How to Add Borders & Shading

By Eric Jay Toll

Add borders and shading to snazzy up plain Microsoft Word documents. The Word 2010 feature can turn a black-and-white report from a blur on the page into a highlighted document with important information jumping off the page to grab reader attention. Word 2010 provides easily accessible option windows to add preset and custom borders and solid or patterned fills.

Text and Paragraph Borders

Step 1

Click the "Home" tab. Highlight the text or place the cursor in the paragraph where you want to place a border. Click the "Borders" drop-down button and select the button to place the border left, right, top, bottom or around the text. The default border style will apply to the text or paragraph.

Step 2

Click "Borders and Shading" at the bottom of the drop-down menu to change border weight, line style or color. You also use this step when creating page borders and applying shading. Click the "Options" button to open the "Borders and Shading" dialog box that displays options to separate the distance between text and border.

Step 3

Select a preset style from the "Setting" pane under the "Borders" tab in the "Borders and Shading" dialog box. Select options from the "Style" pane to customize the line, and select "Color" and "Width" options. Select "Border" placement from the "Preview" pane and select whether the border encircles "Text" or "Paragraph" from the "Apply to:" drop-down box.

Page Borders

Step 1

Click the "Page Border" tab in the "Borders and Shading" dialog box. Alternatively, access page borders from the "Page Borders" button in the "Page Background" group on the "Page Layout" tab.

Step 2

Select one of the preset borders from the "Setting" pane. When you need a margin-to-margin horizontal line, click the "Horizontal Line" button to select from 3D and graphic horizontal line styles.

Step 3

Select options from the "Style" pane to customize the page border, and select "Color" and "Width" options. Select "Border" placement from the "Preview" pane and select whether the border encircles the page or applies to selected margins. In the "Apply to" drop-down box, select whether the border applies to the "Whole document," "This section," "This section - First page only" or "This section - All except first page."

Shading

Step 1

Click the "Shading" tab in the "Borders and Shading" dialog box. In this box, shading applies only to "Text" or "Paragraph" as you select in the "Apply to" drop-down box. Add shading to the whole page in the dialog box from the "Page Color" command in the "Page Background" group on the "Page Layout" tab.

Step 2

Select the background color for text or paragraphs from the "Fill" color drop-down palette. Use theme colors or customize a color from the "More Colors" palette. Click the "Page Color" command to select page background theme colors from the color drop-down palette. Customize a color by selecting the "More Colors" palette on the menu.

Step 3

Create custom shading for pages, text or paragraphs overlaying a foreground color or pattern with the solid background color. For text and paragraphs, select the "Shading" tab in the "Borders and Shading" dialog box. For pages, select the "Pattern" tab on the "Fill Effects" dialog box from the "Page Color" palette menu.Set the background color from the "Fill" dropdown palette and set the overlay color on the "Patterns" dropdown palette. Next, select a pattern to overlay the background. Preview results in the "Preview" pane.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add gradients, textures or pictures as page backgrounds through the "Fill Effects" menu option.
  • Import any Window Metafile, JPG, GIF or PNG format image to use for horizontal lines, textures or page backgrounds.
  • Texture effects display as seamless graphics, making the page image appear as one image.
  • Re-size picture backgrounds to the exact page size to avoid non-seamless tiling.
  • Word does not seamlessly tile images. Word displays the image at its imported size, which may result in multiple copies and partial image displays as the background.