How to Apply a Border to a Section of Your Word Doc

Add a professional touch by setting off a block of text

When you design a document in Microsoft Word, you can apply a border to an entire page or to a smaller section of text. The software makes it possible for you to choose a simple or more complex border style, as well as a custom color and size. This capability makes certain sections of your document stand out.

Instructions in this article apply to Word for Office 365, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, Word for Office 365 for Mac, Word 2019 for Mac, and Word 2016 for Mac.

Apply a Border to a Section of Text

Here's how to apply a border to a section of a Word document.

  1. Highlight the portion of the document you want to surround with a border, such as a block of text.

    Microsoft Word document with one paragraph of text highlighted
  2. On the ribbon, select Home.

    Word with the Home tab highlighted
  3. In the Paragraph group, select Borders.

    Microsoft Word with the Borders menu highlighted
  4. Select Borders and Shading.

    Microsoft Word's Borders menu with the Borders and Shading option highlighted
  5. In the Borders and Shading dialog box, select the Borders tab.

    Borders and Shading menu in Word with the Borders tab highlighted
  6. In the Style list, choose a line style.

  7. Select the Color drop-down arrow and choose a color for the border.

    Microsoft Word with Borders and Shading dialog box displayed
  8. Select the Width drop-down arrow and choose a width for the border.

  9. In the Preview section, select the sides of the box to apply the border to those sides of the selected text. Or, in the Settings section, select a preset border.

  10. To fine-tune the border, select Options and make your selections in the Border and Shading Options dialog box.

  11. In the Preview section, select the Apply to drop-down arrow and choose Paragraph (or Text if you highlighted part of a paragraph).

  12. Select OK.

    Borders and Shading window in Word with the OK button highlighted
  13. The border surrounds the text you initially selected.

    Microsoft Word with paragraph border applied

Apply a Border to a Whole Page of Text

Here are the steps to apply a border to a Word document page. The process is different from the one above in that there should be no existing text when you start. Instead, you'll create the border and insert the text later.

  1. Open a new Word document.

  2. On the ribbon, select Insert.

    Word with the Insert heading highlighted
  3. In the Text group, select Text Box.

    Word with the Text Box option highlighted
  4. Select Draw Text Box. The cursor becomes a drawing tool.

    Word with the Draw Text Box option highlighted
  5. Draw a text box the size you want on the page, leaving margins.

  6. Go to the Shape Format tab and, in the Shape Styles group, select Shape Outline.

    Word with the Shape Outline option highlighted
  7. Select Weight > More Lines.

    More Lines option in Word
  8. In the Format Shape pane, use the controls to choose how you want the border to look. When you're satisfied with the border, in the upper-right corner of the dialog box, select X.

    Format Shape menu in Word with the close button highlighted
  9. Place the cursor in the text box and write your text.

    Microsoft Word with text and border applied to one page

Apply a Border to a Table

You can also add a border to table cells or to an entire table.

  1. In the table, highlight the cells you want to add a border to.

    Microsoft Word table with cells highlighted
  2. On the ribbon, select Table Design.

    Microsoft Word with the Table Design heading highlighted
  3. In the Borders group, select Borders > Borders and Shading.

    Microsoft Word's Borders menu with the Borders and Shading option highlighted
  4. In the Borders and Shading dialog box, customize how the border looks.

  5. Select OK to save your changes.

    Borders and Shading menu with the OK button highlighted
  6. The border appears around the cells you highlighted.

    Microsoft Word with table cell borders applied