How to Make a Solid Line in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

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By Matthew Simpson

Creating a solid line in Microsoft Word might seem like a small thing, but it’s a skill that can come in handy more often than you’d think. Whether you’re trying to create a divider between sections, underline a heading, or just add some visual interest to a document, a solid line can do the trick. In just a few simple steps, you’ll be a solid line pro!

Step by Step Tutorial: Making a Solid Line in Word

Before we dive into the steps, let’s talk about what we’re aiming for. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll know how to insert a solid, horizontal line across your Word document. This can serve as a section break, a design element, or whatever else you need a line for. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Open your Word document

Open the Microsoft Word document where you want to add a solid line.

Opening your Word document is, of course, the first step. Make sure you’re on the page and in the spot where you want your line to appear.

Step 2: Place your cursor

Place your cursor where you want the solid line to be.

This might seem obvious, but placement is key! If you’re aiming for a line to separate two paragraphs, make sure your cursor is at the end of the first paragraph.

Step 3: Use the AutoFormat feature

Type three hyphens (—) in a row and then press ‘Enter’.

This is where the magic happens. Word’s AutoFormat feature will take those three hyphens and turn them into a solid, horizontal line that spans the width of your page.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll see a solid line where your cursor was. It’s that simple! Now let’s move on to some tips to make sure your lines look just right.

Tips for Making a Solid Line in Word

  • If the line isn’t appearing, make sure you’re using hyphens (-) and not underscores (_).
  • You can also use three underscores (___) or three equal signs (===) for slightly different line styles.
  • Want the line to be thicker? Hit ‘Enter’ after your line appears, then select the line and choose a thicker line weight from the ‘Shapes’ menu.
  • If your line is too long or too short, you can adjust the length by clicking on the line and dragging the handles on either side.
  • To remove the line, simply click on it and press ‘Delete’ on your keyboard.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make a dotted line?

To create a dotted line, type three asterisks (***) and then press ‘Enter’.

Can I make a vertical line?

Yes, you can make a vertical line by inserting a ‘Text Box’ or ‘Shape’ and rotating it.

Why is my line not appearing after I press ‘Enter’?

Make sure you’re not using spaces between the hyphens. Also, check that AutoFormat is turned on in your Word settings.

Can I change the color of the line?

Yes, after inserting the line, select it and choose a new color from the ‘Shape Format’ or ‘Drawing Tools’ menu.

How do I make my line go across the entire page?

The line should automatically span the width of your page. If it doesn’t, check your page margins to make sure they’re not limiting the line’s length.


  1. Open your Word document.
  2. Place your cursor.
  3. Use the AutoFormat feature.


There you have it – a quick and easy way to add a bit of style and organization to your Word documents with a solid line. Whether you’re a student looking to clean up an essay or a professional wanting to spruce up a report, knowing how to make a solid line in Word is a simple skill that can have a big impact. And now that you’ve got the basics down, you can start playing around with different line styles and weights to find the perfect look for your needs. Remember, it’s the little details that often make the biggest difference in presentation. So go ahead, give it a try – and watch your documents transform from good to great!