Removing the HR Line from Word

It was an annoying bugger that I couldn’t figure out – I was having a problem removing what I thought was the horizontal rule <hr> tag from Microsoft Word. Try as I would… I couldn’t get it to go away; I couldn’t delete it with the delete key nor the backspace key, I couldn’t select it with the cursor… it was driving me mad.

The Problem:

I was using some auto-correct (actually auto-format) feature of Microsoft Word that I really didn’t understand, I would type three underscores (_) and then hit the enter key – the ensuing output seemed to be a horizontal rule.

I’ve come to find out that this auto-format feature actually creates a border for the document, not just a mere horizontal line. I have also come to find out that the instant horizontal line (border) will show up if you use 3 hyphens (-), 3 tildes (~), 3 pound signs (#) or 3 equal signs (=) in a row followed by the enter key. At the time, I was just trying to get rid of it.

The Fix

In earlier versions of Word (maybe 2003 or earlier), several websites state that you must:

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

I personally have Word 2007 – and it’s not quite the same… so I cannot verify that the above is 100% correct – but I would imagine it’s spot-on.

Here’s how to do this when you have Microsoft Office Word 2007 (or Word 2007) screenshots:

  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

How to turn off the auto-format feature for borders
If you’ve accidentally created one of these horizontal lines, you can fix it so that this mistake doesn’t happen again. I’ve created screenshots of how to shut this auto-format feature off.

Step 1
Click on the lightning-bolt box near the newly created horizontal line:

Select Box to modify Autoformatting for Word - Image

Step 2
Choose “Control AutoFormat Options”:

Changing Word Autoformatting Options - Image

Step 3
Untick the “Border Lines” checkbox:

Uncheck Border Lines Selection - Image

Hit “OK” – you’re done!

Remove the horizontal line in Word 2007 screenshots
These screenshots follow the steps above..

Step 1
Place your cursor directly above the problematic line:
Cursor above horizontal line - Image

Step 2
Choose “Page Layout” from your menu:
Choose Page Layout - Image

Step 3
Choose the “Page Borders” sub-heading under Page Layout:
Choose Page Borders sub-heading - Image /><br />
<br style=
Step 4
Select the “Borders” tab:
Select Borders Tab - Image

Step 5
Under “setting”, select “None”:
Click on None Option - Image

Hit “OK” – You’re done!

I hope that this little tutorial has helped some of you – I know that this problem was quite a pain for me… and using the above steps is how I fixed it.

Update May, 2009

This “removing the line from MS word” tutorial has been viewed 10s of thousands of times since I wrote it last year, and it has helped hundreds at least, I’m assuming, to fix what appears to be a very common problem for Word users. Based on the enormous amount of traffic this page receives, a lot of people struggle with this nagging line/border/table thing.

Now, I ask nothing in return — this is here for you to benefit from. However, if you would like to visit and purchase something via this link – I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to it. πŸ™‚

If this tutorial helped you out, feel free to leave a comment, and thanks for stopping by.

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516 thoughts on “Removing the HR Line from Word

  1. LeAna

    I have the ‘horizontal line’ problem in using Word 2007 in compatibility mode – but neither the suggestion for Word 97 or 2007 works for me. My line happens to be in a cell within a table – just to complicate matters, so when I try your suggestion – all the borders of my table disappear but my unwanted line is still there – bold as ever. Any suggestions?

  2. majid

    Thanks… I was really helpful for me while spending a lot of time with this stupid Microsoft word πŸ™‚

  3. james

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!! I spent hours trying to figure out that stupid line in microsoft word!

  4. mwgrigs

    Thanks a bunch! That line was driving me nuts and ended up retyping half a page into another document. I also highlighted the offending row and clicking the [Borders] button from the [Paragraph] group on the [Home] tab and selecting [None]. That might do the trick for lines showing up inside of tables–have not proven it though. Thanks again!

  5. Beth

    This fix of clicking “none” on the borders and shading menu worked for a few of the lines on my Word document, however, now it just seems to be shifting the line up one line of text higher. For some reason, I also appear to have a line at the bottom of most of my pages. Any suggestions for permanently remove these lines from my document?

  6. thej

    This is excellent information!!!
    However, Microsoft (Word especially) has ways of challenging users in new ways.
    This sticky line has somehow entered the footer section. Any suggestions on how to get rid of that?

  7. Rob

    I have Word 2007 and I’m not quite sure what type of line you have in your footer, but you can try this:

    Double click in the footer area of your Word document. When the footer β€œopens”, on the menu bar area above, you’ll see β€˜header’ and β€˜footer’ to the left. Click on β€˜footer’, then look at the bottom when the new window pops up and click on β€˜remove footer’.

    At this point, you can either add a different footer or just click somewhere within the body of the document to close the footer editor.

    If this doesn’t work for you, I’m not sure what else to suggest. I use Word every single day, but like a lot of other people – I have to rely on search engines to find the answers to my problems for these quirks… I’m glad you found the post on my site helpful, though.

  8. tasha

    thank you sooo much!! i had started writing a story, and these stupid little things kept popping up all over the place. Now I can correct it all to look like it makes sense!

  9. Tara

    Didn’t work for me. Not sure what kind of line mine is, but Word won’t even let me put my curser right above it. Any suggestions?

  10. Yanssel Delgado

    Thank you so very much!!!!! I was about to take a hammer to my monitor here. I couldn’t take it anymore. What an annoying thing to see those lines and not be able to erase them. Thank you once again.

  11. Lena

    Three words. I love you :). You made me so happy! Oh my god, I’d really hot tempered and that thing was driving me crazy. Thanks a ton!

  12. Jib

    Thank you guy! 5 more minutes trying to figure out how to remove this stupid line and I thought I would be able to thow my computer out of the window! =D

  13. Jennifer

    Thought I was going crazy — some of these tips worked for me, some didn’t. Some made my line just dance around the page. What ultimately worked for me was selecting the line and a paragraph of text, then selecting the Borders button from the Paragraph section in the Home ribbon and then selecting ‘No Borders.’

    Now I plan to ban the use of horizontal lines in the office.

  14. Luiza

    THANK you so so so so much. This thing was driving me insane. Only your “put the cursor above the line” tip could save me. Word 2007 is a pain.

    Again, thank you!

  15. James

    Many thanks!! I just get done with my paper and then there’s a line I can’t delete. I’ve been up all night working on my paper and now a little line thinks it can stop me from finishing???


    Thanks again!! πŸ™‚

  16. Victoria

    OMIGOD! I can’t believe I finally found the answer to this. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I have a manuscript I’m trying to get ready to submit and when I edited anything, and wanted to remove one it wouldn’t go away. Stray ones were lurking everywhere! It’ll be a pain in the butt to remove them all this way but at least it works!!!

    Thanks again!


  17. Isaiah

    Thank you so much. This also works for Word 2008 for Mac. Very similar procedure.

    1-Place the cursor before the Border Line.
    2-Select Format –> Borders and Shading …
    3-In pop-up window select Borders button, and then select the None icon, as pictured on this website.

  18. Lia

    Thank you so much! I had random lines all over my dissertation that’s due in today and none of the other guides how to tell you to get rid of it in Word 2007.

  19. Pingback: Menghapus Garis di MS Word 2003 « Chaqiel’s Logs

  20. Chris

    Thank you so much. You saved me a great amount of time. I appreciate your clear writing style and the screenshots. Perfect!

  21. t bone

    oh god, finally, FINALLY, i managed to get rid of the horizontal line. Thanks to you.

    I chose built-in features of 2007 to enter footer with page number but did not want the stupid ass line in certain sections.

    You are genious, my friend. Gold star for you!

  22. Ken

    I love you.

    Do you have any idea the amount of hours I could have back in my life – had I known this in 2000?

  23. Jonathan

    You are a lifesaver thank you.

    I am currently working on an extremely important document and this ‘line/border’ had brought me close to breaking point.

    I wil certainly make a purchase from Amazon via your link.

    Write a book – it will sell millions!

  24. manjhunath

    thank you guys… . ur postings really helped to solve the problem which was driving me nuts…. gr888 … keep going….

  25. Alan Gilbertson@Good Looking Documents

    The very quick and simple way to handle ANY Auto-correct or Auto-format change you didn’t want is to use Control-Z (Command-Z on the Mac) as soon as it happens. Rules change back into dashes, capitalizations you didn’t want revert to the way you typed them, magic numbered lists that format themselves when you hit “Enter,” smiley characters when you wanted the plain :-)… They all switch back with Control-Z. Edit < Undo also works, but why waste the time. πŸ™‚

    Asa designer, I spend a fair amount of time helping people create good looking Word docs: not the keystroke by keystroke tutorials, but the things that make a document look good or look amateur. Microsoft spent a lot of time putting these automated features into Office, but no time at all on when and why you should use them (or not!). So I decided to fill the gap.

  26. DHM

    I was at my wit’s end! Thank you so much for this site! I tried to copy and transfer my text to another document, but the line would follow.

    I do make purchases on Amazon and I will go through your site to make them.

    Again, a million thanks!

  27. Michael Dolby

    Oh my god … I didn’t know how many people had the same problem like me.
    Despite some very annoying things like the stubborn line, I’m a big fan of Word 2007.
    Thanks to we all found the solution within 1 minute instead of spending hours of digging through tons of info first.

    Thank you !!

  28. Lisa

    Thanks so much for showing me how to get rid of that annoying borderline; it was driving me borderline insane!!! lol thanks=)

  29. KCP100

    Thanks A Lot!!! I really didn’t want to retype my entire essay just cuz of one +>K1^G line. Its people like you that make the internet a good place

    ^^stupid line, LOL

  30. Bob

    Thnak you so much. Google search: “word can’t remove horizontal rule”, you appear first, one-click, one instant-fix. Bliss.

  31. Bob

    Great stuff. To remove all lines in the document select all text (CTRL-A), and do the same trick as described above. Initially the line just jumped up a row when I tried to remove it.

    Thanks, Bob

  32. Bob Barker

    It did not work for me until I used Ctrl A to select the entire document. Then your very helpful solution was successful.

    To prevent future occurrences I followed a more involved route than your suggestion. If the thunderbolt is not applicable the following will do it.

    Tools, Auto correct options, Auto format as you type, unchk the Borders box

  33. Clark

    after reprinting my essay 8 times and copy and pasting back and forth notepad and word to remove that annoying line, here’s the solution. -sigh-
    now i know what to do. =D thanks.

  34. Ben

    This was a wonderful help. I had the same problem after I cut and paste the line I created and the original line stayed while the new one was created. This is a big help when I did a Google search. Thank you!

  35. Patti

    Wow, thanks so much for this GREAT tip! It was driving me nuts, as it has so many others; I, too, spent almost an hour navigating Word menus and searching Help (useless) — as well as trying to copy pieces of the document to a new document only to have the obnoxious line magically reappear. I managed to figure out how to turn off the appropriate AutoFormatting option, but I couldn’t get rid of the last line at the bottom of the page to save my life. The link for your tutorial was one of the first results to appear in Google when I searched (too bad I didn’t try Googling first rather than messing around with Microsoft’s (non-)help). In return, I’d be happy to make my next purchase on Amazon as requested via your link!

  36. Lindsay

    While this didn’t work for me going to the Page Border menu, it worked, when I used the little button on the main menu (next to the paint bucket). Thank you!!! I was going crazy before I found this.

  37. AAA

    If the line stays within the typing area (Page minus Header & footer area), then the above solution works.

    However, if the line (run across the page width) lies in the Footer or Header area, where you can not put a cursor on it, then the above solution does not work. And certainly, it is not part of the footer

    Any suggestion


  38. dan m

    Thank you so much, that stupid line was bugging the heck out of me. I like being able to insert a line with the 3 “-“, but could not figure out how to get rid of one I didn’t want. Thank you thank you thank you.

  39. Riley

    Just as an interesting note for Office 2007, you can also do this from the Home tab. In the paragraph section, there’s a quick border button, similar to the one normally found in Excel. Click on the right side to get the drop down menu, then select “No Border”.

  40. Amanda V.

    Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou! I’ve been trying to get rid of that line in a customer doc for days. Worked perfectly in Word 2007.

  41. Amanda

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Yours was the only posting I saw for how to remove this line in Windows 2007. You ROCK!!!
    p.s. nice bit of technical writing. Very easy to follow. You could make it a career if it’s not already!

  42. Vicki Jenssen

    OK I had to doctor this a bit for my Word 2003:

    I had to highlight the entire document, using Edit, then Select All.

    Then I did the Format to Borders to none box in settings
    and like an ECT
    it blew every last blasted line out of my document all at once.

    Otherwise the lines were reappearing and jumping around.

    Thank you, whoever you are!

  43. Phil

    Wow – this is a life saver. I can’t say how annoyed I have been with this stupid, seemingly indestructible line. Thank you.

  44. Olivier

    Lots of words to explain a simple manipulation………. but it works. Thanks. If you can more concise next time, that’d be even better πŸ™‚

  45. Blu11

    The only thing that worked for me the last time I found the dreaded line in one of my documents, was to expand the Styles box and delete the style that had the line under it (Word 2007).

  46. Randy

    Thank you so very much! I’ve never really been able to figure it out and I was working on something very important for my new job and it would not /go away/! You just made my day, thanks again!

  47. Erik Donaldson

    This didn’t work for me. THere’s a line under each section of text, but I cant place the cursor right above it, nor can I select it. What a stupid program!

  48. joe f.

    the horizontal CANCER on my Microsoft Word document was very close to making me violent. thank you for the cure

  49. jenna

    my problem is not a border line. i have entered a line a while back for aesthetic reasons and now i can’t remove it! selecting none on the layout page does nothelp…what do i do???/ this is an urgent problem so i guess nothing will help me soon enough….grrrr

  50. DAS

    I was googling trying to remove the horizontal line. Knew the above already, but it still will not go away with any protocol.

  51. Back2myroots

    For hair tearing stubborn double lines ========= but continuous, only one way worked for me [after hours of attempts!]: Simply click (1) CNTRL A ; (2) CNTRL Q

  52. chinthaka

    Thank you Dear i resolved my horizontal line from the way you described Thanks for saving my time
    Cheers !

  53. David

    Thanks, first google hit and problem solved!!! Normally I use LaTeX so I don’t get these problems, but occasionally I have have to use Word πŸ™

    Thanks for the Fix!!!

  54. Mitch

    I was using these lines as a helpful reference for myself – I’m writing a novel, so they would show me where a new episode would begin – and when I hit enter once, it began what became an uncontrollable frenzy of lines and words. it was like a bad nightmare. I had six or seven of these suckers pooling in different areas.

    Needless to say, you saved me much frustration as well as the follicles in my head.

    Thanks so much!

  55. Lori

    HUGE thanks! My husband and I had someone’s document and were trying to update it. Those DUMB lines were everywhere.

  56. Miranda

    am i missing something here? how do you select borders at the top of the screen and keep your cursor over the line at the same time?

  57. Kim

    thank you a million times over. this problem has been driving me nuts for a while and i had no idea how to fix it.

  58. adam

    thanks so much. a great help. i spent ages trying to delete this annoying automatic horizontal line. after reading this article i fixed it straight away, thanks again

  59. Jim

    You saved my day. I was so frustrated with that feature. There are times I like it, but usually it is a real pain. I now know how to get rid of it. I spent a couple of hours trying to figure it out until I remembered all I had to do was google the question. Thanks again for your help.

  60. Courtney

    I can not thank you enough for posting these instructions! After wasting so much time trying to delete these lines- I really appreciate the information you provided.

  61. prady

    Really very nice graphical tutorial . Thank u.but unfortunately no luck with me .
    What I did is I just select the line above and beneath the stupid line and then follow the tricky procedure explained above.
    Thanks a lot ……..

  62. UncleBob

    When I followed your suggestion it simply moved the line from below where I had the cursor to the line above where I had the cursor. Has anyone any idea what’s causing that, and how to stop it? Many thanks!

  63. Daniel

    That annoying horizontal line has been pestering me and my significant other for too long . . . until today, and . . . because of you. Thank you soooo much for sharing this knowledge with everyone. I am forever grateful, my friend.

  64. Mitchell Allen

    Can you believe it? Still solving problems for us two years later.
    Thanks! Stop by my blog and drop me a note if you need a fix for anything that annoys you – if I can return the favor, I will. (Ha-ha, even if you type, spammers, I have something for you.)



  65. Kellie

    Oh my goodness! Thank you! I’ve been annoyed with that line for months! You’re the first person to help me and make it go away! Thank you!

  66. desert voice

    I hasn’t worked. I am desperate. Cannot hand over my doctoral work. Worked on it last 30 hours, actually 40. Nothing! All the tips from the internet were unsuccessful. I have an Office 2003 Student version. I did what you advise, also. Nothing! The lines remained. They are hell, for I cannot print my dissertation with lines in it. neither can I use paragraphs at will from the Index! Please help desert voice

  67. desert voice

    On reflection, I have to reverse my previous e-mail. Your advice does work! You are a veritable Good Samaritan! I will say a prayer for you to the Virgin Mary today. My problem appears to have been that my “none” icon was marked in Polish, as “brak.” This naturally means “it is missing”, and not “none.” The proper word for “none”, in Polish, is ” ?aden”! To tell the truth, I have easily figured that out, and was clikcing on “brak”, all right. The real problem was: the “brak” icon seemed off … but was not! Only accidentally, I tried one more time, and noticed, that “brak” was sometimes more pale than others. With the “brak” in full pallor, remarkably, I removed all the nasty lines just as you said. All this said, you are a genius! You made my day!

  68. Redh

    Well, I’ve tried all these suggestions, and although I really appreciate your effort, I have not gotten rid of the freaking line! I am using Office 2010 for MAC, and do I feel stupid! It’s been 8 hours already… please help. I need to add a header and footer regarding my Company, and that lines looks un-professional.

    Thanks in advance.


    Dessert voice, you made my day laughing out loud!

  69. Kevin

    Thank you so much! That line was driving me crazy. I’m still using Word 2003 so it was an easy fix per your instructions.

  70. Marco

    Thanks a lot!!!!
    That’s incredible how it was simple to insert that line and how it was difficult to remove it.
    Thank you again for sharing your experience on this problem.

  71. Marty

    THANKS back2myroots (may 7, 2010).

    Your simple solutions (Control-A, then Control Q) removed a stubborn line
    on which no other solution worked !

  72. Sarn Karn

    Thanks! There were quite a lot of lines on practically every page of my document that were driving me crazy! I was so relieved to find out how to remove them. πŸ™‚

  73. CJ

    You’re the best! Thanks so much for the explanation and fix. That was the most annoying feature I’ve come across in a very long time. It’s created accidentally and seemingly impossible to remove.

  74. Omer

    Oh God thank you guys I was about to break my monitor till I saw this article. it’s really usefull. thanks again! πŸ˜‰

  75. Huib

    Great thanks a lot!

    It also works in Word 2011 for Mac. The option is located in the ‘Home’ tab under the ‘Paragraph’ section. Click the litte down arrow of the ‘Borders Box’ and select “None’.

    Also if you have more unwanted lines in your document, select the entire segment of text and repeat the above.

  76. Diane

    Thankyou so much – this was driving me insane! It didn’t matter what I tried or thought it might have been caused by, nothing wanted to fix it.
    Now I know – who thought that idea up I wonder?

    Thanks for sharing.

  77. Frani

    Fantastic – thanks so much. I have been updating documents that someone else formatted and that line was driving me crazy!

  78. Melanie Leeson

    Thanks for taking the time to write this! In the middle of my dissertation and it was bugging me a lot! God bless. Melanie

  79. ChenCheng

    Thank you so much for the guide! I was spending a lot of time trying to remove that line. Thanks a lot! πŸ™‚

  80. Reta Swearingen

    Thank you!!! I’ve been using Word 2007 for 3 years and this “line” just started appearing in old documents. I spent an hour trying to get rid of it — gave up and went to Google!!!

    THANK YOU!!!!

  81. Freda

    THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH!!! I have spent the whole day trying to remove the line. Didnt realise how much one line can annoy you hehehe.

    Thanks heaps!!!

  82. Ashok Kundapur

    Thanks for sharing the procedure. But I could not delete a line I had created so tried some other simple procedure.
    This is applicable to Windows 7
    Place the cursor just above the irritating line – click on Home (icon next to Insert)- in the third box in the line where you see icons for numbering etc, at the base there in a smaller box you see fill and border box – when you place the cursor over the line – this box should get highlighted- click for options, and select no border and click ok.

  83. Marisol

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I’ve been fighting with this annoying line for many years now. Nothing worked until now. THANKS AGAIN!

  84. argentine57

    Omfgosh, Thank you so so much! It had been annoying the crap out of me! I even came to the desperate measure of copying and pasting my work onto a new document!–with no luck obviously. *sighs*

  85. Rita

    I have been trying to figure this out on my own, and never could do it. Thanks for putting this here for us to read. You just saved me a ton of time, when your on a deadline, you don’t have the time to figure things like this on your own.

    Thanks again for the read. I Did It!!!

  86. henk abma

    Thank you very much !
    I left school because i could’n’t write between the lines
    and now my whole text on the pc was full of them
    impossible to get them out

  87. the love hate relationship

    I’ve been struggling with this for years and when I found this guide I thought this would finally allow me to win this battle but alas, these instructions are useless against any line that wasn’t added immediately (i.e. i didn’t just type it moments ago, the document could be hours or even years old and the thunderbolt icon will NOT appear).

    What more can be done? And why is this never explained by MS’ own HELP FILE?!?!

    Damn you Bill.

  88. joshie

    thanks a bunch! at first i found it useful to add lines to separate sections of the word. but when i wanted it out of my sight, i was so annoyed and so tired of it! thanks a lot.

  89. le-drummer

    Well I have tried and tried this solution, and it will not work for me at all. I am using Word 2007, and have followed the instructions to the letter … no joy!
    Any more ideas on this?

  90. Kevin

    Thank you,

    Like many of the posters above, this has driven me near mad. I appreciate your step by step walkthrough.

  91. Rob

    Thank you so much for this. It was really helpful. I felt like a bit of a fool before I found this site. You’ve made my day.
    Thank you again

  92. Aho

    Your steps helps remove the line in the document we open; how to set a default so that in our future new word 2007 docs, we do not have to do this every time?

  93. Vitaliy

    Hey pals! The easiest way to remove it is to just go to the preceding line and push (no borders) button in the first ribbon (MSWord 2010). Easy as it is πŸ˜€

  94. Vesa

    Thank you so much! The stupid line was driving me nuts πŸ˜€
    FYI: This worked for me in Office 2010 just as it is described in your instructions for the 2007 version.

  95. Lawrence Robison

    If these instructions don’t work for you, try this:

    Instead of Step 1, “Place your cursor directly above the offending line,”

    go to Home, Select, Select All

    then go to Step 2.

    This was the only way these instructions worked for me. I’m using Word 2010.

  96. Jessica

    Thank you so much!!! I have been trying to figure this out FOREVER…. I Google it and Voila! Problem solved πŸ™‚

  97. Allen

    This is really helpful! I’ve tried a lot of workaround, including copying and pasting the text (leaving the line of course) into a new document, to no avail. Good thing I got to see this site. Thank you so much!

  98. george

    what in the world were they thinking when they designed thee features. Shoot me if I my a Microsoft product gain, please…….

  99. rakesh

    thank you very much …………………………………………………………………….

    solve my problem in few minutes with the help of this website

    so once again thank you very much

  100. Wow, thank you!

    OMG, had a done a simple search I could have saved myself days of OCD obsessing over that stupid line! Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  101. Erin

    Thanks so much– I have been messing around with this for about a half hour with no luck! What a lifesaver! And what a strange feature on Word…

  102. Jennifer

    Thank you so much! I struggled to have a line (I had drawn using Word’s Shapes) appear in the footer when I saved the doc. as a PDF and just couldn’t…that is until I googled the issue and saw this solution.
    You’ve saved me so much time, THANKS AGAIN!!!!!

  103. Leighann

    I had a problem of a line that would not even allow me to select it, or the line above or below it. I was getting so frustrated with the person who prepared that portion of the document, and they had no idea how to fix it, then inspiration hit! It was an Endnote!

    Under the References tab in Word 2007 there is a button that says “Show Notes”. After clicking on that a few times, I found the document had a hidden reference to an end note. As soon as I deleted the letter in the word (it was the last letter of a word in a sentence, not a super- or sub-scripted letter), the end notes disappeared along with the line! It was wonderful to discover that!

    So for all of you who use Ctrl +A and find that your entire text is not highlighting, your line probably indicated a footnote or endnote section.

  104. Tristan

    Thank you so much. It took me half an hour trying to get rid of the line. when i could have done it in ten minutes. Thank you for giving us the steps and the screen shots!

  105. Jaylene

    Thank You. 2 days before my final report is due in Accounting and when I copy and paste from msn money and other places for articles it was driving me crazy. Going to save this incase I forget in the future! Thanks again!

  106. sarah

    I went also crazy..but this was NOT the solution that helped me. Finally I found the solution myself: the problem was that there was a endnote in my text that I did not know of and the line that was appearing and I could not delete, was actually the line parting my normal text from the endnotes. I discoved this when I put my cursor just below the line and right clicked I” > go to endnote” appeared. wich option did not appear when I right clicked just above the line.

  107. Chris

    For newer versions of Word (and maybe the older ones) all you need to do is Select All –> Format –> Borders and Shading –> None –> OK.

    Often many of these lines will appear if you are doing a lot of indenting, numbering, etc., by using Select All you can take them all out with one fell swoop.

    (did this on Mac but I’m sure works for Windows as well)

  108. Hatshepsut

    To @le-drummer (new comment) on August 23rd, 2011:

    I was also struggling with this (Word 2007).

    The method given in the original instruction did not work for me as there was no way to limit the “no border” to just a chosen paragraph in the (full blown) Borders & Shading available through the Page Layout tab. But I followed @mwgrigs comments posted on July 30th, 2008, except:

    You cannot highlight lines made using “3 hyphens (underscore, tilda or plus signs) + enter” method.

    So place the insertion point in the paragraph directly before the offending line. It can be anywhere in that paragraph.

    Now from the Paragraph group (by default 3rd on the Home tab), click the drop down arrow on the Border icon (usually the last right on the bottom row).

    From the choices in the drop down, choose “no border”.

    The line should be removed.

    Hope this works for you.

  109. Ray

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Argh! This has been a long-standing frustration with me and my confusion about Word’s auto-formating feature. At last, it is resolved and I thank you for sharing this post.

  110. Newbie

    I am using word 2007
    The above solution didn’t work for me, but the solution below worked

    Select All –> Home –> Paragraph–>Click on arrow beside border icon –> No border.

    Hope it works for you as well.

  111. Allen

    If you use MS Word 2007, and the advice in this blog or its comments section doesnt work, try this…

    Go to References Tab > Show Notes > find note reference numbers within your document > eliminate these numbers

    What I found was that a reference note had been included in a document that I used as a basis to create a new document. After trying the advice in this blog, along with advice found elsewhere, and after pulling out my hair, I stumbled on this fix.

    Once I eliminated the reference numbers from my document, the reference “line” disappeared. Good Luck.

  112. Prof. Hamed Nassar

    Thank you a zilion times. I have been fighting this creature for years. I would copy text peice by peice from the plagued document into a new one to escape the terror. Now, thanks to your advice, I feel tempted to chant “free at last . . . free at last!”

  113. jodie

    This has been driving me crazy for so long and I’ve looked at other sites that apparently told you how to get rid of it & still couldn’t figure it out, but you put it so clearly & concisely that it was easy! I love you!!

  114. Dave

    I am one of those for whom no amount of fiddling with the borders did anything to remove the line that was already in my document, no matter where the cursor was, what I had selected, or how I applied the change (and the line even followed me if I cut and pasted to a new doc). Some things I learned that might help others:

    * While the line appeared visually at a specific spot, it was somehow associated with a chunk of the document that spanned several paragraphs (I suspect that this is because the doc had changed a bit since the line was first added, which would be why not everyone has the same trouble). I couldn’t delete the line by itself, but if I deleted this entire chunk, the line WOULD go away. (I experimented by deleting larger and larger pieces in order to find the boundaries of the chunk.)
    * There was no particular spot or subset of the chunk that could be deleted to remove the line – had to nuke the whole thing.
    * Fortunately, I discovered that I could also get rid of the line by changing the STYLE of the chunk (I changed it from Normal to No Spacing). I could even change the style back again and the line would stay gone. (Here again it had to be the whole chunk.) Hooray!
    * It was also possible to “clean” the chunk by pasting it into Notepad, then recopying from there and putting it back (but of course if the Style change works for you then there’s no particular reason to resort to this).

    If the Border Lines approach didn’t work for you, hopefully this helps.

  115. Nicholas

    You are a savior. I wanted to separate my chapters but when I decided I wanted to put what I wrote of one in the previous chapter I couldn’t get my cursor below the stupid line. Thank you sooooo much

  116. Cassaendra

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have had this aggravating problem for many years, albeit rarely. It is great to finally know the solution!

  117. msskat


    i know a lot of ins and outs and work arounds for Word but i NEVER could figure this one out.

    so again, THANK YOU SO SO SO MUCH!!!!

  118. Skettio

    THANK YOU!!!!! I worked how to do this on the old version of Word a very long time ago but in recent times couldn’t remember. Damn Word and its annoying idiosyncracies! Thank you!

  119. Andrew

    That was totally it. THANK YOU FOR HELPING HUNDREDS, IF NOT THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE — AND YOU GOT SCREENSHOTS TOO! (Everybody loves screenshots — at least I do.)

    It’s too bad your link wasn’t the first one to pop up in my Google search for “How to remove the double underline in Microsoft Word XP”.

    I’ve had this problem for YEARS and I think the only reason I was totally motivated to figure it out was because I didn’t want to re-do an entire document because I couldn’t get “past” the double underline (AKA horizontal line) to type more text! It only got worse when I did an Insert Page Break and got THREE horizontal double underlines!!! πŸ™ YEARS of aggravation could have been saved with Google search FTW! D:

    Oddly enough, on another web link where someone else had a double underline problem with bullets prompted me to try clearing out the border using the “no border” toolbar button (?). In my case, it appeared to be a double underline border underneath the “Paragraph”, if that makes sense.

    I’ve tried this “no border” thingy successfully in both Microsoft Word XP 2002 and Microsoft Word 2010 today but for the guy chunking stuff because fiddling with borders failed or those end noters — YMMV. D: I’ll have to remember everyone else’s “variations on a theme” work-arounds…

    Anyway, I’ve’d this link forever (assuming it doesn’t change) with for you all and for me!
    (I tell ya, Laziness truly is the Mother of Invention…)

    And, YES, it was ANNOYING as HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! D`:

  120. Andee

    Thx for the help. I see that my horizontal lines are in my header and footers, but I cannot remove them. Just am beside myself now that I have found them. GRRRR!

    Thx everyone for being here.

    Andee in AZ

  121. Andee

    Wow! Finally. I reduced the size of the line in the header or footer. Moved it all the way to the left. Closed the footer or header page. Went back to Insert and selected footer or header again and then selected to remove it and it worked. Tthank everyone.

    Andee in AZ

  122. Sarah Palombo

    THANK YOU!!!! If I knew who you were, I would send you $5 – I offered that to anyone within our comany who could remove it, and no one could. Made my day! πŸ™‚

  123. Teresa

    Adding my heartfelt thanks!! I usually immediately catch the error and Undo right away but missed it this time and could not for the life of me get rid of the dang line afterward.

  124. anon

    Man, totally sorted me out today! Spent a good hour trying to fix this problem; your help is huuuugely appreciated! Thanks a million dude.

  125. Sophia

    Whew! Thank you SO much! I spent so much time on this & it was driving me mad too – such a relief – many, many thanks!

  126. nika

    very helpful, thank you very much, me like others sepent a lot of time to figure out how can be removed and got rid of this annoying line or border , thanks

  127. nika

    very helpful, thank you very much, me like others spent a lot of time to figure out how can be removed and got rid of this annoying line or border , thanks

  128. Susan

    THANK YOU – it’s the middle of the night – I’m typing an important report – and got stuck with that line. VERY HELPFUL instructions – thank you – you’re a life saver!!

  129. Jenny

    THANK YOU! Such a simple fix but the problem was so unbelievably irritating. I am VERY grateful to you for providing this helpful fix.

  130. terje

    Thanks a lot! This f****ing line nearly drove me crazy while I was writing my new book. Thanks again!


  131. Oli

    Thank you very much, this had been annoying me for a while! Very simple to get rid of once you know how!

  132. MS WORD 2007

    [SOLVED] my problem but in a different way:

    That’s not a border, it’s BORDER INSIDE A FOOTER!
    So, edit your footer as if it’s a page, select BORDER (you should see a top line at the moment) and choose “none”.

    Thus, the annoying footer line is deleted!

  133. anna

    thank you!!!!! Echoing grateful comments from others above. Aaargh – what an oversight not allowing removal on the page!

  134. KimW

    Thanks a million. I could not figure out for the life of me what I had done wrong. I was able to remove the line with your help. God Bless you!

  135. Lisa Hoft

    Defintely a thank you. I am glad a post this old is still out here! We could NOT get rid of the line in the footer and I just didn’t consider the page borders. Thanks again!

  136. Pat Malloy

    This info on how to delete the LINE that was auto inserted is so so valuable! I am new to Office 2007 and would never have figured this out. THANK for posting this information in such detail!

  137. Robin Harger

    LeAna on May 29th, 2008 re word 7 in compatibility mode

    do what it says then go to the style option and select “none” ie no style for the line. Mine was a double line and when I selected no style for the no-box effect then the dratted line vanished

  138. mary

    thanks pal you have taught us something wonderful a small thing but was apain. Iam going to email this to all my phd friend because I sure each one gets stuck with this LOC. But for me the page layout method worked.

  139. Slammy

    I am having the same problem, a line I cannot get rid of. But I am having a problem following your instructions and this is probably something really dumb on may part. Here is my issue, you state to place the cursor above the unwanted line and then click on Page Borders under Page Layout. How do I click on Page Borders while having the cursor remain above the line? Is there a keyboard shortcut I am unaware of or do I need to move the cursor back or am i just missing something really simple? Thank you, Slate

  140. Slammy

    i figured it out, i just held down shift, selected everything and then hit page border while holding down shift. Thanks! Slate

  141. Suzanne

    Bless you!!! Your advice for Word 2007 works equally well for ridding Word 2010 documents of those pesky unwanted lines. I revise a lot of documents from various sources in my work and this problem occurs too freakin’ frequently. I’ll keep your method handy as a sanity preservative.

  142. Wendy

    You were right- this was driving me crazy! Thank you for the easy to understand fix. Awesome.

    (BTW – I used the Amazon link)

    Thank you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  143. Andrew

    This was driving me absolutely BONKERS – I’m very knowledgeable with Word but I couldn’t work out what the hell it was doing – that insight that it’s using borders (WTF?!) meant I could just Ctrl-A and remove borders from the whole document, instead of every time I start a new paragraph ending up with another black line (and no, I didn’t have the Horizontal Line after paragraph turned on). This is a 40000 word document with 200 paragraphs and every time I deleted a line it would come back whenever I edited the paragraph, so I cannot overstate how much you just helped me. THANK YOU

  144. Jillian

    Thank you so much! It is crazy how much those crazy lines bother me, and apparently so many others! Thanks for making our lives so much less annoying! I am so happy! =)

  145. Jay

    Wow, so many comments! Thank you, I am now one of the 99999999999999999 people you have helped.
    Just don’t understand what the ‘border line’ does exactly, but I don’t really care as long it is gone πŸ˜‰

  146. dhaval Tandel

    thank you “multiplied by 1000”
    seriously man, if it hadn’t been for you, i would’ve had wasted hours of time πŸ™‚

  147. Hugo

    Thanks a zillion! I have been fighting this line for ages. I can’t image why MS ever did this to us, but then this will be not the last time somebody wonders about the nonsense of Word from one version to another.
    Now that I have thanked you and made a purchase on Amazon via your link I’m just afraid to leave you my email address for the fear of being bugged by adds and spam from your marketing website…
    Thanks anyway!

  148. StealthyGripen

    Thanks this saved me, because I was about to scrap my whole document, just to get rid of this. This was very annoying, but thanks to you, I have to fret no more.

  149. Richard Brodie

    None of the fixes described get rid of that fucking line.
    I’m in Word 2010 and there is no “lightning bolt” icon
    anywhere near the unremovable and unselectable line.

    I wish Microsoft would stop rleasing their shit without
    at least verifying that it operates consistently, predictably,
    and reliably, never mind user-friendly!

  150. Jeanne

    This was something that I could never figure out – I would often just delete my document and start over to get rid of the line.
    Thanks for sharing – a clear and thorough presentation.

  151. cfas

    This is a life-saver. I was screaming at my computer trying in vain to figure out how to get rid of that.

    Thank you for posting this. Very thorough.

  152. Mike

    My issue was corrected with one of the initial commenters suggestion; if in a table you have to select the table border = none above or below the line to correct.

  153. Petrus

    dear god, i literally was about to punch my laptop because of that stupid line, but pulled back my fist at the last second.

    holy shit, was that annoying and frustrating.

  154. Jay Buckner

    Gang, I found a much simpler fix, which worked like magic:

    1) Select the whole document (Control/Left Click)
    2) Home/Paragraph/Borders
    3) Click none

    And they’re all gone! Thank G-d.

  155. ali maghrabi, from egypt

    Thank you, I can now remove the border line from my word 2003 document.
    This good feeling to get help from people you do not know them personally.
    So, the life will be nice.

  156. Roxene

    Thanks for the tip because it worked perfectly. Thing was driving me nuts! Now I know how to fix it on my home computer should it happen. Peace OUT!

  157. JNB

    Thanks. It has taken off a big burden from me as I have been looking for the solution all over (except here!). Thanks.

  158. Avinash Bhosekar

    Thank you very much dear, Your help is great !! Hats off to your desire that others should not suffer !!
    You area genious ! Your help with the screenshot demo is a fabulus idea ! Thanks a million again !

  159. JohnH

    For those of you 2007 users for which this solution didn’t work: once in Borders and Shading, you must perform the operation described while in Boarders tab, not the Page Boarder tab.

    Good luck.

  160. migwhee123

    It didn’t work for me. The stupid lines are not visible in the screen but they come up when I print. I’ve done everything to correct this problem, even cleaning the printer, to no avail. SOMEONE PLEASE HELPPPPPP MEEEE.

  161. Lalit

    What if the word document is already saved and I wanted to remove those extra lines by editing??

    I ve been working for hours now to fix it but of no avail.

    Pls. help me.


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