How to add a border to a picture in word.

There are two sides to the coin when we talk about borders. One side enhances the presentation quality of the picture. The other ruins the overall effect of the picture in the document. In both the print and digital media, most follow technical standards as to when a border should be added to a picture.

Borders are considered to be a complementary element of a picture and should not compromise the picture’s meaning. 

Either way, learning how to add a border to a picture is a must be a useful skill. Luckily for us, MS Word paved the way to easily add borders to pictures without a sweat. 


Now, there are about two ways to add a border to a picture in MS Word.

2 Ways to Add Border to a Picture in Word

  • Add a picture border using the Picture Styles group
  • Add a picture border using the Context Menu

You can never go wrong with how comprehensive Microsoft Word borders are. In this tutorial, we’ll cover two methods to add borders to your pictures in MS Word. Both are equally helpful with the first being the more elaborate and the second being the quicker method. MS Word provides a number of options to customize your picture borders, so we’ve included a section just for that. 

We hope you’ll find the steps outlined here relatively easy to follow, as we have created this guide with beginners in mind. Moreover, we’ll expound on each of the methods little by little to help you follow us at every step of the way. 

Without any delay, let’s dive right in!

Why Should You Add Border to Your Pictures in MS Word? 

Adding pictures to your document gives your content a visual appeal. Adding borders to your pictures tells more about the picture in a whole different story. Borders complement pictures. It draws your readers’ attention to help capture the meaning and purpose of the picture in your document. 

Now, not all pictures are created the same. Some pictures can be inserted into a document as they are, but others need a little help by adding image borders. This is why having the technical know-how to add borders to your pictures is an essential skill. This is especially true when you are managing documents where pictures play a vital part in the overall presentation. 

A good rule of thumb for figuring out when to add a border to your pictures is usually when: 

  • You want to add a professional look to your document. 
  • You want to draw attention to your pictures. 
  • You want to separate multiple pictures sitting next to each other in a document. 
  • You want to enclose whitespaces around your picture. 
  • You want to format your company pictures according to a set of border formatting rules. 

These are just general guidelines and should not be strictly followed. You’ll be surprised to discover other situations where adding borders is a better option. 

Having said that, here’s how you can add a border to a picture in MS Word. 

Method 1: Add a Picture Border using the Picture Styles Group

The Pictures Styles group contains all the image formatting styles you’ll need to turn a simple border into a sophisticated one. This group can be accessed through the Format tab in the Ribbon—the basic toolbar of MS Word. 

Here’s how you can add a picture border through the Ribbon. 

Step 1: Open up a Word document. 

First of all, we’ll need to open up a Word document. Feel free to use your own personal document if you have one already opened. Otherwise, you may also choose to create a new blank document, but you will have to insert a picture in this step to proceed to the next one. 

Step 2: Access the Format tab. 

Once your document is opened, go ahead and click the image. This will make the Format tab visible in the Ribbon. Allow us to reiterate that the Format tab will only be visible when you’ve selected an image. 

Tip: You can also double-click on the image to automatically set the Format tab on focus.

Step 3: Add a border to your picture. 

Around the middle part of the ribbon, you’ll find the Picture Styles group. This contains a list of pre-made borders with effects and layout. On the left part, you’ll find a few more options including the picture border, effects, and layout. 

On the list of pre-made borders, choose a design from among the choices. Click the drop-down button at the lower right corner of the list box to show more options. For this example, we’ve chosen to use the Perspective Shadow style.

Congratulations! You’ve just added a border to a picture in MS Word. If you want to explore and try the other options that MS Word has in store for you, go ahead and skip to the Customizing Your Picture Border in MS Word section. 

Method 2: Add a Picture Border using the Context Menu 

This method allows you to easily access the predefined borders MS Word has up its sleeve. You’ll find this the quickest way to add borders to your pictures without navigating away from your content. 

Here’s how you can access the predefined borders through the Context menu. 

Step 1: Open up your Word document. 

Before we get started, we need to open up a Word document. Feel free to use your own personal document where you need a picture border set up. Don’t worry about destroying your document, as this should neither change nor delete any of your contents. 

Step 2: Access the Context menu.

Once our document is opened, go ahead and right-click on the image. On the Context menu, click on the Picture Styles drop-down button and select a style of your choice. 

Note that the Picture Styles button may appear at the top or bottom of the Context main menu depending on the position of your cursor. 

After clicking on the Picture Styles option, you should see a quick-menu of borders you can choose from. This works just like method one, but is much quicker in comparison. 

Congratulations on adding a border to your picture using the Context menu. Stick to the end to learn more about formatting colors and adding effects to your borders. 

Deleting a Picture Border in MS Word

If you changed our mind and you have to delete the border of your image, then you’ve come to the right place. 

To delete your picture border, go to the Format tab and click the Reset Picture button. 

Customizing Picture Borders in MS Word

There are many ways to format picture borders in Word. For instance, you can change the size, color, or shape of the border to better suit your needs. On top of that, MS Word offers a lot more tools to enhance your border’s appearance. 

Once you’ve selected a picture border, here are some effects and options you can do to customize your picture border. 

Picture Border


Use this when you want to use theme colors or specify a color to your border. 

No outline 

Use this when you want to delete the outline of your border. 


Use this when you want to specify the thickness of your border. Select More Lines to show more options on line styles like adding gradient colors. 


Use this when you want to change the style of your border line. 

Picture Effects


Use this when you want to choose from the visual effect templates that are readily available. 


Use this when you want to add a shadow effect to your borders, such as outer, inner, or perspective. 


Use this when you want to add a reflection effect to your borders. 


Use this when you want to add a glow effect to your borders. You may specify the color, size, and transparency of the glow effect by clicking more options. 

Soft edges 

Use this when you want to specify the size of the edges that will be softened by MS Word. 


Use this when you want to specify how your border should be embossed, such as top or bottom, cool slant, soft round, divot, etc.

3-D Rotation

Use this when you want to specify the orientation of the rotation to enhance the 3-D effect. 

We understand that this is a handful and can definitely be overwhelming in some cases. So, do recall the common reasons why you’re adding them in the first place. Remember that too much visual effects might also ruin the purpose or meaning of the pictures in your document. 


You’ve finally arrived at the end of this tutorial. Hopefully, we’ve helped you figure out how to add a border to a picture in MS Word. Here’s a short summary of what we’ve talked about today. 

There are a number of reasons why you might need to add a border to a picture in your document.

A typical situation is when you want to add a few visual effects to catch the attention of your readers.

MS Word allows you to take a simple picture border to the next level. In this guide, we discussed two methods to do just that. One way is to access the Picture Styles group in the ribbon. The other way is to use the Context menu to quickly add predefined border styles.

We hope you’ve found this article helpful! 

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