Add Horizontal Lines in Word Using Paragraph Borders

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated February 12, 2020

Applies to: Microsoft® Word® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and 365 (Windows)

You can insert lines in Microsoft Word by drawing lines or by using borders (normally paragraph borders). However, if you draw lines using Insert Shapes, you’ll have to worry about the line being inline or floating. In this article, we’ll insert and remove lines using borders which are attached to paragraphs so they move as you edit the document. In Microsoft Word, anything with a hard return after it is a paragraph. If you use border lines, you can customize the type of border, line thickness and color. You can also include paragraph border lines in styles so they will appear throughout your document. 

Recommended article: 10 Microsoft Word Shortcuts for Navigating in Tables

Adding border lines using the Borders button

To add a horizontal paragraph border line above or below a paragraph:

  1. Select the paragraph(s) to which you want to add a border line.
  2. Click the Home tab in the Ribbon and then click Borders in the Paragraph group. A drop-down menu appears.
  3. Select the border you wish to use.

Below is the Borders button:

Microsoft Word borders button to insert lines.

Removing border lines using the Borders button

To remove borders from paragraphs:

  1. Select the paragraph(s) with the border lines you wish to remove.
  2. Click the Home tab in the Ribbon and then click Borders. A drop-down menu appears.
  3. Choose No Border from the drop-down menu.

Adding border lines using the Borders and Shading dialog box

You can apply custom border lines to one or more paragraphs using the Borders and Shading dialog box.

To add a horizontal paragraph border line above or below a paragraph:

  1. Select the paragraph(s) to which you want to add a border line.
  2. Click the Home tab in the Ribbon and click Borders. A drop-down menu appears.
  3. Select Borders and Shading. A dialog box appears.
  4. Select a border style, color and width.
  5. Click between the guides in the sample area on the right (above or below the sample).
  6. Click Options (if required), enter any offset amounts to control the distance between the line and the paragraph and click OK.
  7. In Apply to, ensure Paragraph is selected.
  8. Click OK.

Below is the Borders and Shading dialog box:

Microsoft Word borders and shading dialog box inserting lines below a paragraph.

Removing border lines using the Borders and Shading dialog box

To remove borders from paragraphs:

  1. Select the paragraph(s) with the border lines you wish to remove.
  2. Click the Home tab in the Ribbon and click Borders. A drop-down menu appears.
  3. Select Borders and Shading. A dialog box appears.
  4. Click None in the Setting area.
  5. In Apply to, ensure Paragraph is selected.
  6. Click OK.

Adding border lines using keyboard shortcuts

You can also add border lines using keyboard shortcuts (which enter AutoCorrect entries).

Type the following characters and then press Enter or Return to insert different types of lines:

  • To insert a plain single line, type three hyphens (—).
  • To insert a plain double line, type three equal signs (===).
  • To insert a dotted line, type three asterisks (***).
  • To insert a bold single line, type three underlines (___).
  • To insert a wavy line, type three tildes (~~~).
  • To insert a triple line, type three number signs or hash tags (###).

To remove these lines, select the paragraph with the line, click the Borders button on the Home tab and select No Border.

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Summary
How to Insert a Line in Microsoft Word (The Better Way)
Article Name
How to Insert a Line in Microsoft Word (The Better Way)
Description
You can insert lines in Microsoft Word by drawing lines or by using borders (normally paragraph borders). However, if you draw lines using Insert Shapes, you'll have to worry about the line being inline or floating. In this article, we’ll insert and remove lines using borders which are attached to paragraphs so they move as you edit the document. In Microsoft Word, anything with a hard return after it is a paragraph. If you use border lines, you can customize the type of border, line thickness and color. You can also include paragraph border lines in styles so they will appear throughout your document. 
Author
Publisher Name
Avantix Learning Inc.

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