How to Insert a Line in Microsoft Word

26970 How to Insert a Line in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word provides several methods to insert lines into a document, allowing you to organize and separate content visually. Lines can be horizontal or vertical, solid or dotted, single or double.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts

The quickest way to insert a line is by using keyboard shortcuts. Simply type the line characters, press Enter, and Word will autocorrect it into a full line.

To insert horizontal lines:

  • Thin single line: Type 3 hyphens (---)
  • Thick single line: Type 3 underscores (___)
  • Double line: Type 3 equal signs (===)
  • Dotted line: Type 3 asterisks (***)

To insert vertical lines:

  • Thin single line: Type |
  • Thick single line: Type ||
  • Double line: Type |||


This is some text before the line.
This is text after the line.

These shortcuts utilize Word’s AutoFormat feature to instantly convert the typed characters into lines.

Use the Borders Button

You can precisely control the line style and width using the Borders button.

  1. Place the cursor where you want the line to appear
  2. On the Home tab, click the Borders button
  3. Select the desired line style from the dropdown menu

To edit an inserted line:

  1. Double-click the line
  2. In the Borders and Shading dialog box, customize the appearance
  3. Click OK

This method allows you to insert lines with more formatting options than the keyboard shortcuts.

Insert Line Shapes

The Insert tab contains various line shapes to decorate documents.

  1. Navigate to the Insert tab
  2. Click Shapes
  3. Select a line style from the Lines section
  4. Click and drag to draw the line on the page

To format a line shape:

  1. Double-click the line
  2. On the Format tab, customize the shape outline, weight, color, and more

Line shapes create diagonal, curved, and arrowed lines. They provide the most flexibility for creative documents.

Create Borders Around Text

To underline or overline text:

  1. Select the text
  2. On the Home tab, click the dropdown arrow below Borders
  3. Choose the border line style and location

Borders enable you to apply lines precisely to specific text rather than entire paragraphs.

Insert Horizontal Page Breaks

To start a new page:

  1. Place the cursor where you want the new page to begin
  2. Hold Ctrl + Enter on your keyboard

This inserts a manual page break and horizontal line across the page width.

Insert Vertical Page Breaks

To divide text into columns:

  1. Place the cursor where you want the new column to start
  2. Hold Ctrl + Shift + Enter

The vertical page break creates a column break and inserts a vertical line to separate document sections.

Customize Line Appearance

  • Width – Increase or decrease thickness
  • Color – Change to any color
  • Style – Solid, dashed, dotted
  • Alignment – Left, right, center
  • Arrows – Add arrowheads

Formatting lines is easy after insertion. Simply double-click the line and customize its appearance using the options in the dialog box.

Remove Lines

To delete any inserted lines:

  • Click the line to select it
  • Press the Delete key on your keyboard

The line will vanish from the document instantly.


Microsoft Word provides myriad methods to insert and format lines for organizing content visually. Explore the options covered here to find the best techniques for your documents. Lines allow you to distinctly separate ideas, highlight text, and add visual flair.