How to insert a vertical line in Google Docs

There are several situations when you might want to insert a vertical line in your Google Doc. For example, you might be creating a newsletter or newspaper page so you want to organize your text into columns and separate them with vertical lines. 

You can also insert vertical lines in your resume to divide it into different sections. This improves the look of your document, making it neater, more visually appealing, and more readable.

You might also want to insert a vertical line in the title of your document, like this:

“How to insert a vertical line in Google Docs | Office Beginner.”

In this article, we will be discussing four methods of adding a vertical line in Google Docs:

  • Using shapes
  • Adding paragraph borders
  • Adding lines between columns of text
  • Using a keyboard shortcut

Let’s get started.

Method 1: Using shapes

The first way of inserting a vertical line in your Google Docs document is using shapes. The main advantage of this method is that it gives you a lot of options for customization as you can change the colour, weight, style and more of your line.

The way you add a line in Google Docs is different from the way you add one in other word processing software like MS Word. In MS Word, you can choose a line from the Shapes option. In Google Docs, on the other hand, you have to select the Drawings option to draw any shape.

Let’s now learn how to add a vertical line using this method.

Step 1: Open your document.

Open the document in which you want to add a line. You can also create a new blank document by clicking on the plus button on the Google Docs home screen or choose an existing template.

Step 2: Click on the Insert tab.

Next, click on the Insert tab which is located at the top left corner of the screen. It is next to the File, Edit and View tabs as you can see in the picture below.

Step 3: Click on the Drawing option.

This is the third option in the Insert menu. When you hover your cursor over the Drawing option, you will see another menu with two items: New and From Drive.

Step 4: Select one of the two options in the Drawing menu.

You can pick the From Drive option if you already have a template for a vertical line saved in your Google Drive. You can simply import this shape or image to your document.

On the other hand, you can also create a line from scratch by choosing the New option. This will open a new window where you can draw and format your line.

Step 5: Draw your line.

You can click on the small arrow next to the Line tool to have a look at the different types of lines you can draw (such as Arrow and Elbow Connector).

Once you’ve chosen a style for your line, drag your pointer across the screen to draw a line. Make sure to press the Shift button on your keyboard to make sure that the line is straight.

Step 6: Format your line.

Google Docs gives you several options for formatting your line. Apart from your line’s colour, you can also change its weight to make it thicker or thinner.

You also have the Line dash option which allows you to make your line dotted or dashed. Here are all your Line dash options:

Another two interesting formatting options are Line start and Line end. They allow you to add a shape, such as a circle, arrow, square and so on, at one or both corners of your line.

Once you’ve created a line you’re satisfied with, click on the Save and Close button. This will insert the line where your pointer is located. If your pointer is at the end of a paragraph, the line will divide your text, like this:

If you don’t want this to happen and would like to insert a line next to your paragraph instead, you can follow the second method.

Method 2: Adding paragraph borders

Paragraph borders, as the name suggests, allow you to create borders around your paragraphs. The left and right paragraph border options allow you to insert a vertical line in your document. Below are the steps for this.

Step 1: Click on the Format tab.

You can find this tab at the top left corner of your screen, right next to the Insert tab. Click on it to see the Format menu.

Step 2: Click on the Paragraph styles option.

This is the second option in the Format menu. Click on it to open the Paragraph styles menu.

Step 3: Select the Borders and shading option.

This is the very first option in the Paragraph styles menu. By clicking on it, you open the Borders and shading window.

Step 4: Choose the Left and/or Right border position(s).

The Left and Right borders are the two vertical paragraph borders. Pick one or both of them.

Also, if you don’t want any horizontal borders, make sure to deselect the top and bottom borders.

Step 5: Format your border.

Once again, you have several options for formatting your border. You can change its width, dash (that is, make your paragraph dotted or dashed), border colour, background colour and paragraph padding.

Once you’ve formatted your border to your satisfaction, you can click on the Apply button to insert it. Here’s an example of what it looks like:

Method 3: Adding lines between columns of text

You can also divide your text into columns and insert lines between them. This is especially useful if you are creating a page for a newspaper or newsletter as it is the standard layout for the text. 

Let’s learn how to insert a vertical line using this method.

Step 1: Click on the Format tab.

Click on this tab to open up the Format menu.

Step 2: Click on the Columns option.

By hovering your pointer over the Columns option or clicking on it, you should see another small menu.

Step 3: Select More options from the Columns menu.

Select the More options button to open the Column options window.

Step 4: Create columns.

Choose the number of columns that you would like to divide your text into and enter a number for spacing each column. 0.5 inches is generally enough. Make sure to check the ‘Line between columns’ option to insert a vertical line between your columns.

Here’s an example of a text divided into three columns, spaced 0.5 inches from each other:

Method 4: Using a keyboard shortcut

You can use a keyboard shortcut to insert the vertical line symbol (|) in your text. Simply press the Shift key and the key right below Backspace to do this.

Removing a line

If you want to remove the line shape or symbol, simply select the line and press Backspace.

However, if you want to remove a paragraph border, you can do so by going back to Borders and shading, selecting the Reset option then clicking Apply.

If you want to remove a line between your columns of text, go back to Column option and uncheck the ‘Line between columns’ option.


Here’s a complete guide to inserting (and removing) a vertical line in Google Docs. We hope you found this article comprehensive and useful!

We also have a tutorial which teaches you how to insert a horizontal line in google docs.

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