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Remove underlines from descenders


When you underline text that includes lowercase characters, the results can be ugly. The underlines intersect the the descenders of characters like g, j, p, q and y (that is, characters that descend below the baseline).

PowerPoint MVP Geetesh Bajaj discusses the problem in more detail and explains how to fix it manually here on in his article Stop Underlining Your Descenders.

Fixing a few lines of underlined text is well worth the minimal effort it takes; it really does improve the appearance of your text. But what if you've got lots of text to fix? A whole presentation worth? Several whole presentations worth?

Doing it manually would be very tedious indeed. How about letting the computer do the work for you instead? Read on ...


The VBA code below will look at each text shape in your presentation and remove the underline from any character with descenders.

If you're working in a language with other characters that have descenders, add them to the sDescenders = "gjpqy" line in Function IsDescender below.

Sub FixAllDescenders()
' Removes underlines from all descenders in the presentation

    Dim oSl As Slide
    Dim oSh As Shape

    For Each oSl In ActivePresentation.Slides
        For Each oSh In oSl.Shapes
            If oSh.HasTextFrame Then
                If oSh.TextFrame.HasText Then
                    FixDescenders oSh
                End If
            End If

End Sub

Sub FixDescenders(oSh As Shape)
' Removes underlines from descenders in just the current shape

    Dim x As Long
    Dim oChar As TextRange
    With oSh
    If .HasTextFrame Then
    If .TextFrame.HasText Then
      For x = 1 To Len(.TextFrame.TextRange.Text)
        If IsDescender(Mid$(.TextFrame.TextRange.Text, x, 1)) Then
          .TextFrame.TextRange.Characters(x, 1).Font.Underline = False
        End If
    End If
    End If
    End With
End Sub

Function IsDescender(sCharacter As String) As Boolean
    Dim sDescenders as String
    sDescenders = "gjpqy"
    If InStr(sDescenders, sCharacter) > 0 Then
        IsDescender = True
        IsDescender = False
    End If
End Function

See How do I use VBA code in PowerPoint? to learn how to use this example code.

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Remove underlines from descenders
Last update 14 December, 2019
Created: 20 April, 2013