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How to insert a horizontal or vertical line in Microsoft Word

Both horizontal and vertical lines are important elements of text formatting. How to insert a line within Microsoft Word


Lines are a fundamental design element. A Microsoft Word line can be used to divide a document or guide the flow of text. Word allows you to insert lines and change the format of those lines.

It is so easy. If you don’t know how to do it all, this guide on inserting a line into Word will help you.

The Quick Way: Inserting a line in a Word with the Keyboard

You can add lines in Word quickly by simply typing a few characters. Word’s AutomaticFormat feature automatically formats text for you while you type it. It creates bulleted lists automatically, which you may have seen in action.

It is possible to insert lines and also add lines with different designs. This is how it works:

Place your cursor at the point where you want to draw your horizontal line.

Next, enter three characters to represent any of the line styles shown in the screenshot. Enter by pressing

To draw a dotted-line, press Enter and type ***.

You will find six variations of the horizontal line standard.

  • Single line of text with three hyphens (—)
  • Broken or dotted line with three asteris (***)
  • Two-line plain with three equal signs (===)
  • Bold single-line with three underline symbols
  • A triple line with a thick central with three number signs (###)
  • Three tildes (~~~) on a wave-like line

The entire page is covered by the line. The line is added to a column so that it matches the width of the column. To add text above or beneath the line, place your cursor wherever you wish to and start typing.

A tiny AutoCorrect Options button will appear next to the line. This shortcut allows you to either undo the auto-correct line when it isn’t needed, stop them completely, or go into the AutoFormat options dialog.

These lines can be permanently disabled via the AutoFormat options dialog.

Go to AutoFormat as You Typee tab > Apply as You Type section > uncheck Borderlines.

Add a horizontal line from the ribbon

You can add a horizontal line to AutoCorrect if you find AutoCorrect irritating.


  1. Move your cursor to where you want the line to be placed.
  2. Click the Home tab, then click on the dropdown arrow to access the Borders option within the Paragraph section.
  3. Choose Horizontal Line in the menu.
  4. Double-click this horizontal line to change its appearance. You can modify the line’s width, height and color using the Format Horizontalline dialog box.
  5. Double click on a line to resize it. Drag any of the resizing pointers to alter the length or width.
  6. Select the line and hit to delete it.

You can add horizontal and vertical lines to your drawings by using borders

You can also use the Borders option from the Paragraph group to add a top or bottom line that looks like a horizontal line within the document.


  1. Click on the text paragraph where you would like the line to appear.
  2. You have reached Home and the Paragraph groups. Click the Borderbutton. The default border is the Bottom. If you haven’t selected any text, this will place a line below it.
  3. To access other options ( such as a vertical border), click on the little dropdown arrow next to the Borders button.
  4. Click on Borders and Shading to change the appearance of any border. You can adjust the style, color and width using the dialog.
  5. Although it may seem difficult to delete this horizontal line from your Word document, it is easy enough.


Use shapes to insert a horizontal or vertical line in a word

There are many line options in the Shapes menu. You can draw these line shapes at various angles. After you have drawn the line, you can modify the color and appearance of the line to create decorative horizontal or vertical lines in Word documents.

  1. Place the cursor wherever you want to draw a line.
  2. Go to Insert > Illustrations > Shapes dropdown.
  3. Choose the form of the line from the Lines group.
  4. Drag the mouse pointer to the endpoint and click on the document. Tip Press the Shift key and drag across the document horizontally or vertically.
  5. You can customize the appearance of the selected line by using the Shape format tab in the Ribbon.
  6. You can change the color or use a different line style in the Styles tab.
  7. To change the look, you can also right-click the line and select Format from its context menu.

How to add a vertical line and separate text into columns

A basic layout technique is to arrange text into columns. Any text block can be divided into multiple columns, and a vertical line can be added between them.


  1. Select the text.
  2. Go to Ribbon > Layout> (Page Setup group). Columns. Select the columns you wish to have by clicking on the dropdown.
  3. Now, the text has been divided into columns. Click on any column to go to Layout > Colums > More.
  4. Check the Line between box in the Columns dialog and click OK.

You can also change the number and spacing between columns from this dialog.

How to use a bar tab to insert a vertical line

Word tab stops help align lines and paragraphs. The tab does not have a tab stop. It creates a vertical line that divides your paragraph into columns.

  1. Choose the paragraph in which you would like to add the vertical line.
  2. Go to Ribbon > Homepage. To open the Paragraph Settings , click the tiny arrow in the Paragraph Group.
  3. The Tabs link is at the bottom.
  4. Enter the position you would like the vertical line to appear in the Tab position box. To determine the value you want to enter, use the ruler located at the top.
  5. In the Alignment section, click the Bar link. Click on Set or OK.


To make it appear to the left of paragraph 1, I set it to “-0.2”. To remove the vertical line, click on the bar tab.

Also see You can create blank lines so that the reader can fill out some information. To quickly create blank lines in Microsoft Word forms, you can use tabs.

In your Word Document, draw a line

Horizontal lines are easier to see and more common. Vertical lines can be used to enhance the visual appeal of your content. When used with subtlety, lines can be more than just decorations. They can guide your eyes to the most important parts of a document.

These lines can be used to help you think about how you write professional reports with Microsoft Word.




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