Here’s How to Remove Horizontal Line in Word

remove horizontal line in word

Microsoft Word has been developing ever since it was released. You can do almost anything with Word, including to insert horizontal line. Talking about horizontal line, most Word users probably ever experienced unintentional AutoFormat, which is formatting text that is happening as you type words. If you think it is annoying, here’s how to remove horizontal line in Word.

Microsoft Word is easy to use. It automatically formats words into bullets, quotes, list, including horizontal line. Some people intentionally use this feature to make formatting easier.

For instance, when you type three hyphens and then press Enter, you will automatically create a simple horizontal line. You can type other characters and then it becomes different style of horizontal lines, like dotted horizontal line, double horizontal line, wavy line, and more.

For some people, this can be useful and make everything a lot easier while creating documents in Word. But, for some, this feature is annoying since they probably just want to type that characters (like three hyphens) without Word turning it into a plain horizontal line.

Here’s how to remove horizontal line in Word, undoing and preventing Word from turning your words into horizontal line. You can apply this in Windows 10 and Mac, Word 2007, Word 2010, Word 2013, Word 2016, and Word 2019.

How to Remove Horizontal Line in Word by Undoing (CTRL+Z)

remove horizontal line in word

The first thing that probably come to the solution is by undoing (CTRL+Z). Undoing will not remove the last three character you type. It also doesn’t move your cursor the last three character (if it does, you will have to move the cursor by pressing Enter, which means you’re still creating horizontal line again).

Instead, it will remove the horizontal line and keep all the three character in your Word document, while the cursor position remains at the next paragraph.

For simulation, when you type three hyphens and then press Enter, it will turn into plain horizontal line. At this point, your cursor will be at the next paragraph. Then, to remove the horizontal line, you have to undo (press CTRL+Z). Just by doing that, the horizontal line creation will be revoked and the cursor position remains in the next empty paragraph.

However, this method to remove horizontal line in Word, isn’t as easy as it seems. You may keep forgetting to undo using keyboards, and it just frustrating. You can do the next method.

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How to Delete Horizontal Line in Word by Undoing (Border Tool)

This is nearly the same as the above method. But, this one uses your screen instead of keyboard. This isn’t as practically easy as it seems, but for some this is visually less frustrating than to undo by pressing CTRL+Z. Here’s how to delete horizontal line in Word using border tool.

Assume you’ve created horizontal line. Now, point your cursor at the above of the horizontal line.

how to remove horizontal line in word

Then, you’ve to go to Home tab. Click the dropdown menu at Borders, located at Paragraph group.

remove horizontal line in word 2016

Finally, to delete horizontal line in Word, just click No Border. This will delete horizontal line that is located at the below paragraph the cursor is positioned at.

By definition, a horizontal line is actually a bottom border of a paragraph. The same definition applies to the top border of a paragraph that can create a literal horizontal line above that same paragraph.

However, this method is not simple every time you really want to type three hyphens or other characters that is formatted automatically. If you don’t want AutoFormat happens anymore in the future, which means every time you type three hyphens and press Enter, it will remain as three hyphens instead of horizontal line, you can do the next method.

How to Turn Off AutoFormat and Make Word Stop Formatting Characters as You Type

Microsoft Word has AutoFormat and AutoFormat As You Type. Those are two different things you might don’t know about. The first one is for something that for characters you don’t type (like pasting a hyperlink from website, it will keep remain as link in Word). The second one is for something you do type, like typing three hyphens and pressing Enter afterward.

Those options can be found in AutoCorrect options, which is located at Proofing tab in Options dialog box of Microsoft Word. You can shut down AutoFormat As You Type feature only for horizontal line creation, which is Border lines.

Open Microsoft Word. Click File tab.

file tab on microsoft word

Then, click Options. It will open advanced options you can change in Word.

options in word

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Now, click Proofing tab.

You will see AutoCorrect Options. Click at that button.

proofing in word

Now, go to AutoFormat As You Type. Make sure that Border lines, which is located at Apply as you type section, unchecked. If it is checked, uncheck it so you can disable AutoFormat for horizontal line. Click OK.

border line unchecked in word

Now, you won’t see your three hyphens turn into horizontal line after pressing Enter anymore.

To test it, you can type three hyphens and press Enter. The characters will remain and while your cursor is positioned at the next paragraph.

If you want to enable AutoFormat for horizontal line, just go to Options and check Border lines at AutoFormat As You Type tab.


Microsoft Word has some advanced feature letting you to remove horizontal line so you can keep typing those characters that you intent to type. Word won’t turn those characters into horizontal line anymore. If you want to enable AutoFormat again, you can do that in Options dialog box.

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