Removing horizontal lines in Word

Soooo….. I typed a bunch of hyphens then hit Enter, and Word drew me a line. Fine, I wanted that. It separated what was done from what was ‘in process’. Now I want to get rid of the line.

Highlight and delete — no.

Highlight and use the border menu to choose none — no! I tried this suggestion, but without success.

I could move the line up and down, but I could not delete it. But then I could!

Page shows some text, then an empty line then a row of about 10 hyphens

Type ten or so hyphens

Page shows the hyphens now converted into a horizontal line across the page

After hitting Enter, we can see the little menu that allows us to undo the autoformatting

At this point, we can undo the line if we want to by clicking on the menu icon that comes up when Word automatically creates the line, and we could select Undo Border Line, Stop Automatically Creating Border Lines or Control AutoFormat Options. So at this point it is easy to remove the line.

Screen shows the menu beside the line

The autoformat menu we get on producing the line

But let’s say we want to keep the line for now and delete it later. We go on, typing some more text below  the line. The autoformat menu icon disappears and does not come back.

More text below the line

Now, how can we get rid of the line? First, highlight it by keyboard or cursor.

The line (well, just the first bit of it) selected

Select the line

Now, type Ctrl+Shift+n — the line goes away! Now, this is Word key binding for ‘Apply the Normal style’, which means you can get the same result by using the Styles pane or clicking Normal on the styles ribbon on the Home tab.

Screen shows

text above and below, but no line! Fixed!

If the Normal style does not work, you can also try the ‘Clear All’ option at the top of the Styles pane.

Screen shows the same document with the Styles pane opened

Using the Styles pane

No longer vexed

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About Darren

I'm a scientist by training, based in Australia.

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