This tutorial shows how to add paragraph borders in Microsoft Word. We will also look at how to delete paragraph borders.
You can use paragraph borders to emphasize important text or to add visual interest to your document. This technique is particularly effective when paired with paragraph shading and newspaper-style columns.
Table of Contents
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The images below are from Word for Microsoft 365. These steps also apply to Word for Microsoft 365 for Mac (a.k.a., Word for Mac), Word 2021, Word 2019, and Word 2016. In addition, the steps will be similar in older versions of the software.
How to Add Paragraph Borders
- Select the paragraph or paragraphs to which you want to add the border.
- Select the Home tab in the ribbon.
- Select the Borders menu arrow in the Paragraph group. (Avoid selecting the Borders button itself because it will automatically apply the last used border to your selected paragraph.)
- (Basic option) Select an option from the drop-down menu.
Pro Tip: Hover over these options for a live preview. Not all the options can be applied to paragraphs. In addition, the results will differ according to the number of paragraphs you have selected.
- (Advanced Option) Select Borders and Shading from the drop-down menu.
- Select Box, Shadow, 3-D, or Custom in the Borders and Shading dialog box.
Pro Tip: Word’s application of these options will depend on the other border options you choose in this dialog box. Therefore, you may need to experiment with a variety of options to achieve the desired results.
- Select a border style.
- Select a color.
- Select a width.
- (Optional) Select or deselect the top, bottom, left, or right buttons in the Preview section to toggle the border on or off on specific sides of the paragraph.
- (Optional) Select the Options button.
11.a. Adjust the distance between the border and the text in the Top, Bottom, Left, and Right text boxes in the Border and Shading Options dialog box.
11.b. Select the OK button in the Border and Shading Options dialog box.
- Select the OK button in the Borders and Shading dialog box.
Your new border should now be added to your paragraph.
How to Delete Paragraph Borders
- Insert your cursor in the paragraph with the border.
- Select the Home tab in the ribbon (see figure 2).
- Select the Borders menu arrow in the Paragraph group (see figure 3).
- Select No Border from the drop-down menu.
The border should be removed from your paragraph.
Updated July 31, 2022