How-To: Insert a Horizantal Line in Word Quickly

When you are in a rush trying to type up your report for school or work, you don’t have time to waste. Instead of wasting time going through the Borders and Shading box here is a quick shortcut to add a horizontal line to save you time.

To separate two sentences or two paragraphs with a horizontal line, put your cursor
at the beginning of the sentence that you want under the horizontal line. Then type “—“(3 dashes) and press enter. It will automatically change to a horizontal line.

It doesn’t have to be just a horizontal line; you can change it by using different characters for the short cut.

To remove it
Put the cursor directly above the line.
Select Borders and Shading from the Format menu.
Click the None box and click OK. 

To prevent the automatic insertion of borders
Select AutoCorrect Options from the Tools menu.
Click the AutoFormat As You Type tab.
Uncheck Border lines.
(In Word 97, the menu item is AutoCorrect and the check box is labeled simply Borders.)

69 comments so far

  1. hank on

    This method only works for Word versions prior to 2007.

  2. eHacks on

    It works on 2007 as well. make sure you press ENTER after typing the 3 dashes so it takes affect.

  3. dariunas on

    Excellent 🙂

    Saved me a lot of faffing about

  4. sassy on

    Worked like a charm for my daughter and I, thanks!

  5. Agatha on

    Just Perfect!!!! I was looking for a way to insert lines and I fond not only that but a way to do it fast 🙂

    It’s great, thanks!!!!

  6. Lisa on

    What if you want to add a line that begins from the end of a word and across the page for example for headings Newsflash————————— (but a solid line not a dashed one)

  7. jonathan on

    Yeah, I’m with Lisa on this one….
    How do you add a line after words. In other words, if I am designing a document where clients will need to fill in their details

    Company Name: __________________________________

    How do you make that line and ensure the text is still justified?

    Any help will be appreciated!

  8. Max Power on

    Cheers for that!
    For some reason Word likes to add an unbroken line at random times and this fixed it. 🙂
    PS. Why is the cross hatching symbol being called a “Pound sign”?
    This symbol:

    Is that some weird renaming by Microsoft? I’ve also heard it lazily being called “hash”, but cross-hatching is the name used in artistry, so that’s what I call it.

  9. david on

    ^^– I had to pass this comment around the office.
    ‘some weird renaming by Microsoft?’


  10. John on

    These answers are all about horizonal lines going the full
    width of the page. How do you put a short horizontal line – longer than a dash, but not the full width?

  11. Bobby on

    Thanks exactly what i was looking for!

  12. Great on

    I’ve seen this hint contstantly. Is there also a solution for Word 2000? Or do I have to write the lines with a pen. How did people this 10 years ago???

  13. Burnard on

    I am happy I found your blog on bing. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my wife were just preparing to do some research about this. I am very glad to see such great information being shared for free out there.
    Aemilius from Jackson city

  14. J on

    Definitely very helpful

  15. Kris on

    This only works some of the time on the post-2007 MS word that I have. Other times it gives me the lightening symbol like it thinks it has inserted a horizontal line, but there is none, not even on the print preview.

  16. sofia on


  17. Maria on

    Wow… It really works and does save loads of time. Thx for the amazing help!

  18. Anonymous on

    doesn’t work

  19. Marylyn on

    to answer John’s question:

    Why can’t it stop where you want it without going right through to the end…..(the full width of the page). well, I found the trick. You must disable the Underline function on the function bar!!! at the end of the line and then you can put a separate line along side. It does not connect!!! try it and let me know

  20. Antony on

    I was exactly looking for that. Thanks for educating me more. No one in the company knew how to delete the lines.

  21. Xelanhua on

    Please please can you help? I have accidentally put some of these lines into my thesis. How can I remove them? Nothing seems to work! Please help!!!

  22. Isobel on

    It worked miracles on me. I was simply blown away. Thank you guys/ladies so much, You all are fab.

  23. Richard on

    Thanks for the information
    I inadvertently turned the feature off and wanted it on. It’s the only way in Office 2010 to get a thin simple line. I searched all day for a fix and even reinstalled Office. I was lost until I came across this web site.

  24. Anonymous on

    you people are idiots….. I can’t believe you are wowed by simple MSOffice 101 issues. Put your computers back in thebox, get a refund and go by a Babrie doll. This is why I have so much trouble finding decent people to hire.

  25. Anonymous on

    To Mr Anonymous who left that stupid comment on June 22nd.
    How about you get your ego, put it back in the box and then burn it, your a judgemental moron. The reason you can’t find “decent” people to work for you is because you are an idiot.

  26. Anonymous on

    didnt work?

  27. Linh Ha on

    thanks, its work

  28. GeekGurl on

    Note to those where it’s not working (2007): Make sure this feature is turned on. Go into AutoCorrect –> tab “Auto Format as You Type” and under Apply as You Type, check “Border lines”. Then it should work.

  29. priya on

    excellent!!! thank you so much. such things make us feel that we couldn’t even work with Mr.word properly. your post saved me!!!!!!!

  30. scott on

    Nope this still does not work for me. If i press enter after any of the above keys — === whatever I just get put down to start a new line, like a normal enter key does.
    Yeah Im with jonathan How do you simply put a line after some text ?

    Company Name: __________________________________

    Why is this so impossible…..

  31. Phil on

    Thanks that is a very good method, definately made me smile!!

  32. scott on

    Yes I finally got the lines appearing. But they still take the whole page up .
    DOES Anybody know how to create this effect on a simple word document

    Company Name: __________________________________

    The line is just so someone can write something there, not go right across the page!!!!!
    Fingers crossed somebody knows.

  33. John C on
  34. Michelle on

    Hi. I have Word for Mac. I used to be able to type in a few dashes, then enter to create a solid line. I think I accidentally disabled that and have no idea how to get it back. I can no longer make solid lines AT ALL, even with format. Can anyone help? Thanks!

  35. khalid on

    great tips, thanks for sharing…

  36. Tom on

    works perfect!

  37. Geoff Dunne on

    to scott on November 24, 2011
    Yes you can – it’s called setting a LEADER TAB, and you can find out how here . It’s a bit of a stuff around but it’s the only way to make what you’re looking for.
    Hope that helps!

  38. Geoff Dunne on
  39. MJ on

    To scott and Jonathan…I know this is many months later and you may have already figd it out, but if you look in the home tab, you’ll see the box where all the paragraph stuff is, there’s a link for horizontal lines, if you click the downward arrow on there, there’s a link that says horizontal lines… allows you to make the lines as long as you need them and you can place them wherever you need them as well

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  41. Anonymous on

    This doesn’t work….I just get 3 dashes. grrrrrrrr

  42. Anonymous on

    Thanks for your helpful tips :O)

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  44. Josephine on

    THANKS A LOT, I really appreciate your help guys.

  45. KPax on

    MJ: Not quite. You can’t place the lines after text. Best I could do was place them on the line below and change the font size of the lower line to 2pt to make it seem close to the same line as the text.

  46. Keith on

    FYI: Horizontal is spelled incorrectly. “Horizontal”

  47. Anonymous on

    That is Awesome information. Thanks!!!! I feel like a kid with a new toy!!! Thanks again!!!!

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    Thanks so much this really helped be BIG TIME- I used it on a Mac using

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  66. Question on

    Do you also know how to change the color of the line?

  67. Michael M on

    Dear Horizantal…hmm Thanx for added functions, quite neat but what do you do when it does not work? ’cause it’s not turned on!
    Well this is my answer for W2007
    Click on “Logo” > “Words options” (at bottom)> “Proofing” > “Auto Correct options” (tab)> “AutoFormat as you type” (tab) > Finally tick “Border Line” box – voila!
    Why this is under proofing beats me!
    But when it’s on yes click above the line and turn off feature is ok.
    I have not found a way to bring that yellow icon “on” after the feature is turned off so have to go through all this!
    Pls let me know if you know better

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