Microsoft Word has been developing ever since it was released. You can do almost anything with Word, including inserting horizontal lines. Talking about horizontal lines, 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 the horizontal line in Word.
Microsoft Word is easy to use. It automatically formats words into bullets, quotes, and lists, including horizontal lines. 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 styles of horizontal lines, like dotted horizontal lines, double horizontal lines, wavy lines, 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 those characters (like three hyphens) without Word turning it into a plain horizontal line.
Here’s how to remove a horizontal line in Word, undoing and preventing Word from turning your words into a 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)
The first thing that probably comes to the solution is by undoing (CTRL+Z). Undoing will not remove the last three characters you type. It also doesn’t move your cursor to the last three characters (if it does, you will have to move the cursor by pressing Enter, which means you’re still creating a horizontal line again).
Instead, it will remove the horizontal line and keep all the three characters 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 a 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 the horizontal line in Word isn’t as easy as it seems. You may keep forgetting to undo using keyboards, and it is 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 a keyboard. This isn’t as practically easy as it seems, but for some, this is visually less frustrating than undoing by pressing CTRL+Z. Here’s how to delete a horizontal line in Word using the border tool.
Assume you’ve created a horizontal line. Now, point your cursor above the horizontal line.
Then, you’ve to go to the Home tab. Click the dropdown menu at Borders, located in the Paragraph group.
Finally, to delete a horizontal line in Word, just click No Border. This will delete the horizontal line that is located in the below paragraph the cursor is positioned.
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 want to type three hyphens or other characters that are formatted automatically. If you don’t want AutoFormat to happen anymore in the future, which means every time you type three hyphens and press Enter, it will remain as three hyphens instead of a 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 the website, it will keep remaining as a 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 are located in the Proofing tab in the 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 the File tab.
Then, click Options. It will open advanced options you can change in Word.
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Now, click the Proofing tab.
You will see AutoCorrect Options. Click on that button.
Now, go to AutoFormat As You Type. Make sure that Border lines, which is located at Apply as you type section, are unchecked. If it is checked, uncheck it so you can disable AutoFormat for a horizontal line. Click OK.
Now, you won’t see your three hyphens turn into horizontal lines after pressing Enter anymore.
To test it, you can type three hyphens and press Enter. The characters will remain while your cursor is positioned in the next paragraph.
If you want to enable AutoFormat for a horizontal line, just go to Options and check Border lines at AutoFormat As You Type tab.
Microsoft Word has some advanced features letting you remove horizontal lines so you can keep typing those characters that you intend to type. Word won’t turn those characters into horizontal lines anymore. If you want to enable AutoFormat again, you can do that in the Options dialog box.