How to Make a Solid Line in a Microsoft Word Document: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating a solid line in a Microsoft Word document is a piece of cake! Just place your cursor where you want the line, type three hyphens (—) and then press “Enter.” Voila! A solid horizontal line will appear, separating your text just the way you need it.

After completing this action, you’ll have a crisp, clean dividing line that can serve various purposes such as separating sections in a document, creating a visual break, or even just for aesthetic appeal.


Have you ever been typing away in Microsoft Word and found yourself in need of a visual divider? Maybe you’re creating a resume and want to separate your work experience from your education. Or perhaps you’re drafting a report and need to make distinct sections. Whatever the case may be, adding a solid line can be a simple yet effective way to organize your content and make it more readable.

But why is this so important? Well, think about it. A document that’s just a wall of text can be daunting and hard to navigate. By using lines to break up that text, you make it easier for your reader to follow along and find the information they need. Plus, it can give your document a more polished and professional look.

Whether you’re a student, a professional, or just someone who likes to keep their documents tidy, knowing how to add a solid line in Microsoft Word is a handy skill to have in your toolbox. And the best part? It’s super easy to do! Let’s dive into the step-by-step tutorial.

Step by Step Tutorial to Make a Solid Line in a Microsoft Word Document

Before we start, it’s important to know that this tutorial will help you create a horizontal line that stretches from one margin to the other. This can be used to section off different parts of your document or to add a stylistic touch.

Step 1: Place your cursor

Start by placing your cursor where you want the line to be.

Your cursor should be at the beginning of a new line where you want the solid line to appear. Make sure it’s not in the middle of a paragraph or any text.

Step 2: Type three hyphens

Next, type three consecutive hyphens (—) without any spaces.

When you type the three hyphens, make sure not to add any extra spaces before or after them. This will ensure that the line is created properly.

Step 3: Press “Enter”

Finally, simply press the “Enter” key on your keyboard.

As soon as you press “Enter,” the hyphens will transform into a solid line spanning the width of your document. If it doesn’t work, make sure that you haven’t accidentally disabled the AutoFormat feature, which is required for this trick to work.


Easy to createAdding a solid line in Microsoft Word doesn’t require any advanced skills or additional tools.
Improved readabilityA solid line can break up text and make your document easier to navigate and read.
Professional appearanceUsing lines in a document can give it a polished and organized look, which is essential in professional settings.

Adding a solid line in Microsoft Word is a straightforward process that anyone can do without having to learn complex functions or navigate through multiple menus. It’s an efficient way to add a visual element to your document without any hassle.

A solid line can serve as a visual cue to readers, indicating a new section or a break in the content. This improves the overall readability of your document, making it easier for readers to digest and understand the information presented.

Using lines to separate sections or highlight certain areas can make your document look more professional and well-structured. This is particularly important when creating resumes, reports, or formal letters where presentation matters just as much as content.


Limited customizationThe line created using this method is a basic solid line with limited options for customization.
Potential formatting issuesAdding a line can sometimes cause formatting issues, such as unwanted spacing or alignment problems.
Dependence on AutoFormatThis method relies on the AutoFormat feature, which may be disabled in some Word settings.

When you create a line using this method, you’re limited to a basic solid line. If you’re looking for a more customized line, such as a double line or a dashed line, you’ll need to use different methods or tools within Microsoft Word.

Sometimes, adding a line can cause unexpected formatting changes, like extra space between paragraphs or the line not aligning correctly. It’s important to review your document after adding a line to ensure everything looks as intended.

The ability to turn hyphens into a solid line is tied to Word’s AutoFormat feature. If this feature is turned off, the method won’t work, and you’ll need to find an alternative way to add a line or turn the AutoFormat feature back on.

Additional Information

Now, you might be thinking, “That’s great and all, but what if I want a different kind of line?” Well, fear not! Microsoft Word offers a variety of line styles that you can insert. If you want something fancier than a solid line, you can explore the “Borders and Shading” menu, where you can choose from dotted lines, double lines, and more.

You can also adjust the thickness and color of your line by using the “Shapes” function. Simply select the “Line” shape, and after you draw it in your document, use the formatting options to customize it to your liking. Another handy tip is to use keyboard shortcuts for an even faster process. For instance, besides the three hyphens, you can also type three asterisks (***) or three underscores (___) followed by “Enter” to get different line styles.

Remember, adding lines to your document isn’t just about decoration. It’s about structuring your content in a way that’s easy for your readers to process. So, whether you’re working on an essay, a business report, or even a novel, mastering the art of the line can really take your document to the next level.


  1. Place your cursor where you want the line.
  2. Type three hyphens (—).
  3. Press “Enter.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I create a vertical line in Microsoft Word?

Yes, you can create a vertical line by using the “Shapes” tool and selecting the “Line” shape. Draw the line where you want it and customize it as needed.

What if the solid line doesn’t appear after I press “Enter”?

Make sure that the AutoFormat feature is enabled in Word’s settings. This feature is required for the hyphens to turn into a solid line.

Can I make the line thicker or a different color?

For a basic solid line created with hyphens, no. However, you can use Word’s “Shapes” tool to draw a line and customize its thickness and color.

Is it possible to add a line that doesn’t stretch across the entire page?

Yes, by using the “Shapes” tool, you can draw a line of any length you want and place it anywhere in your document.

How do I remove a solid line if I decide I don’t want it?

Simply click on the line to select it and then press the “Delete” key on your keyboard.


Adding a solid line in a Microsoft Word document is a nifty trick that can greatly enhance the organization and aesthetics of your content. Whether you’re a student trying to neatly separate sections in an essay or a professional presenting a report, mastering this simple task can improve readability and give your document a touch of sophistication.

Remember, it’s not just about the lines—it’s about the structure and clarity they bring to your work. With this guide, you’re now equipped to create that perfect solid line and take your Word documents to the next level.