How to Delete Horizontal Lines in Microsoft Word That Won’t Go Away

Nancy Messieh 21-02-2018

If you’re writing up a long report in Microsoft Word and want to use simple dividers to split up the various sections for readability, all you have to do is type three hyphens and hit Enter for a long horizontal line to magically appear.


But once it’s there, getting rid of it can prove challenging. You’d think using the Delete or Backspace keys would work, but that only works if you delete right after hitting Enter. Otherwise, you’re stuck with that line.

How to Delete Horizontal Lines in Microsoft Word

While you can’t use the Backspace key to get rid of it, you can still nix that line if you choose to:

  1. Place your cursor directly above the line.
  2. In the Home tab, find the Paragraph section.
  3. Click the dropdown arrow next to the Borders icon and select No border.

How to Delete Horizontal Lines in Microsoft Word That Won't Go Away Word Horizontal Line e1518455092762

You can see this process in action in the video below:

If you’re editing a professional document, did you consider adding a cover page How to Make a Custom Cover Page in Microsoft Word A strong cover page design is a great way to stylize your document. We show you how to make your own cover page in Microsoft Word. Read More ? We’ve also shown how to remove comments and accept all changes in Word How to Remove Comments and Accept All Changes in Word If you work with collaborators, you should know how to remove comments in Word. Let's see how to manage comments in a document. Read More .


Related topics: Microsoft Word, Troubleshooting.

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  1. Phil
    July 25, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    thankyou so much
    I got this line removed
    never had the patience and time to explore
    it worked just by clicking on no borders

  2. SKB
    July 21, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    Thank you so much! Word can give me such a hard time sometimes, and your fix worked on the first try.

  3. Bobbi
    July 18, 2020 at 8:26 pm

    thank you... i didn't know it turned into a border.

  4. Chip Cooper
    July 13, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    When I was younger... losing my hair, many years ago... will you still.... oops, sorry, got carried away with a song because my mood is that much lighter thank to this site! Hurrah! Apparently, when I was younger, I learned to make dividing lines in Word documents by typing multiple dashes. You know, like ------------ etc. In word, this apparently is a shortcut to create a border. Suddenly, attempt to delete this "line" stubbornly appears and duplicates in your document, and let face it... made my day much less... Calm and composed. Fortunately I don't do this often; unfortunately I forget why and do it again. With any luck, I'll find this article again... by searching for and finding. "line from dashes on word document won't delete" Thank you MUO!

  5. Peache
    April 28, 2020 at 7:07 am

    Hallelujah!!!! Thank you for that tip!!! It just saved me a couple of hours!!! :-)

  6. Margaret
    March 16, 2020 at 4:48 am

    Thank you!!

  7. Que Pasa
    February 27, 2020 at 8:36 pm

    This worked! So so many years of aggravation deleted in an instant. Thank you!

  8. Vicky K
    January 21, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    That line was seriously bugging me
    You're a star!

  9. Mariam Varkey
    January 20, 2020 at 9:06 am

    THANK YOU!!!

  10. Paul
    November 1, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Thank you!!!!!!

    September 21, 2019 at 4:22 am

    Thank you so much. it worked for me.

  12. PC
    September 14, 2019 at 3:32 am

    Hallelujah!!! that was bugging me so much
    Thanks a million :D

  13. Mohan
    August 11, 2019 at 10:39 am

    Thank you very much.
    This information was very timely and useful.
    Very well explained in a clear manner.
    Just perfect!

  14. Paul G. Celentano
    August 9, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Wow! Only article on the Internet that got it right! This should be at the top of the search results!

  15. NaOH
    July 25, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Perfect! Thank you so much!

  16. Mish Mash
    July 14, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    Why didn't I just look for this first and save my self the last 3 hours of ripping my hair out.

  17. Marco
    July 4, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    Thank you! Efforts such as yours make our lives better.

  18. Christie
    July 3, 2019 at 4:24 am

    OMG, thank you so much! I'd read some other article that said, "First select all the paragraphs you've written..." Dude, I'm on page 268! I'm not doing that! There must be an easier way - and I found this article. Bless you, Nancy.

  19. AK
    June 13, 2019 at 11:24 am

    thanks a ton! i went crazy trying to remove the dam ned line!

  20. Willow
    March 7, 2019 at 8:41 am


  21. ahmedg
    October 17, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    THank you!!!!

  22. Fola
    February 22, 2018 at 4:59 am

    This is a life saving article Nancy. Thanks

  23. Ali Bilal
    February 21, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    An alternative it is simply select a line above it and hit no space from styles

  24. BeedleTheBard
    February 21, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    So this is all we need to do. Really helpful article! Thank you for sharing.