Insert Lines in Microsoft Word Documents

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated October 9, 2021

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

You can insert a line in Word using the Ribbon or by using keyboard shortcuts. It’s best to avoid drawing lines and instead insert border lines in Microsoft Word (normally paragraph borders) so the line or lines will move as you edit the document.

In this article, we’ll focus on inserting lines using borders attached to paragraphs. 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. If you draw lines using Insert Shapes, you’ll have to worry about the line being inline or floating.

You can insert a line in Word in 3 ways using borders:

  1. Use the Borders command on the Home tab in the Ribbon
  2. Select and apply different types of lines using the Borders and Shading dialog box
  3. Insert different types of lines using keyboard shortcuts (which add lines using AutoCorrect)

Recommended article: How to Keep Text Together in Microsoft Word

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Inserting a line using the Borders button

To insert a line in Word above and / or below a paragraph using the Borders button:

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

Below is the Borders command in the Ribbon in Word:

Borders button in Word to insert lines.

Removing lines using the Borders command

To remove a border line or lines from one or more paragraphs:

  1. Select the paragraph(s) with the border lines you want 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.

Inserting a line using the Borders and Shading dialog box

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

To insert a line in Word above and / or below a paragraph using the Borders and Shading dialog box:

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

Below is the Borders and Shading dialog box where you can add a line or lines to paragraphs:

Insert lines in Word using Borders and Shading dialog box.

Removing lines using the Borders and Shading dialog box

To remove lines from one or more paragraphs using the Borders and Shading dialog box:

  1. Select the paragraph(s) with the lines you want 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.

Inserting a line using keyboard shortcuts

You can also insert a horizontal line using keyboard shortcuts (which insert border lines as AutoCorrect entries).

Type the following characters and then press Enter or Return to insert 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 Word (3+ Ways)
Article Name
How to Insert a Line in Word (3+ Ways)
Description
You can insert a line in Word using the Ribbon or by using keyboard shortcuts. It's best to avoid drawing lines and instead insert border lines in Microsoft Word (normally paragraph borders) so the line or lines will move as you edit the document.
Author
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Avantix Learning

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