Step-by-Step Guide: How to Remove Line in Word Document

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Microsoft Word, a product in the Microsoft Office Suite, has remained, over the years, a widely used tool for creating documents of diverse types, from daily reports at workplaces to academic projects at institutions. While it has numerous features that make it user-friendly, occasionally, it presents users with some unintended complexities. One such issue is deleting lines within the document. This article aims to detail how to remove lines in Word documents, providing step-by-step instructions on the removal of various types of lines and properties peculiar to them.

Understanding Lines in Microsoft Word

The Functions of Different Types of Lines in Word

Lines serve various functions in a Word document. They can help for

text emphasis

, making significant text parts immediately noticeable; the

separation of text elements

, by guiding the eyes through different sections of the document; and

artistic use

, enhancing the visual appeal of the document.

Common Line Types in Word

In your Word document, you are likely to encounter three common types of lines:

Underlined text

, which might be manually created by you or be a result of hyperlink generation;

Horizontal lines

, often automatically inserted by Word when you type three or more hyphens, underscores, or equals signs followed by a return, and


applied to pages, paragraphs, or tables.

Removing Underlines

Step-by-step Guide on How to Remove Underlining

Removing underlining in Word is straightforward. Simply highlight the underlined text, then proceed to the ‘Home’ tab and click on the ‘Underline’ button to remove the underline.

Trick on How to Prevent Automatic Underlining

To prevent automatically occurring underlines, you can turn off the auto-format feature; here’s how. Go to ‘File’, choose ‘Options’, then ‘Proofing’, followed by ‘AutoCorrect Options’, click on ‘AutoFormat As You Type’, and finally, uncheck the ‘Border lines’ option.

Removing Horizontal Lines

Explanation of Automatic Horizontal Lines

These meet those lines that appear when you type three or more hyphens, underscores, equal signs, or asterisks and then press ‘Enter’.

Guide on How to Remove Automatic Horizontal lines

To remove these, place your cursor directly above the line, go to the ‘Home’ tab, click ‘Borders’ under ‘Paragraph’, then choose ‘No Border’.

How to Prevent them from Automatically Appearing

Similar to preventing automatic underlining, proceed to the ‘AutoCorrect Options’ and under ‘AutoFormat As You Type’, uncheck the ‘Border lines’ option.

Deleting Borders

Instruction on Removing Line Borders in Word

Select the paragraph with borders, right-click to bring up the context menu, and choose ‘Paragraph’. Then, go to ‘Borders’ and select ‘None’. Click ‘OK’.

Overview on Removing Table Borders

By clicking on the table, the ‘Design’ and ‘Layout’ tab will appear. Go to the ‘Design’ tab and click the ‘Borders’ button. Then choose ‘No Border’.

Eliminating Lines from Shapes and Text Boxes

Tutorial on Removing Lines from Shapes

After you have selected the shape, head to the ‘Format’ tab and click on ‘Shape Outline’. Now choose ‘No Outline’. Proceed to seal the changes by clicking ‘OK’.

Guide on Removing Lines from Text Boxes

Similar to shapes, just select the text box, then under the ‘Format’ tab, choose ‘Shape outline’ and then ‘No Outline’.

Dealing with Lines that Won’t go Away

Tips for Removing Stubborn Lines

Check if the line is a paragraph border. To do this, place your cursor below the line, open ‘Borders and Shading’ by clicking ‘Borders’ under ‘Home’ and ‘Paragraph’. If it’s a border, set it to ‘None’.

Troubleshooting Steps

If the above step doesn’t work, then delete the paragraph marker above the line by showing hidden symbols under the ‘Home’ tab. Be careful, though; this also removes the paragraph.


We’ve taken a comprehensive dive into how to remove lines in Word, a seemingly complex, yet simple task when understood. It’s hoped that with this guide, you can now confidently remove unwanted lines and control the appearance of your document more effectively. Remember, these processes become easier with practice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why can’t I delete the line in Word?

The line may actually not be a simple line, but a paragraph border. Try removing it as a border as explained above.

Why do lines appear automatically when I press enter in Word?

Word is designed to interpret certain keystrokes as commands to insert special formatting like borders or lines. You can turn this off in the ‘AutoFormat’ settings.

How do I prevent automatic underlining and horizontal lines?

You need to turn off the automatic border lines feature in the ‘AutoFormat As You Type’ settings.

Is there a way to remove all lines in my document at once?

No, you need to select and remove each line individually, depending on its type. It’s also a good practice, so you don’t accidentally delete necessary formatting.