Saturday, January 17, 2009

Stop the annoying horizontal line in Word

One of the most-read tips on this blog is still "Get rid of that annoying horizontal line in Word", which means that problem is still bugging people out there.

It's a "feature" of Microsoft Word, whereby annoying horizontal lines appear in your document and you can't get rid of them. The post above describes how to remove those lines, but there is also a way of stopping (some of) them from appearing.

AutoCorrect creating The Line
Sometimes they are created by Word's often useful, sometimes infuriating AutoCorrect feature. If you type a line of 3 or more equals signs, underscores, minus signs, and probably a number of other chracters, Word automatically converts this to a line running across the screen, which isn't actually a line but a border, which is why we have trouble getting rid of it. You can just about see why someone might want to use this shortcut, but it seems to have caused more confusion among Word users than anything, all things considered.

The way to stop this is simple - go to Tools -> AutoCorrect Options and select the AutoFormat As You Type tab. Uncheck the option Apply as you type -> Border lines and never see that feature again! (until you reinstall Office at a later date and forget what you changed!)


Anonymous said...

Doing what you suggest just makes the line move up above the area I selected (for me).
MS word is simply an annoying and overbloated program.

Aniekan said...

It worked for me. Thank you so much! I use office 2007 and I had to first go to the windows icon on top left, click on "Word Options", which is on the bottom right, click "Proofing", then select "AutoCorrect options" and lastly, "AutoFormat As You Type". You can then deselect "border lines" under the "Apply as you type" heading. Yay! Thank you so much Marko. You delivered me from years of frustration with that unsightly barb of a line.

aida said...

You have advices here for all MS Word versions. It helped me

aida said...

For MS Word 2003:

1. Place your cursor right above the horizontal line
2. From your menu choose Format >> Borders and Shading >> None >> Ok

For MS Word 2007:

1. Place your cursor directly above the offending line
2. From your menu, choose Page Layout
3. Once you click on Page Layout, click on Page Borders
4. Choose the Borders Tab, in the upper left select None, then hit Ok
5. The line should disappear

It helped me :)) Good luck!

Kandace said...

The same auto-correct border feature can apparently occur within a header as well. Aargh! Everytime I choose a header in Word 2011 for Mac, it inserts that damn line. Sometimes two of them. I followed your tip to remove it by placing the cursor either before, after, above, or below (the pattern was indiscernible), and then delete. This worked, much to my relief. However, making this auto-correct change has done nothing for the header issue! I can't figure out how to just bypass the stupid line issue altogether w/header. BTW, it doesn't occur w/footers, and it does happen even with just a page # in the header position. So frustrating! Any tips??????


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