Microsoft Word offers a variety of features that allow you to do everything from creating a schedule of your day to writing down lecture notes for a class. It offers so many features that a lot of beginners are intimidated by it.
In this article, you will learn about one specific function in Word: inserting a line.
This post will focus on inserting a horizontal line. If you want to learn how to insert a vertical line, check out this post.
This function will be useful to you in several situations. For example, if you want to divide a document into sections, you can do so by inserting lines between the sections.
One way in which you can do this is by typing out individual characters, like an underscore (shift + -). However, this is time-consuming and ineffective.
There are three other ways in which you can do this and in this article, we will show you how.
How to Insert a Line in MS Word
- Using Shapes
- Using Keyboard Shortcuts and Autoformat
- Using Horizontal Line Tool
Method #1: Use Shapes
The first method is by using shapes. Follow the steps below to learn how to use this method:
Step 1: Open your document.
You can either create a blank document, choose one of the many templates, or open a file that you already saved.
Step 2: Go to the Insert tab.
You can see the different tabs (Home, Insert, Draw, etc.) at the top. Click on the Insert tab.
Step 3: Click on the Illustrations button.
If you’re using the 16.39 version of Word, the Illustrations button is the third button in the Insert tab. Click on this button.
Step 4: Click on the Shapes button.
When you click on Illustrations, you will see the Shapes option. Click on this option.
Step 5: Choose a line to draw.
When you click on Shapes, you will see the several options you have for shapes. The second row consists of different line options.
Step 6: Draw the line.
Once you’ve chosen an appropriate template for the line, you can draw it by dragging it across your document. You can adjust the length and angle of your line after you’ve drawn it. Word even shows the length of the line as you are stretching it.
This method works whether you are using Mac or Windows.
Method #2: Use keyboard shortcuts and Word AutoFormat
The next method that you can use to insert a line in your Word document is using keyboard shortcuts. All you have to do is enter a few characters and press Enter, and Word will create the line for you.
Step 1: Click on the place where you want your line to appear.
You must click on a blank space to create the line. That is, there shouldn’t be any text before and after your cursor. For example, this wouldn’t work:
On the other hand, this would work:
Step 2: Type 3 characters consecutively.
The characters that you should type depend on the kind of line you want to draw. The following are the different kinds of lines that you can create and the keyboard shortcuts to use for each:
- Plain single line: Dashes (—)
- Plain double line: Equal sign (===)
- Broken (or dotted) line: Asterisks (***)
- Bold single line: Underline symbol (____)
- Wavy line: Tides (~~~)
- Triple line with a thick middle: Hash signs (###)
Once you’ve chosen the type of line you want to create, you just have to type that character in your document three times then press Enter (or Return) on your keyboard. This is what each of these lines looks like:
Method #3: Use the Horizontal Line Tool
Word also has a built-in Horizontal Line Tool that you can use to insert a line in your document. Follow the steps below to do this:
Step 1: Click on the place where you want to insert a line.
Again, make sure that you choose a blank space to draw your line.
Step 2: Go to the Home tab.
The Home tab is the tab that you are on by default when you open any Word document.
Step 3: Identify the Paragraphs group.
If you are using the 16.39 version of Word, the different groups in the Home tab are not labelled. In this version, the Paragraphs group is the third group (you can see that the various groups are divided by a line). This is the group where you will find the different alignment and list (numbered and unnumbered list) options. The Paragraph group is highlighted below:
Step 4: Click on the Borders drop-down menu.
Once you’ve located the Paragraphs group, click on the arrow next to the Borders option in the bottom-right corner of the group. This will give you a drop-down menu.
Step 5: Click on the Horizontal Line option.
In the drop-down menu, you will see the Horizontal Line tool. To insert a line, click on this tool. The option is highlighted in yellow below:
When you click on this button, a line will appear in your document. It may look something like this:
Step 6: Double-click on the line to format it.
When you double-click on the line, the Format Shape menu will appear on the right.
- The first option is the Fill & Line option, where you can change different aspects of the line, including its fill, width, shape, colour, and so on.
- The second column is the Effects option where you can add special effects to the line, like a shadow, reflection, or glow.
- The last option is the Text Box option where you can convert the line into a text box.
You can also drag the line towards the bottom to create a rectangular box like this one:
To summarize, there are 3 ways you can insert a line in MS Word. First, you can use the Shapes option in the Insert tab to add a line of your choice. Second, you can take advantage of the AutoFormat feature that Word provides and simply type three characters then press enter to make a line appear. Third, you can use the Horizontal Line tool in the Home tab.
Although Word is constantly updated, the general principles of inserting a line don’t change. We hope these tips were useful to you and you learned a little bit more about Word through this article!