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How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

Word automatically formats items like quotes, bulleted and numbered lists, and horizontal lines. When you type at least three dashes, underscores, or equal signs in a paragraph by themselves and press “Enter”, the characters are automatically converted to a single, thick single, or double horizontal line, respectively.

This feature can be a timesaver, except when you want the actual characters in your document and not have Word convert them into a horizontal line that extends the width of your document. There are a few methods for either undoing or removing the horizontal line or preventing Word from automatically creating it.

The first method is to press “Ctrl + Z” right after typing the characters and pressing “Enter” to undo the automatic creation of the horizontal line. The line is removed and your characters remain.

However, undoing the creation of the line every time may not be practical. You can remove the line later, but you should understand how Word adds the horizontal line. When you press “Enter” at the end of the characters that Word replaces with the line, Word removes the characters and adds a bottom border to the paragraph just above the one where you typed the characters.

To remove the line, place the cursor in the paragraph just above where the line was added. Make sure the “Home” tab is active. If not, click the “Home” tab on the ribbon.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

In the “Paragraph” section of the “Home” tab, click the down arrow on the right side of the “Borders” button and select “No Border” from the drop-down menu. This removes the line from below the paragraph in which you placed the cursor.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

If you don’t want to have to undo the creation of an automatic horizontal line every time it happens, you can prevent it from happening by turning off this feature. To do so, click the “File” tab.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

On the backstage screen, click “Options” in the list of items on the left.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

On the “Word Options” dialog box, click “Proofing” in the list of items on the left.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

In the “AutoCorrect options” section, click the “AutoCorrect Options” button.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

The “AutoCorrect” dialog box displays. Click the “AutoFormat As You Type” tab.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

In the “Apply as you type” section, select the “Border lines” check box so there is NO check mark in the box. Click “OK” to accept the change and close the “AutoCorrect” dialog box.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

You are returned to the “Word Options” dialog box. Click “OK” to close it.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

Now, when you type three or more dashes, underscores, or equal signs in a paragraph by themselves and press “Enter”, the characters remain unchanged.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

In addition to creating horizontal lines from dashes, underscores, and equal signs, Word also creates automatic horizontal lines from at least three asterisks (*), tildes (

), and pound signs (#). The following image displays the different types of horizontal lines Word automatically creates.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

If you want to allow Word to automatically insert horizontal lines again, simply turn on the “Border lines” option (a check mark should display in the check box).

All of those who use MS Word have faced this. As soon as you put a few dashes (hyphens) and press enter, MS-Word automatically converts these innocent dashes into an adamant horizontal line border that runs across the page. And no matter what you do, you just cannot get rid of this line. As I have been posting a lot of time saving tips about MS-Word, this is another one in the series. Let’s us learn about this line and the solution of this problem that we all encounter so often during our office work.

Well, MS-Word has a feature called AutoFormat. This feature automatically formats certain keystrokes into symbols and other things that we would have to otherwise insert manually. For example when you type (c) and it gets converted into © symbol. The same feature converts a series of three or more dashes typed at the start of a line into a horizontal bar. But I have seen that this particular trick of MS-Word is more of a trouble for most users than a helpful tactic.

The first thing that you need to understand about this line is that it is NOT a line. It is actually a border. This is why you can not select it with a mouse click and because it is unselectable —you can not press delete button to remove it. But have the following three methods to remove this border:

Method 1:
As soon as you type three or more dashes and MS-Word produces this “line”, just press CTRL + Z to undo Word’s action. The line will be gone and you’ll get back your three dashes.

Method 2:
If you have done more work after Word converted those dashes into a line, then the above method will not work (CTRL + Z undoes only last few actions).

So, in such a case, you should position your cursor right above this horizontal line and select “No Borders” from the Borders menu available in the Home tab.

This is how you can remove automatic horizontal line in MS-Word.

Method 3:
If you are tired of keep removing this line all the time, you can tell MS-Word not to automatically convert those hyphens into a bar. Here is how you can do this:

MS-Office XP
File > Options > AutoCorrect Options > AutoFormat as You Type > Apply as you type > Uncheck the box for Border lines

MS-Office 2007, 2010, 2013
Office button (round orb like button in top-left corner) > Word Options > Proofing > AutoCorrect Options > AutoFormat as You Type > Apply as you type > Uncheck the box for Border lines

Once you’re done, MS-Word will no longer turn three or more hyphens at the beginning of a line into a border line. Yeah, that’s right, it’s called a border line!

I hope this was useful for you. Please feel free to ask any questions you’ve on this topic. I will be happy to try and help you. Thank you for using TechWelkin!

In MS Word, if you type three consecutive dashes and press the Enter key, a horizontal line is inserted in its place. This horizontal line is stubborn; it is almost impossible to add any previous text, and it cannot be deleted with the delete or delete key. With the way it is inserted with a simple dash character, i.e., dash, the user should remove it quickly.

Horizontal lines in MS Word

The dash character is the surest way to insert strikethrough in MS Word, but users have been hampered by it for other reasons. Regardless, if this is the line you’re trying to delete, neither the backspace nor the undelete is the way to go.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

The horizontal line is not straight; it is a frontier. You might be wondering it’s applicable since there is no table or text box in GIF above. This particular border is applied to the paragraph above it. In MS Word, paragraphs can have their borders.

How to Remove Automatic Horizontal Lines in Word

To delete a horizontal line position, you point above it.

The first method is to press “Ctrl + Z” right after entering the characters and press “Enter” to undo the horizontal line’s automatic creation. The line is deleted, and your character remains.

However, undo creating lines every time may not be practical. You can delete the following line, but you should understand how Word adds horizontal lines. When you press “Enter” at the end of characters that Word replaces with lines, Word removes the characters and adds a bottom border to the paragraph just above where you type the characters.

To remove lines:

  1. Place the cursor in the paragraph just above where the line was added.
  2. Make sure the “Home” tab is active.
  3. If not, click the “Home” tab on the ribbon.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

In the “Paragraph” section of the “Home” tab, click the down arrow to the right of the “Borders” button and choose “No Border” from the drop-down menu. This will delete the line from below the paragraph where you placed the cursor.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

If you don’t want to have to undo the creation of an automatic horizontal line every time, you can prevent it from happening by disabling this feature. To do so, click the “File” tab.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

On the behind-the-scenes screen, click “Options” in the list of items on the left.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

On the “Word Options” dialog box, click “Proofing” in the list of items on the left.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

In the “AutoCorrect options” section, click the “AutoCorrect Options” button.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

The “AutoCorrect” dialog box is displayed. Click the tab “AutoFormat As You Type”

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

In the “Apply as you type” section, check the checkbox “Border lines”, so don’t check the box. Click “OK” to accept the changes and close the “AutoCorrect” dialog box.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

You are returned to the “Word Options” dialog box. Click “OK” to close it.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

Now, when you type three or more dashes, underscores, or equal signs in a paragraph and press “Enter”, the characters won’t change.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

In addition to creating dashes from dashes, underscores, and equal signs, Word also creates horizontal lines automatically from at least three asterisks (*), tilde (

), and table signs (# ). The figure below shows the different types of horizontal lines that Word automatically generates.

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

If you want to let, Word automatically inserts horizontal lines, turn on the “Borderlines” option (a checkmark will appear in the checkbox).

Enter three or more special characters on a new line and then press Enter, Word automatically expands these characters to a line. A style of this line depends on the characters:

How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

  • Three or more “*” – dotted line
  • Three or more “=” – double line
  • Three or more “

” – wavy line

  • Three or more “#” – thick decorative line
  • Three or more “-” or “_” – thick single line
  • These lines often used in Word documents, but you can simply remove them if you understand: this is not a line – this is a paragraph border (for more details see How to use paragraph borders and shading).

    And you can turn on/off AutoReplace of these symbols to lines. Do one of the following:

      Then Word makes an AutoReplace, it shows the AutoCorrect Options button. You can click in it and choose Stop Automatically Creating Border Lines:

    1. On the File tab, click the Options button:

    2. In the Word Options dialog box, on the Proofing tab, under AutoCorrect options, click the AutoCorrect Options. button:

    3. In the AutoCorrect dialog box, on the AutoFormat As You Type tab, in the Apply as you type group, check or uncheck Border lines to turn on or off this option:

    How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

    If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team.

    Dec 30, 2017
    Comment

    In MS Word, if you type three dashes in a row, and tap the Enter key, a horizontal line is inserted in its place. This horizontal line is stubborn; it’s almost impossible to add any text before it and it can’t be deleted with either the backspace or delete keys. Given how it was inserted with a simple character i.e. the dash, users should be able to remove it just as easily. Unfortunately, it’s a bit more complicated to delete a horizontal line in MS Word. This is because it’s not a character. It’s a design element.

    Horizontal Line In MS Word

    The dash character is the surest way to insert the horizontal line in MS Word but users have been plagued by it from other causes. Regardless, if this is the line you’re trying to delete, neither backspace nor delete key is the way to go.

    How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

    The horizontal line isn’t a line at all; it’s a border. You might wonder what it’s applied to since there is no table or text box in the GIF above. This particular border is applied to the paragraph just above it. In MS Word, paragraphs can have their own borders.

    To delete a horizontal line, position you cursor just above it.

    How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

    On the Home tab, look for the ‘Paragraph’ toolbox. It’s the one with the bulleted and numbered list buttons. Next to the color fill tool you will see the border button. Click the drop-down next to this button. From the menu that opens, select ‘No Border’ to delete a horizontal line in an MS Word document.

    How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

    Paragraph Borders

    MS Word’s extensive features can sometimes surprise even the most well-versed users. For most, it might not seem like paragraph borders are a feature anyone will need. Most users get by by adding a text box or using a single row and single column table, and applying borders to it. This is of course a better, more controlled way to add a border around text.

    The other border options can be used on a paragraph as well, except for the diagonal borders of course.

    Functionality-wise, paragraph borders are better than any other sort of divider you’d use because they can’t be deleted as easily. If you have to share a document that will be edited by someone else, this is a fairly reasonable way to keep sections separate. It beats using tables that are difficult to move around, and it’s a better option than a page and line break because those too can be removed easily, even by accident.

    by milan » Mon May 04, 2015 6:42 pm

    Re: Removing horizontal line is impossible

    by Zizi64 » Mon May 04, 2015 6:51 pm

    The line is a bottom border in the manual formatting properties of the paragraph
    Click on the paraggraph, Format – paragraph – Border TAB – uncheck Bottom border

    Or: select ALL, and Ctrl-M to reset direct (manual) formatting of the paragraphs

    Re: Removing horizontal line is impossible

    by John_Ha » Mon May 04, 2015 6:52 pm

    It is a border applied to one of the paragraphs, either a border above paragraph, or a border below paragraph (and my first question to the forum).

    Highlight all the text > Format > Paragraph > Borders and set line thickness to none, and click the left hand ” box ” which means no borders. It should go.

    It didn’t actually work for me so I set the borders to red, and then removed the red border, when it worked. You can apply / remove the border to one of more paragraphs.

    You probably have Automatic lines set which is what caused it. Help says:

    ), or hash marks (#), and then press Enter.
    2. To remove an automatically drawn border, choose Format – Paragraph – Borders and select no border.
    3. To undo an automatic border replacement once, choose Edit – Undo.
    4. To disable the automatic borders, choose Tools – AutoCorrect Options – Options and clear Apply border.

    If this solves the problem, please edit your original post title to [Solved].

    LO 6.4.4.2, Windows 10 Home 64 bit

    Remember: Always save your Writer files as .odt files . – see here for the many reasons why.

    Re: Removing horizontal line is impossible

    by milan » Mon May 04, 2015 7:09 pm

    Word has a set of AutoFormat shortcuts that make horizontal lines, here’s how they work, how to change them, color the lines and how to stop lines when they get out of control.

    Line shortcuts

    There are six horizontal line shortcuts. For each one type the same character three times at the start of a new line then press Enter.

    For example, press the dash key three times on a new line, then enter.

    How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

    Dashes give you a horizontal line

    Underscores give you a bold horizontal line

    Equals gives you a double horizontal line

    How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

    And there’s more …

    The three above are the best known but there are others.

    Asterisk makes a dotted line

    Tilde makes a wavy line

    Pound/Hash makes a triple line

    How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

    Tooltip controls

    Whenever you automatically make a line, a small tooltip appears with some options.

    Undo Border Line – changes back to the characters you typed. The usual undo shortcut, Ctrl + Z, will do the same thing.

    Stop Automatically Creating Border Lines – will turn off the AutoFormat | Border Lines option entirely.

    Control AutoFormat Options … goes to the settings for AutoFormat as you type.

    Autoformat Options

    The automatic lines and all other AutoFormat options are controlled from Options | Proofing | AutoCorrect options | AutoFormat As You Type:

    How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

    Border lines can be turned on/off from there. There are no options to select just some character/line combinations – it’s all or nothing.

    Under the hood

    Word isn’t making the lines by adding a lot more characters across the page. That’s where confusion can begin if you’re trying to stop the lines appearing.

    It’s converting your dash/underscore/equals etc. into a paragraph border. Specifically, a bottom border line on the paragraph.

    For example, here’s how an automatic double horizontal line appears in Paragraph | Borders and Shading

    How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

    It’s just the double line style applied to the bottom line of the paragraph. Strictly, at the bottom of group of paragraphs with the same formatting. Knowing that detail is useful when you’re fixing the extra lines that start appearing.

    Color

    The automatic lines are always black (actually ‘Automatic’). Word doesn’t pick up the color of the three characters nor the paragraph as you might expect.

    To change the line color, select the line then go to Home | Paragraph | Borders | Borders and Shading. Select the color you want from the pull-down list and then click on the borders you want the color change to apply.

    How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

    Other lines

    You’re not limited to the lines that Microsoft provides via AutoCorrect. You can add your own or change the look of a line added with AutoCorrect.

    Select the line then go to Home | Paragraph | Borders | Borders and Shading. That opens up the many options you have:

    Styles: there are over 20 line styles to choose from.

    Color: as mentioned above, the full Word color range is available.

    Width: thin, medium or thick – take your pick from ¼ point to 6pt.

    Top, bottom, left, right – click in the preview box to choose which lines to show and the style of each one.

    Whatever you choose, remember to click on the line/s in the preview box to apply the look you want.

    For consistency, you can have a horizontal line as part of a paragraph style. For example, a line above or below a heading.

    Unwanted horizontal lines

    A common problem with the automatic lines is extra lines appearing where you don’t want them.

    It happens when you add paragraphs immediately above the horizontal line. Each of those paragraphs inherits the same (bottom border) formatting that Word made for the horizontal line.

    You won’t see a line under each paragraph because Word groups together paras with the same formatting. Only the last paragraph of a group will have a bottom border line.

    The problem usually rises because people try to fix the extra lines by selecting just the paragraphs showing horizontal line and change the formatting.

    That doesn’t change the ‘bottom border’ formatting for other lines that have the setting. So it seems like extra lines keep popping up without reason!

    How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

    The solution is to make sure you select all the affected paragraphs – not just the ones with horizontal lines.

    Choose a paragraph and look carefully at the Home | Paragraph | Borders icon. That icon changes according to the current border settings. In this, enlarged, example you can see the bottom line is solid.

    How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

    To change the border setting, pull-down the borders list and choose ‘No Border’.
    How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

    To stop the creeping lines in the first place, get into the habit of not adding extra paragraphs from the horizontal line itself. Instead, go to the paragraph ABOVE the horizontal line and add new paras from there.

    Have you ever run into a situation in Microsoft Word where you somehow ended up with a horizontal line that you absolutely can’t delete? In this article I will show you what can cause this situation and what you can do to fix the problem. In my opinion, it’s one of the most irritating thing in Word that I have ever encountered. The fix is so easy even a cave man can do it…..as long as he’s comfortable with using a mouse and keyboard, of course.

    Problem

    On a blank line in Microsoft Word, you enter a series of underscores, perhaps to create a line like the one in the image below to separate the two paragraphs. As soon as you hit the Enter key, the disaster strikes because now you can’t delete the line. If you were to add a series of underscores on a line that has text (see third line), and then hit the Enter key, there wont’ be a problem. The problem is only experienced when you do this on a blank line (see 5th line). I typed a series of underscores and then pressed the Enter key, which created a bold line. If my cursor is above the thick line at the end of line 4, pressing the Enter key simply moves the horizontal line down.

    How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

    If I create some space above and below the bold line, select the area above and below the line with my mouse and then delete the entire area, it sure will delete the line. Right? Wrong!

    How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

    The bold line is practically invisible to Word and Word can’t delete what it can’t see. Don’t bother copying these paragraphs to a new Word document because you will be copying the problem to the new document.

    You may also run into another challenge. Let’s say you delete all the text below the line (the second paragraph in the above image). You just created yet another serious problem for yourself. Now there is absolutely no way for you to go down below the line and add any text. Remember, the line behaves as if it were “invisible” to Word. Even if you select the area that contains the line, you just can’t delete it. It’s like Jason in the movie Friday the 13th, you just can’t kill him.

    Solution

    First let me explain what’s going on. If you type 3 of the following characters consecutively in a blank row, that doesn’t have any text, and then press the Enter key, Word creates a border around that paragraph.

      Tilde (

    )

  • Pound or hash sign (#)
  • Asterisk (*)
  • Underscore (_)
  • Hyphen (-)
  • Equal to sign (=)
  • In the image below, I typed each of the above characters 3 times, without a space between them, and hit the Enter key. You can see the results. After you hit the Enter key, you won’t see the 3 characters that you typed, you will only see the horizontal line that can’t be deleted. The horizontal line is actually a border created by Word at the bottom of the paragraph.

    How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

    If you keep pressing the Enter key, you keep on creating a new paragraph that contains the border at the bottom of the paragraph.

    What you’ve experienced is the default behavior in Word that you can change. The easiest way to get rid of it is to use the Ctrl+Q combination on your keyboard. Simply move your cursor anywhere in the paragraph above the line that you want to delete, and then use Ctrl+Q. For example, if you want to delete the line with the tildes, move your cursor somewhere in the line above the tildes, let’s say, at the beginning of the line before the first tilde (pronounced “till-duh” but sometimes called squiggle, or twiddle), then use Ctrl+Q to delete the line. It really doesn’t matter where you put the cursor above the horizontal line, as long as it’s within the paragraph. If you are not sure, just move it to the beginning of the line just above the line that you can’t delete so you can get rid of the border. Keep in mind, the horizontal line is a border at the bottom of the paragraph.

    Alternate Method for Deleting the Border

    Besides the Ctrl+Q method, which I find much easier to remember, you can also use the Word ribbon to delete the paragraph border. Depending on the version of Word you are using, the options might be slightly different. You basically need to go to the formatting area where you can remove the border at the bottom of the paragraph. The screenshots in this article are from Word 2016.

    Word 2013 & Later: Home tab -> Paragraph section -> Border button -> No Border

    How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

    In the previous image where I have all the different types of lines, if you want to delete all of them, simply select all the paragraphs and then use Ctrl+Q. All the paragraph borders will disappear but your text will stay in tact. If you are like me and don’t like this default behavior where Word adds borders at the bottom of the paragraph, you can go to File -> Options -> Proofing -> AutoCorrect Options -> AutoFormat As You Type -> and clear the box next to Border Lines.

    How to remove automatic horizontal lines in word

    While you are at it, review other settings on this tab. You may like some of them but want to change the default behavior of others. For example, I like the option under Replace as you type for Ordinals (1st) with superscript, but don’t like the default option for Hyphens (–) with dash (–). Poke around on the other tabs of AutoCorrect to see if there’s something else you don’t like. Whenever I install Microsoft Office, I have a series of tweaks that I do in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and other applications. Customizing the AutoCorrect is an essential part of my usual tweaks.

    by milan » Mon May 04, 2015 6:42 pm

    Re: Removing horizontal line is impossible

    by Zizi64 » Mon May 04, 2015 6:51 pm

    The line is a bottom border in the manual formatting properties of the paragraph
    Click on the paraggraph, Format – paragraph – Border TAB – uncheck Bottom border

    Or: select ALL, and Ctrl-M to reset direct (manual) formatting of the paragraphs

    Re: Removing horizontal line is impossible

    by John_Ha » Mon May 04, 2015 6:52 pm

    It is a border applied to one of the paragraphs, either a border above paragraph, or a border below paragraph (and my first question to the forum).

    Highlight all the text > Format > Paragraph > Borders and set line thickness to none, and click the left hand ” box ” which means no borders. It should go.

    It didn’t actually work for me so I set the borders to red, and then removed the red border, when it worked. You can apply / remove the border to one of more paragraphs.

    You probably have Automatic lines set which is what caused it. Help says:

    ), or hash marks (#), and then press Enter.
    2. To remove an automatically drawn border, choose Format – Paragraph – Borders and select no border.
    3. To undo an automatic border replacement once, choose Edit – Undo.
    4. To disable the automatic borders, choose Tools – AutoCorrect Options – Options and clear Apply border.

    If this solves the problem, please edit your original post title to [Solved].

    LO 6.4.4.2, Windows 10 Home 64 bit

    Remember: Always save your Writer files as .odt files . – see here for the many reasons why.

    Re: Removing horizontal line is impossible

    by milan » Mon May 04, 2015 7:09 pm