Horizontal lines can be useful for visually separating sections in a Word document. However, you may sometimes want to remove a horizontal line that you have inserted. In this blog post, I will walk you through the steps to delete horizontal lines in Word using several methods.
Method 1: Delete a Horizontal Line by Selecting and Pressing Delete
Here is the easiest way to remove a horizontal line in Word:
- Click your mouse cursor in the paragraph above the horizontal line to select it.
- Hold down your Shift key and click your mouse cursor in the paragraph below the horizontal line to extend the selection. This will highlight the entire horizontal line.
- Press the Delete key on your keyboard. The highlighted line will disappear.
If the line does not disappear when you press Delete, it means the line was created using borders instead of the Horizontal Line option. In that case, use one of the other methods below.
Method 2: Remove Borders from the Horizontal Line
If deleting does not remove the line, you can remove borders instead:
- Click your mouse cursor in the paragraph above the line to place the cursor there.
- Go to the Home tab at the top.
- Click the small arrow next to the Borders button.
- Select “No Border” at the bottom of the menu.
This will instantly remove any borders that make up the horizontal line.
Method 3: Use the Page Borders Menu
The Page Borders menu has additional options for removing horizontal lines:
- Click your mouse cursor in the paragraph above the line to select it. Drag down to select the line paragraph too.
- Go to the Design tab and click the Page Borders button.
- In the Borders tab, click the None button and then OK.
This will remove all borders from the selected paragraphs, deleting the horizontal line.
When Horizontal Lines Appear Automatically
Sometimes three hyphens or asterisks typed on their own line can automatically format into a horizontal line in Word. To delete these:
- Click above the auto-formatted line and drag down to select it.
- Press the Delete key to remove the line.
To prevent automatic horizontal lines in the future:
- Go to File > Options > Proofing > AutoCorrect Options
- Deselect the “Formatted text” option.
Tips for Using Horizontal Lines Properly
Here are some tips when working with horizontal lines in Word documents:
- Use lines sparingly to keep documents visually clean.
- Make sure to use headings and white space between sections instead of only lines.
- Adjust paragraph spacing around lines to integrate them into text.
- Change line width, color, and style to match formatting in the document.
- Consider using page borders instead for consistent lines across all pages.
As you can see, while horizontal lines can sometimes be tricky to remove in Word, there are a few simple methods that usually do the trick. By selecting the line and deleting it, removing borders, or changing page border settings, you can easily delete unwanted horizontal lines. Just remember to use them judiciously in your documents!