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.
- Place the cursor where you want the line to appear
- On the Home tab, click the Borders button
- Select the desired line style from the dropdown menu
To edit an inserted line:
- Double-click the line
- In the Borders and Shading dialog box, customize the appearance
- 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.
- Navigate to the Insert tab
- Click Shapes
- Select a line style from the Lines section
- Click and drag to draw the line on the page
To format a line shape:
- Double-click the line
- 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:
- Select the text
- On the Home tab, click the dropdown arrow below Borders
- 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:
- Place the cursor where you want the new page to begin
- 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:
- Place the cursor where you want the new column to start
- 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.
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.