How to Insert Horizontal Lines in MS Word (& Other Office Products)

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Shortcuts-for-Horizontal-LineMS Word has a tool called Breaks which is a very handy option when it comes to breaking a section or applying page breaks. The additional space that gets embedded between sections gives a decent look to the document. However, it does not state the prominence or distinctiveness and appears more like a paragraph change.

So, I consider using horizontal lines instead. As a result there is more visual aid and enhancement in reader understandability. In this context, we will tell you how to insert horizontal lines in your document. And we will discuss three ways of doing that.

Though we have mentioned MS Word as a pivot, let me assure you that the feature is supported on entire MS Office Suite.

Using Horizontal Line Tool

It initially took me some time to figure out that such a support existed on MS Word (and other MS Office tools). Follow the steps and choose a line that you like (there are the formal black and white ones and colorful and designer ones).

Step 1: Navigate to Page Layout -> Page Background  and click on the icon for Page Borders.

Office-Page-Borders

Step 2: On the Borders and Shading dialog that appears, click on the button reading Horizontal Line (bottom left of the window).

Office-Horizontal-Line

Step 3: Choose a line and click on Ok to have it inserted at the current cursor position.

Horizontal-Line-Options

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Step 4: If you are still not satisfied with the look and feel of the line, you can right-click on it and launch the formatting options.

Format-Horizontal-Line

Using Insert Shapes Tool

Though a lame way of accomplishing the task, I used this method till I figured out the above one. Truly speaking, sometimes it serves as a quicker option than what we discussed. Moreover, there is difference in the formatting options that come along.

Format-AutoShape

To insert one, you need to navigate to the Insert tab -> Shapes and select line shape. Then drag the mouse over the required length and position of the document.

Office-Insert-Line

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

The above two methods are fundamentally easy and convenient to insert lines. But I am sure that the keyboard users are not yet satisfied. So, here’s the trick for all such people out there. Type three dashes, underscores, pounds, equals, tildes or asterisks and hit enter.

Shortcuts-for-Horizontal-Line

Bad news is that this trick works only on MS Word and MS Outlook.

Conclusion

Horizontal lines are not just about section breaks. You may have you own requirements. For example, adding vivid lines for separating header and footer (if you do not like what comes by default). Any other use you can think of? Or any other thing you have been practicing? Let us know in the comments section.

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  • Anon

    Thank You.
    This is the best article I found, on my search.