How to Insert a Vertical Line in Microsoft Word: 5 Methods


To improve the appearance or readability of your document, consider adding a line in the text. While inserting a horizontal line in Microsoft Word can be intuitive, adding a vertical line is not.

There are a handful of ways to insert a vertical line into your Word document. The placement of the line can determine which option you use, so let’s take a look at your options.

Method 1: Insert a Page Border

A quick and easy way to add a vertical line is to use the page border feature. This works well if you want the line to extend the length of the page and past the margins. This allows you to customize the line for an attractive look or keep it simple.

RELATED: How to Create a Page Border in Microsoft Word

Go to the Home tab, click the Borders drop-down arrow and select “Borders and Shading.”

In the window that appears, choose the Page Border tab at the top. Then use the Preview tools on the right to add the vertical line to the left, right, or both sides of the page. At the bottom right, you can use the Apply to drop-down list to choose whether you want the rule throughout the document or a specific section.

Use the Style, Color, Width, and Art settings in the center of the window to adjust the stroke. When you’re done, click ‘OK’.

And then you have the final product!

Method 2: Insert a paragraph border

You may only want to apply a vertical line to part of the page, such as a paragraph. In this case, you can use the border tool to add one to the left, right, or both and draw the line inside the . to keep top and bottom margins.

RELATED: How to Change Page Margins in Word

To insert the line next to an existing paragraph, select the entire paragraph. To insert the line and then add the text, place the cursor where you want the line to begin.

Open the Home tab and click the Borders drop-down arrow. In the top section, you can select Left Edge or Right Edge. To add them both, select one and then the other.

To adjust the vertical lines, choose “Borders and Shading” from the Borders drop-down list. Use the Borders tab and the center section to select the Style, Color, and Width settings that you want to apply. Confirm that “Paragraph” is selected in the Apply to drop-down list at the bottom right of the window. Click “OK” to apply the changes.

Then you will see your nice and neat paragraph border.

Method 3: Insert a Bar Tab

If you want the ability to place a vertical line in different paragraph locations instead of just left or right, you can use the Tabs function.

Go to the Home tab, click the Line & Paragraph Spacing drop-down arrow and select “Line Spacing Options.”

When the window pops up, on the Indents and Spacing tab, click on “Tabs” at the bottom left.

Under Alignment, choose “Bar.”

You can then use the Tab Stop Positions section of the window to choose the locations for the tab stops and associated vertical lines. Or click “OK” to close the window and use your ruler to set your tab stops.

Method 4: Inserting a Line Shape

You may want complete freedom with where you place your vertical lines. You can use the Shape function to insert a vertical line, make it as long as you want, move it wherever you want, and adjust the appearance.

RELATED: How to Add a Dotted Line in a Microsoft Word Document

Open the Insert tab, click the Shapes drop-down arrow and select the Stroke in the Strokes section.

Use your cursor to draw the line to the desired length. Then select and drag the line to move or resize it where you want it.

To customize the line, select it and go to the Shape Format tab. You can then use the options in the ribbon to change the style, apply a different color, or add an effect.

Method 5: Insert a line between columns

if you have you document is arranged in columns, you can insert a vertical line between those columns.

Place your cursor in a column and go to the Layout tab. Click the Columns drop-down arrow and select “More Columns.”

In the window that appears, check the Line between box. Click “OK” to apply the vertical line and close the window.

You will then have a clean line between your columns.

Whatever method you use to insert a vertical line in Microsoft Word, you can easily add whatever element you want to improve the look or readability of your document.

RELATED: How to Create Newsletter-Style Columns in Word

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