How to Create a Dot Leader in Word

By Danielle Cort

A dot leader can be a handy aid to readers trying to read information across a page. For example, a table of contents often uses dot leaders, leading the reader from the chapter title on the left of the page to the respective page listed on the right side. You can set the dot leader when you set a particular tab. You are not limited to using dots for a dot leader; Word offers you several varieties of dot leaders from which to choose.

Step 1

Open the Word document into which you want to add dot leaders.

Step 2

Press "Tab" to go to the first tab stop where you want to type text, if necessary. Otherwise, begin typing at the left margin. Type your text but do not press Enter.

Step 3

Click on the little ruler icon just above the scrollbar to display the ruler, if it is not visible.

Step 4

Select the type of tab you want for the next tab on your line. Click the small tab icon to the left of the top ruler to cycle through the different types of tabs.

Step 5

Click on the ruler to set the tab. For example, you can set a right-justified tab at the right edge of your document if you want to create page numbers or something similar.

Step 6

Click "Page Layout" on the ribbon and click the tiny gray arrow in a box at the bottom right corner of the Paragraph group. This will bring up the Paragraph window.

Step 7

Click "Tabs" from the bottom of the menu. You will see a list of the tab stop positions you created so far. Select the tab position you want the dot leader to lead up to from the "Tab stop positions" list.

Step 8

Select "2," the dot leader style from the "Leader" menu and click "OK."

Step 9

Press "Tab" to tab to the stop you created. You should see the dot leader appear.