Adobe® Training Provider.