How to Insert a Line in Word

Use these three methods to quickly insert a line in your document

What to Know

  • AutoFormat: Type the three characters for the desired line style > Enter.
  • Horizontal Line tool: In Home tab, select Borders drop-down menu > Horizontal Line.
  • Shapes menu: Go to Insert > Shapes. In Lines group, select and drag a line shape across the page.

This article covers three ways to insert horizontal lines in Word for Microsoft 365, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, and Word 2010.

Use AutoFormat to Insert a Line in Word

You can quickly insert a line into a Word document with the AutoFormat feature. To create a line, place the cursor in the location that you'd like to insert it, type the three characters for the desired line style, then press Enter.

To create the different types of lines, press the associated keys on the keyboard:

  • Plain single line: Three hyphens (---)
  • Plain double line: Three equal signs (===)
  • Broken or dotted line: Three asterisks (***)
  • Bold single line: Three underline symbols (___)
  • Wavy line: Three tildes (~~~)
  • Triple line with a thick center: Three number signs (###)

Here's what each of these line types looks like in Word:

Line types in Word

Use the Horizontal Line Tool to Insert a Line in Word

To insert a line into a Word document using the built-in Horizontal Line tool:

  1. Place the cursor where you want to insert a line.

  2. Go to the Home tab.

    By default, the Home tab is selected when you open a new or existing Word document.

    Home tab in Word for Windows
  3. In the Paragraph group, select the Borders drop-down arrow and choose Horizontal Line.

    Borders button and Horizontal Line button in Word for Windows
  4. To change the look of the line, double-click the line in the document.

  5. In the Format Horizontal Line dialog box, modify the width, height, color, and alignment of the line.

    Format Horizontal Line dialog in Word for Windows

Use the Shapes Menu to Insert a Line in Word

A third way to add a line to a Word document is to draw it on the page. The Shapes menu contains several line options, including lines with arrow points on one or both ends. After you draw the line, customize the color and appearance.

  1. Place the cursor in the spot where you want to insert a line.

  2. Go to the Insert tab.

    Microsoft Word Insert tab.
  3. In the Illustrations group, select the Shapes drop-down arrow.

    Microsoft Word with the Shapes menu highlighted
  4. In the Lines group, choose a line shape.

    Word's Shapes menu with the Lines section highlighted
  5. In the Word document, drag across the location where you want the line to appear.

    Inserting a line in Word.
  6. To change the look of the line, select the line to enable the Shape Format tab. (Some versions of Word call this Format.)

    Word Shape Format tab.
  7. Go to the Shape Format tab and change the color, use a different line style, or apply effects.

  • How do I change line spacing in Word?

    To fix spacing in Word, highlight the text whose spacing you want to change and select the Home tab. Next to Paragraph, select the down arrow to expand the options. In the Spacing section, set the amount of space before and after line breaks or choose a preset line-spacing option.

  • How do I add a signature line in Word?

    To insert a signature line in Word, go to the Insert tab and select Signature Line. Selecting few or no options leaves a blank line, and a signature line will appear in the document.

  • How do I add line numbers in Word?

    To add line numbers in Word, go to Layout > Page Setup > Line Numbers and choose Continuous, Restart Each Page or Restart Each Section > Line Numbering Options.

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