How to Add Borders to a Microsoft Word Document

By Jennifer Walker

When you are working on a Microsoft Word document, you may decide to add lines here and there to separate sections, put boxes around sidebars and various other uses. Adding borders is especially useful when using Microsoft Word to create things like flyers and newsletters. Although there is a drawing toolbar that will let you draw lines, using this method can be a bit frustrating to get the lines exactly right. Using Microsoft Word’s borders function makes the job much easier, neater and more professional.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word 2007

Step 1

Open a document in Microsoft Word.

Step 2

Place your cursor where you want the border to be. Borders can be placed above, below, beside and around the text. If you select a line that goes above the text, the line will be placed above the cursor. If you select a line that goes below the text, it will be placed below the cursor. If you choose an outside border (one that makes a box around the text) or borders that go between paragraphs, you will want to select all of the text.

Step 3

Click on the "Home" menu. In the Paragraph section of the Ribbon, you will see the Borders button in the lower right-hand corner.

Step 4

Click on the "Borders" button if it is showing the style of border you want. If it is not, click on the down-pointing arrow on the right side of the button to choose your style. The border will appear as you selected.

Step 5

Click on "Borders and Shading" in the drop-down menu if you would like to customize the border. You will be able to change the look of the line (including dotted lines and shadows) and choose where to place the lines. To do this, click on the style of line on the left, and then click on the diagram on the right to place the line.

Step 6

Click "OK" when you are done. Your border will appear.

Microsoft Word 1997-2003

Step 1

Open the document in Microsoft Word.

Step 2

Place your cursor where you want the border to be.

Step 3

Click the "Borders" button on the Formatting toolbar if it is showing the style of border you want. To choose a different boarder, click on the down-pointing arrow on the right side of the button to choose your style. The border will appear as you selected.

Step 4

Click on the "Format" menu, and then "Borders and Shading" if you would like to customize the border. You can change the look of the lines and determine where to place the lines. To do this, click on the line style on the style of line on the left. Click on the diagram on the right to place the line.

Step 5

Click "OK" when you are done. Look to see if it is the boarder you want.