How To Create A Page Border in Microsoft Word

Have you ever seen a flyer that has a neat border and wondered how they made that? Well, Microsoft Word has a feature that creates these borders. You can apply a single line border, a multi-line border, as well as a picture border. This article explains how to use Page Borders in Word.

To get to the Page Borders settings, select the Design tab of the Ribbon. Then choose Page Borders from the Page Background section of the menu. 

Note: The instructions below are written and illustrated used Microsoft Word 2016.

Use Predefined Lines as a Page Border

A Screenshot of the Borders and Shading dialog box in Microsoft Word 2016.

You can apply a simple line border or a more complex line style to your document. These line borders can give your document a professional appearance.

  1. Click Box in the Settings section if it is not already selected. This will apply the border to the entire page. If you only want the border in a certain location, such as the top and the bottom of the pages, click Custom.
  2. Select a Line Style from the Style section in the middle of the screen. Scroll through the list to view different line styles.
  3. Select a Line Color from the Color drop-down menu.
  4. Select a Line Width from the Width menu.
  5. In the Preview section you can select different locations for the border to appear on the page (top, bottom, or sides, and any combination of those). You can also click the border itself on the Preview image to toggle it on or off and get a feel for how it will look on the page. 
  6. Use the Apply To drop-down menu to select which pages you want the border to appear on. While this list varies depending on what is in your document, common choices include:
    1. Whole document;
    2. This section;
    3. This section - First page only;
    4. This section - All except first page.
  7. Once you've made your selections, click OK to apply the line border to your document.

Use Clip Art as Page Borders

Screenshot of the Borders and Shading dialog box showing the location of the clip art border options under the art dropdown menu in Word 2016.

Microsoft Word has built-in art that you can use as a page border. Not only are there fun images, such as candy corn, cupcakes, and hearts, there is also art deco styles, push pins, and scissors cutting a dotted line.

To get started, open the Border and Shading dialog box. Then, click Box in the Settings section if it is not already selected. This will apply the border to the entire page. If you only want the border in a certain location, such as the top and the bottom of the pages, click Custom. Then, to add an art border:

  1. Select the Art drop down menu from the Style section in the middle of the screen and scroll through the list to view different art styles.
  2. Select the art style you want to use.
  3. If you selected a black and white art border you can change it to a solid color. To do that, select a color from the Color drop-down menu.
  4. Select an width from the Width drop down menu.
  5. Use the Preview section to adjust the location of the border on the page (left, right, top, bottom, or some combination of those). You can also click the border itself in the Preview image to toggle it off and on.
  6. Use the Apply to menu to select which pages to apply the border to.
  7. Click OK to apply the art border to your document.

Modify the Page Border Margins

Screenshot of the Borders and Shading dialog box showing the margin adjustments in the options menu.

Sometimes the page borders just do not seem to line up where you want them to appear. To fix that, you need to adjust how far the border is from the page margins or from the text. To do that, create your border using the instructions above and then:

  1. Click the Options button on the lower right side of the Borders and Shading dialog box.
  2. Click in each margin field and enter the new margin size. You can also click on the up and down arrows to the right of each field.
  3. Use the Measure From drop down menu to select Select whether you want the margin measured from the Edge of Page or Text.
  4. If desired, unselect Always Display in Front to have the page border appear behind any overlapping text. If you leave it selected, the border will always be displayed in front of overlapping text.
  5. Click OK to return to the Borders and Shading dialog box.
  6. Click OK to apply the border to your document.

Give it a Try!

Now that you have seen just how easy it is to add a page border in Microsoft Word, give it a try the next time you want to make a fancy handout, party invitation, or announcement.