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Horizontal Borders/Dividers Using the Keyboard

Posted By On March 15, 2010 @ 10:20 AM In MS Word | No Comments

Do you find yourself constantly drawing horizontal lines in MS Word? You know, using the drawing toolbar to draw lines as borders or dividers, in order to give your document a little extra pizzazz.

Are you tired of all the mouse work involved in the drawing toolbar? You know, turning on the line tool, drawing the line and then changing the style.

Wish you had a faster way?

Maybe you’d like a way that involves only the keyboard?

Well, if that sounds good to you, I have a quick list of divider/border line options that only take four keystrokes to accomplish.

Ready to find out how?

Good! Here they are.

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Once placed in the document the divider line will extend from left to right margin. Oh yeah, here’s the really cool part, once the line is drawn, you can use your mouse to move it up and down to alter its distance from the surrounding text. (You can’t move it all over the place, but it is enough to let you have some flexibility in regards to the line’s position near the text).

Simply run your mouse cursor over the line, slowly, until it becomes a double-sided arrow (pointing up and down). Once you have that arrow, click and hold the left mouse button while dragging the line up or down as needed.

Note: If this trick isn’t working for you, you should check to make sure you have this option turned on. To do this, you need to go to the AutoCorrect options. (Tools menu, AutoCorrect choice – or – for newer version of Word: Office Button, Word Options button, Proofing options section and click the AutoCorrect Options button. Everyone should then look on the AutoFormat As You Type tab, make sure the Borders box is checked in the “Apply as you type” section of the window. Click OK when you’re finished.)

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Now, moving on.

What about the “Oops Factor?”

You know, the line you now need to remove.

While I found that in Word 2007 I could just use the Delete or Backspace key to remove the line in older versions of Word it could be a bit of a pain and sometimes it’s not as easy as simply hitting the backspace or delete keys.

If you’re finding that the Delete and Backspace keys aren’t doing the trick then give this a try:

First, highlight the text around the divider line so that you have the border contained in the highlight.

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Next I had to go to the Format menu, Borders and Shading choice.

Once there click to the Borders tab.

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Make sure the None box is selected (top of the left hand column) and click OK.

Poof! The line is gone!

That’s it. Divider lines with just four keystrokes. Go ahead, jazz it up!

~April

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