Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Drawing Lines.

Drawing Lines

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 27, 2016)


The Drawing toolbar allows you to create a number of shapes that were previously only available through the use of a drawing program. One such shape is a line. To draw a line, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Insert tab of the ribbon.
  2. In the Illustrations group, click the Shapes tool. You'll see a large selection of shapes you can create.
  3. Click one of the line types in the Lines group.
  4. Position the mouse pointer where one end of the line is to be located.
  5. Click and hold the mouse button.
  6. Drag the mouse until the line is the desired length.
  7. Release the mouse button.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12270) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Drawing Lines.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is five more than 3?

2016-08-29 11:11:44

J Scheuerman

The 3 x doesn't work for me in Word 2010, but does in Outlook. I suspect due to my Autocorrect Options being turned off in Word.

2016-08-29 09:52:56

Kathy W

May I clarify the instructions below, as I was slightly confused.

When it states 3 x -, it means that you type the - three times in a row and then hit the enter key. This also applies to the other suggested keyboard shortcuts.

2016-08-27 15:35:47

Don Mattocks

One thing you should add to this "how to draw lines" tip is that if you want a vertical or horizontal line to hold down the shift key while you drag.

2016-08-27 13:36:38

Henry Noble

Adding to Wiljouw's list:

Type 3 x _ (underscore) then Enter, for a thicker single line
Type 3 x # then Enter, for a triple line
Type 3 x ~ (tilde) then Enter, for a wavy line

2016-08-27 13:10:26

F. Wiljouw

I think there is a simpler method:
Type 3 × - (en-dash) on an empty line + Enter Et voila! a thin line
Or: 3 × = then Enter is double line
Or: 3 × * then Enter is broken line

I hope you like it.

2016-08-27 10:37:53

Dave Goldberg

One crucial thing you left out was what happens after you click on one of the lines. (I can only speak to what happens in my WORD 2010.) If the navigation bar is displayed, the text window is positioned to the right, leaving some inactive gray area between the navigation bar and the text window. After you click on one of the lines and the option box disappears, it looks like you have accomplished nothing! Everything looks EXACTLY as it did before you clicked! What th...??? It isn't until you get the cursor arrow down into the active window that you see it change to a cross.

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