How to add a horizontal line in word

Written by adee miller
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How to add a horizontal line in word
Add flair to your Word document with brightly coloured lines. (Crayons lined up on white background image by Bettina Baumgartner from

While Word 2010 is designed primarily for word processing, it is also comes with a set of basic drawing tools that include the ability to draw straight, vertical and horizontal lines. A simple horizontal line can enhance a title or divide it from the rest of the text or it can indicate where to fill in the date and sign your name. The drawing tools provided by Word enable users to increase or decrease line thickness and shade and shadow lines for a more striking effect.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Select the line-drawing tool by clicking "Insert." In the Illustrations box, click "Shapes." In "Lines," click once on the first line on the left. The icon is a slanted vertical line, but you also can draw a perfectly horizontal line with this tool. After selecting the line tool, your cursor will change to cross hairs in the workspace.

  2. 2

    Draw the horizontal line. Position your cursor where you want the line to begin. Press and hold the "Shift" key and then the left mouse button. Move your mouse to the right to draw the line. When the line reaches the desired length, release the left mouse button and then release the "Shift" key. The "Shift" key keeps the line perfectly horizontal.

  3. 3

    Position the horizontal line. Move the mouse over the line until your cursor changes to cross hairs, each ending in the shape of an arrow. Click once to select the line. The line is selected when you see small circles at each end. While the line is selected, use the arrow keys to make fine adjustments to the line position.

  4. 4

    Double click the line to reveal the drawing tools menu and change the thickness, shading and colour of the line by choosing characteristics from the "Shape Outlines" and "Shape Effects" menus.

Tips and warnings

  • Adjust the length of your line while keeping it perfectly horizontal by selecting it, positioning your cursor over the right-hand circle until it changes to a double arrow, and then holding down the "Shift" key and the left mouse key while moving your mouse to the left or right.

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