There are various ways you can use to insert a vertical line in Microsoft Word.
The method you choose would depend on where you want the line to be inserted.
In this article, I am sharing five different ways to insert a vertical line in a Word document.
Note that I have tested this on Microsoft Word 2016. The same steps should also work for Word 2007, 2010, and 2013.
Insert Vertical Line as a Shape Object
Using this method, you can insert a vertical line in the word document as a shape.
Just like any other shape, you can place it anywhere and resize/move it using the mouse.
Here are the steps to insert a line shape in Word:
- Click the Insert tab.
- In the Illustrations category, click on the Shapes option.
- Within the Lines options, click on the line shape that you want to insert. When you do this, you will notice that your cursor change to a plus icon.
- Click where you want to insert the vertical line. Don't leave the mouse key though.
- Drag and place the cursor at the end point of the line. You will see that a vertical line has been inserted. Once you are satisfied with the length of the line, leave the mouse button. You can always come back and easily change the length or the placement of the line.
In case you're not able to insert a perfectly vertical line with this method, don't worry. Here is a simple trick that will make sure you get the perfect vertical line inserted every single time:
- Click on the line you have inserted.
- Click the Format tab.
- In the Size group, make the ‘Shape Width' value as 0.
And Ta-da! You will have a perfectly vertical line.
Insert Vertical Line Using Bar Tab Stops
This method is useful when you have a list of items and you want to insert a vertical line to separate these items.
For example, below I have a small dataset where I have used the tab key to create three columns (or at least give an impression that there are three columns). To make it better, I can insert a vertical line in between the words.
Here are steps to insert the vertical line using bar stops:
- Click on the tab icon on the top-left part of the Word document. Click on it until you see a vertical bar icon in it.
- Make sure the ruler is visible in the document. If it isn't, click on the View tab and make sure the Ruler option is checked.
- Select the text in which you want to insert the vertical lines. Since this is a paragraph level setting, make sure you select the entire paragraph.
- Hover your cursor on the ruler and click where you want to insert the vertical line in the paragraph. In this example, I need it in two places, between the columns.
How to remove these vertical lines:
- Select the paragraph from which you want to remove the vertical lines.
- Click on the vertical bar icon in the ruler, hold the mouse key, and drag it towards the word document writing area. This will instantly remove the vertical line.
NOTE: A common method people use is inserting the pipe symbol before the text. While that might work, using the above method using bar stops is a better way to do this.
Insert Vertical Line Using Borders
If you want to get vertical lines at the edge of the paragraphs, you can use borders to do this.
This technique works whether you have the text in one single column text or multiple columns.
Here are the steps to insert a vertical line using a border:
- Select the paragraph in which you want to insert a vertical line, or simply place the insertion point within the paragraph.
- Click on the Home tab.
- In the Paragraph group, click on the Border drop-down.
- From the drop-down of options, select the Left Border option. This will add a vertical line (border) to the left of the paragraph. In case you want the line to be on the right, you can choose right border (or you can choose both one by one).
Insert Vertical Line Between Multiple Paragraphs
In Microsoft Word, you can easily convert a single column into multiple columns paragraph (something you would often see in magazines).
And while doing so, you can also insert a vertical line between these paragraphs.
Below I have some text that I want to convert into two column paragraphs.
The below steps would convert this paragraph into 2 columns, and also insert a vertical line in between the paragraphs:
- Select the paragraph that you want to convert into multiple columns.
- Click on the Layout tab.
- In the Page Setup dialog box, click on the Columns drop-down.
- Click on the More Columns option.
- In the Columns dialog box, change the Number of Columns values to 2. In case you want more paragraphs, you can change this accordingly.
- Make sure ‘Line Between' option is checked (this is what will insert a vertical line in between the paragraphs).
- Click OK.
The above steps would result in your paragraph getting converted into a 2 column layout with a line in between.
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