How to change the thickness of a horizontal line in Google Docs

Google Docs gives you several options for inserting a horizontal line in your document. Whether you want to visually divide the different sections of your document or just improve the look of your text, inserting horizontal lines is useful for a variety of reasons.

Although Google Docs has a default format for horizontal lines, you have the option to change it. You can change different aspects of your horizontal line, including its fill, border colour, length and thickness. 

In this article,  we will be focusing on how to change the thickness of a horizontal line in your Google Docs document.

Along the way, you can also learn how to insert a horizontal line in your document, for those who didn’t already know that. Specifically, we will be covering the following two methods that you can use to change the thickness of a horizontal line:

  • Through shapes
  • Through paragraph borders

With that introduction, let’s get started.

Note to keep in mind

Before we learn the steps of the previously mentioned methods, there’s one important thing you should keep in mind. 

One way in which you can insert a horizontal line in your Google Docs document is by clicking on the ‘Insert’ tab, then selecting ‘Horizontal line.’ Although this is a very convenient and direct method of inserting a horizontal line, one drawback is that you cannot change the thickness of your line (the only aspect you can format is its background colour).

Hence, in order to format the thickness of a horizontal line in your Google Docs document, you should follow the other two methods for inserting a line: either using shapes or paragraph borders.

Let’s now move on to the methods for changing the thickness of a horizontal line (we will also briefly cover the steps for inserting the line).

Method 1: Shapes

The first method involves using shapes to format your horizontal line.

Step 1: Open your Google Docs document.

To start off, open your Google Docs document by going to the website’s homepage ( and selecting a document under ‘Recent documents.’

You can also create a new document from one of the templates or click on the plus sign to create a blank document. This is useful if you want to experiment with formatting a horizontal line before making the changes in the actual document.

Step 2: Click on the ‘Insert’ tab.

Click on the ‘Insert’ tab to open a drop-down menu.

Step 3: Click on ‘Drawing.’ 

The third option in the ‘Insert’ menu is drawing. Click on it.

Step 4: Click on ‘New.’

This will open up a window where you can insert and format shapes.

Step 5: Insert a horizontal line.

Click on the line icon in the toolbar of the ‘Drawing’ window. This will open up a drop-down menu of all the options you have for inserting a line.

Select an option of your choice and draw the line. Hold down the Shift key to make sure that your line is perfectly horizontal.

Step 6: Change the thickness of your line.

Once you’ve drawn your line, click on it (if your line is selected, it will be surrounded by a blue border). New options for formatting your line appear in the toolbar. Click on the ‘Line weight’ option to change the thickness of your line.

You should see various options for changing the thickness of your line, from 2x all the way to 24x. Select an option that best matches your preferences.

One thing Google Docs doesn’t allow you to do in this case is customise the thickness of your line. For example, if you wanted to increase the thickness of your line by 17 times, you don’t have the option to do that. You can only select an option from the menu.

Also note that you cannot decrease the width of your line, you can only increase it. If you want the option to decrease the width of your line, we suggest you follow the next method instead.

Step 7: Finalize your selection and close the window.

You can test out different line weights by following the previous step. Once you’ve chosen a thickness that you like, click on ‘Save and Close’ at the top right corner of the screen.

Once you do that, you will see the horizontal line appear on your screen. You can then position it wherever you like in your document.

Method 2: Paragraph borders

Next, we are going to look at how to change the thickness of the horizontal paragraph borders (that is, the top or bottom paragraph borders) in the document.

The first step is the same as above: you have to first open your document!

Once your document is ready, follow the remaining steps laid out below.

Step 1: Click on the ‘Format’ tab.

This tab is located to the right of the ‘Insert’ tab. Click on it to open the ‘Format’ menu.

Step 2: Click on ‘Paragraph styles.’

This is the second option in the ‘Format’ menu. Click on it and another drop-down will appear.

Step 3: Click on the ‘Borders and shading’ option.

This is the very first option in the ‘Paragraph styles’ menu. Click on it to open the ‘Borders and shading’ window.

Step 4: Choose the type of border to insert- top, bottom and/or in between.

Select which kind of horizontal paragraph border you want to insert in your document- top, bottom and/or in between borders.

Step 5: Adjust the border width. 

The second option in the ‘Borders and shading’ window is the option to adjust the border width. To change the default width, click on the drop-down menu next to ‘Border width.’ Then, select an option for line width. Select 0.5 or 0.75 to decrease the line width, and any option greater than 1 to increase the line width.

Note that this method doesn’t allow you to customise your line width either.

Step 6: Finalize your selection and click on ‘Apply.’

One drawback of this method compared to the previous one is that you cannot preview your choice before inserting it in your document. To experiment, you would have to repeat the steps in this method over and over again.

Once you are happy with your choice, click on ‘Apply.’ This will insert the paragraph border to your selection (for example, if you selected a paragraph, this will insert the border around your paragraph).


This concludes our article on how to change the thickness of a horizontal line. To recap, there are two methods you can use to achieve this. First, you can use shapes (or ‘Drawings,’ as it is called in Google Docs) and change the ‘Line weight.’ Alternatively, you can go to the ‘Borders and shading’ window and change the ‘Border width’ of your paragraph border(s).

Make sure to keep the drawbacks of each method in mind as you select a method.

We hope you found this article useful! Thank you for reading.

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