How to Create Fancy Borders in Microsoft

By Carol Finch

Learn how to use Microsoft's borders and shading tool to create a fancy page border and how to find more borders in free MS Office templates.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Word 2000, XP, 2003 or 2007

Microsoft's Borders and Shading tool helps you create page borders in programs such as Word. As well as regular border options, it also includes line and graphics styles that are a little more elaborate, allowing you to create fancy borders rather than plain ones. To access more design options, download free templates from Microsoft that come with decorative borders. If you're looking to place a border in a specific type of document, such as an invitation, report or newsletter, templates are particularly useful.

Use Borders and Shading to Add a Fancy Border

Choose a Border Type

Go to the Paragraph area on the Home tab and select the arrow next to the Border box. Select Borders and Shading.

Use the Borders and Shading menu to create page borders.

Select the Page Border tab and choose a Setting. Use Box to create a basic border, Shadow to add a shadow to edges, 3D to include 3D effects and Custom to create your own border. If you're going to use fancy lines or art borders, use the basic Box option.

Select the Box option to create your own fancy border.

Create the Border's Style

Microsoft's Border tools have a couple of style options to help you create fancy borders, include line designs and clip art graphics. To create a fancy line style, select an option in the Style box. To change the color from the black default, choose a color from the palette.

Choose a border color from standard colors or themes.


Select More Colors on the color palette to create a customized color for the border.

Choose the size of the border's line from Width to make it thicker or narrower.

Increase or decrease point size to change border thickness.

To use a clip art border, select Art and choose an image or style.

Choose from graphics or line art borders.

Use the Color and Width boxes to format the border. Note that you can't change the color of some clip art images.

Formatting options vary depending on the border you choose.

Check the Border's Settings

Use the boxes in the Preview pane to choose where the border shows on the page. By default, borders appear at the top, bottom and sides. To remove a border from an area, select the box to turn it off. Use Apply To to choose where the border appears in the document. You can set it to appear on every page or on selected pages.

Choose where and how your border shows in a document.

When you're done, select OK to insert the border in the document.


  • Use the Preview pane to see how a border will look on the page as you create and edit it.
  • To change a border's position, select Options in the Borders and Shading menu and change the margins.
  • To create a border around selected areas on a page, open the Borders and Shading menu and select the Borders tab. Change the settings to create the border and select OK.

Find Microsoft Templates With Fancy Borders

Select the File tab and then New. Type border in the search box and select the magnifying glass icon. You can also search by document type -- for example, to create an invitation with a fancy border, search for invitation.

Choose a template with a border you like and select Create to insert it in the document.

Read the template description to find out more about it.

Point your mouse at any of the squares on the border's outline and drag them to change its position on the page. Or, use the Height and Width buttons on the Size menu in the Format tab. If you don't see the Format tab, select the border to open it.

Change the position of a template in Word

Use the Corrections, Color and Artistic Effects buttons in the Adjust area of the Format tab to change the appearance of the template. Use Corrections to sharpen or soften, or to change brightness or contrast; use Color to change color, saturation or tone. To apply an effect or style to the picture, select an option from Artistic Effects or use one of the Picture Style images.

How to edit an MS Office template


Hover your mouse over the options in Corrections, Color and Artistic Effects and the template will change to show you how the effect will look.