Six Quick Ways to Create Lines in Microsoft Office Word

Using lines in a Microsoft Word document is crucial in organizing the document. A horizontal or vertical line can divide a document in Microsoft Word and direct the text’s flow. To transform a plain line into something more eye-catching, insert a line in Word and format it differently. It is that easy. But if you are unfamiliar with all the options, this article will guide you on how to create lines in Microsoft Office Word.

Six Quick Ways to Create Lines in Microsoft Office Word

There are six ways in which you can insert vertical and horizontal lines in a Word document:

  1. Create a Line Using Shapes in Word
  2. Use the Border Option to Create Vertical and Horizontal Lines
  3. Create Horizontal Lines From the Ribbon
  4. Use a Bar Tab to Insert a Vertical Line
  5. Insert a Graphic for Creative Lines in Word
  6. Add a Vertical Line and Separate Text Into Columns

1] Create a Line Using Shapes in Word

The Shapes menu in a Word document offers numerous line options.  The ability to draw these line shapes at various angles makes a significant difference. The color and appearance of the line can then be changed after it has been drawn, allowing you to add horizontal or vertical lines even in the middle of a Word document. Here is how you add a line through the Shapes menu:

  • Place the cursor in the desired location to add a line.
  • Navigate to the Insert tab of the Word document and click on the Shapes menu in the Illustrations group.
  • Locate the Lines group and choose the line you desire to insert in the Word document.

Choose Lines From Shapes Menu

  • A plus sign will appear on the document page, and you can click and drag the cursor and create vertical or horizontal lines in the document.
  • To change how the line looks, keep it selected and go to the Format tab on the Ribbon.
  • You can also change the color, choose a different line style, or add effects by navigating to the Shape Styles group in the Format tab.

Choose Shape Styles via Format

  • For more options to change the appearance of the line you created, select the line, right-click on it, and choose the Format Shape option from the context menu.

Choose Formate Shapes to Change the Appearance of the Line

2] Use the Border Option to Create Vertical and Horizontal Lines

You can also insert a top or bottom border that resembles a horizontal line in the document using the Borders option in the Paragraph group in the Word document. This is how you do it:

  • Click on the area of the paragraph where you want the line to appear.
  • Navigate to the Home tab, Paragraph group. Next, click on the Borders button.
  • The default Bottom border will appear. It means the line will appear right below the selected text on the page. If you have not selected any text, the line will appear below the paragraph in the document.

Insert Borders into Word Document

  • You can access a range of options by clicking the tiny dropdown arrow on the Borders button for options such as a vertical border.

Choose Different Border Options

  • Click on the Borders and Shading option from the Borders drop-down menu to modify the border’s style, color, and width.Choose Borders and Shading to Change the Color, Size and Width of the Border

3] Create Horizontal Lines From the Ribbon

Here is a quick way to add a horizontal line to your document from the ribbon:

  • Put the cursor where you wish the line to appear.
  • Click on the Home tab and click on the little arrow next to the Borders button in the Paragraph group.
  • Click on the Horizontal line option from the Borders drop-down menu.

Insert Horizontal Line via Borders in Word Document

  • By double-clicking the horizontal line, you can change how it looks. You can change the line’s width, height, color, and alignment using the Format Horizontal Line pop-up window.

Change the Width, Length, and Color of the Horizontal Line

  • To adjust the length or width of a line, double-click the line to select it, and then drag any of the resizing points.

Drag the Resize Points To Adjust the Length of the Line

  • You can delete the horizontal line by selecting it and pressing the Delete button on your keyboard.

4] Use a Bar Tab to Insert a Vertical Line

In Word, tab stops are used to align paragraphs and lines. On the other hand, the bar tab does not create a tab. Instead, a vertical line is inserted, dividing your paragraph into columns. Here is how you use a bar tab to insert a vertical line:

  • Choose the paragraph where the vertical line should be inserted.
  • Click on the Home tab. To access the Paragraph group’s settings, click on the little arrow next to the Paragraph group. In the Paragraph pop-up window, click on the Tabs button at the bottom of the pop-up window.

From Paragraph Settings Choose Tabs

  • Enter the position of the vertical line you want to place in the Tab stop position box. To determine what value to enter, use the ruler at the top of the screen. For example, here, I have used the value -0.2 so that it would show up just before the first paragraph.
  • In the Alignment section, click on the Bar radio button, click Set, and then OK.

Set the Tab Stop Position

5] Insert a Graphic for Creative Lines in Word

In this method, you can create horizontal and vertical lines using images. To avoid having a stretched or compressed image seem backward on paper or the screen, use them carefully and avoid overusing them in your documents.

A graphic can serve as both a horizontal and vertical straight line. Here is how:

  • Go to the Insert tab and click on the Picture button from the Illustrations group.
  • Choose the line graphic you wish to insert from your PC.
  • You can use the anchor points surrounding the image to compress and stretch the images to resemble a straight line. You can flip the graphic for a vertical line using the rotation handle.
  • These graphic lines can be used as separators or as a part of your document’s header or footer. You can also format the graphic using the Picture Border, Picture Effects, and Picture Layout options on the Picture Tools- Format toolbar.

Make Changes to the Graphic in the Format Tab

6] Add a Vertical Line and Separate Text Into Columns

Column-based text arrangement is a basic design pattern. For instance, you can paste a vertical line between text blocks to divide them into different columns. Here is how you add a vertical line and separate text into columns:

  • Select the paragraph you wish to separate into columns.
  • Click on the Layout tab and the Column option in the Page Setup group. Choose the number of columns you wish to insert from the drop-down menu.

Choose Number of Columns via Layout Tab

  • The chosen columns are added to the selected text. Next, click on any of the columns, navigate to Layout > Columns, and click on the More Columns option from the drop-down menu.

Choose the More Columns Option From Layout

  • In the Columns dialog box, click on the checkbox next to the Line between the box and click OK. A vertical line is inserted to separate the text into columns.

Add a Vertical Line Between the Text Columns

Remember that the Columns pop-up window allows you to adjust the number of columns and the distance between them.


Horizontal lines are easier to see and are the more commonly used lines in a Word document.  But, strategically placing vertical lines in your material can improve its aesthetic appeal. Lines are more than just adornment; when used subtly, they can draw your attention to the essential part of a page. Next time, when you finish creating a formal report using Microsoft Word, consider lines and use the strategies mentioned in the article.


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