How to Add a Horizontal Line in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding a horizontal line in Word is quicker than you might think. Simply navigate to the Home tab, select the Borders icon (it looks like a square divided into four smaller squares), and then choose the “Horizontal Line” option. Voila, a line appears in your document!

After you complete this action, you’ll have a horizontal line that can serve as a visual break in your document. This can help to separate different sections or topics, making the text easier to read and navigate.


Horizontal lines in Microsoft Word are one of those little details that can make a big difference in how your document looks and feels. They’re like the unsung heroes of document formatting, quietly doing their job to keep things tidy and organized. Whether you’re a student writing a report, an office worker preparing a business plan, or anyone who deals with digital documents, knowing how to add a horizontal line in Word can come in handy.

Why is this topic important, you ask? Well, imagine reading a long document without any visual breaks. It would be like trying to find your way through a maze without any signposts – exhausting and confusing! Horizontal lines help to structure your content, making it more digestible and aesthetically pleasing. So, let’s dive in and learn how to enhance our documents with this simple yet effective tool.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Add a Horizontal Line in Word

Before we start, it’s good to know what we’re aiming for. Following these steps will allow you to insert a clean, straight horizontal line that can span across your page in Word. This line can act as a section divider, a design element, or simply a way to organize your document more effectively.

Step 1: Place the cursor

Begin by placing your cursor where you want the horizontal line to appear in your document.

It’s crucial to position the cursor correctly because the line will be inserted exactly at this point. Make sure it’s on a new line by itself to avoid any formatting issues with surrounding text.

Step 2: Navigate to the Borders icon

Go to the Home tab on the Ribbon and click on the Borders icon.

The Borders icon can be found in the Paragraph group of the Home tab. If you’re not sure what it looks like, hover your mouse over the icons until you find one that shows a tooltip saying ‘Borders’.

Step 3: Select Horizontal Line

From the drop-down menu, choose the “Horizontal Line” option.

When you click on this option, a styled horizontal line is automatically inserted into your document. You can opt for a simple line or choose from various designs that Word offers.


Visual BreakA horizontal line provides a clear visual break, improving the readability of your document.
OrganizationIt can help to organize content into sections, making it easier for readers to follow.
Aesthetic AppealIt adds a touch of design and professionalism to your documents.


Limited CustomizationThe default lines in Word offer limited customization options.
Potential OveruseOveruse of horizontal lines can make a document look cluttered and overwhelming.
Formatting IssuesIncorrectly placed lines can disrupt the formatting and flow of your text.

Additional Information

There’s more to adding horizontal lines in Word than just the basics. For instance, did you know you can customize the look of your line? Yup, you can adjust the width, color, and alignment, among other things. To customize, simply double-click on the line after inserting it, and a Format Horizontal Line dialog box will pop up with various options.

Another pro tip is to use keyboard shortcuts for efficiency. Instead of navigating through the Ribbon, you can type three hyphens (—) and then press Enter to quickly insert a basic line. How cool is that? Keep in mind, though, that this method might not work if certain auto-format settings are disabled. So, always have a plan B and know how to add a horizontal line in Word manually.


  1. Place the cursor where you want the line.
  2. Navigate to the Borders icon in the Home tab.
  3. Select the “Horizontal Line” option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add a horizontal line in Word on a Mac?

Yes, the steps are similar for Mac users. Navigate to the Home tab, find the Borders icon, and select the Horizontal Line option.

How do I remove a horizontal line in Word?

Click directly above the line, then hit Backspace or Delete on your keyboard.

Can I change the style of the horizontal line?

Absolutely! Double-click on the line after inserting it, and you’ll see options for customization.

Why can’t I see the Borders icon?

Make sure you are on the Home tab in the Ribbon. If it’s still not there, you might need to expand your Word window or adjust your toolbar settings.

Can I add a horizontal line in other programs like Google Docs?

Yes, most word processors have a similar feature. In Google Docs, for instance, you can add a line by typing three underscores and pressing Enter.


Mastering the art of adding a horizontal line in Word is like knowing the secret ingredient to a perfect dish. It’s a simple touch that can transform your document from bland to brilliant. Whether you’re using it to create sections, underline headings, or just add a bit of flair, a horizontal line is a versatile tool that should be in every Word user’s toolkit.

Remember, adding a horizontal line in Word is just the beginning. With customization options, you can make your document as unique as you are. So go ahead, experiment with lines, and watch your documents come to life. And if you ever find yourself stuck, just recall the steps we walked through. Happy formatting!

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