How to Add Lines and Boxes to a Word 2010 Document - dummies

How to Add Lines and Boxes to a Word 2010 Document

By Dan Gookin

Adding lines and boxes in Word 2010 is handled by the Border command button in the Home tab’s Paragraph group and the Borders and Shading dialog box. (A line is known as a border in Word.)

Putting a line above a heading

A common use of lines in Word is to apply a line to a heading in your document:

  1. Place the insertion pointer in a heading or paragraph.

  2. Click the Borders command button and choose Top Border from the menu.


Drawing a fat, thick line

Sometimes, you need one of those fat, thick lines to break up your text. Choose the Horizontal Line command from the Border menu. Word inserts a thin, inky stroke running from the left to right margins on a line all by itself.

To adjust the horizontal line, click to select it with the mouse. Six “handles” appear (top and bottom and the four corners) around the selected image. You can drag those handles with the mouse to set the line’s width or thickness. Double-clicking the horizontal line displays a Format Horizontal Line dialog box, where further adjustments can be made and color added.

To remove the horizontal line, click once to select it and then press either the Delete or Backspace key.

Boxing text or paragraphs

You can stick a box around any spate of words or paragraphs:

  1. Select the text you want to box in.

  2. Choose the Borders and Shading command from the bottom of the Border menu.


    The Borders and Shading dialog box appears.

  3. If you want to apply the border to only text (words) and not to the entire paragraph, choose Text from the Apply To drop-down list.

  4. Select a box style from the Setting column: Box, Shadow, or 3-D.

  5. Click OK.

Boxing a title

Someday when you’re tasked with creating an organizational newsletter, you can surprise all your friends and others who were smart enough to avoid that task by coming up with a fancy title, similar to the following newsletter heading. It looks complex and such, but it’s nothing more than the crafty application of borders plus some deft text, paragraph, and tab stop skills.


The key to creating such a heading is to type the text first and then use the Borders and Shading dialog box to add different border styles above and below the paragraphs.

Use the Preview window in the Borders and Shading dialog box to set the line style. Click the mouse in the Preview window to add or remove lines above or below or to either side of the text.