In MS Word, if you type three consecutive dashes and press the Enter key, a horizontal line is inserted in its place. This horizontal line is stubborn; it is almost impossible to add any previous text, and it cannot be deleted with the delete or delete key. With the way it is inserted with a simple dash character, i.e., dash, the user should remove it quickly.

Horizontal lines in MS Word

The dash character is the surest way to insert strikethrough in MS Word, but users have been hampered by it for other reasons. Regardless, if this is the line you’re trying to delete, neither the backspace nor the undelete is the way to go.

The horizontal line is not straight; it is a frontier. You might be wondering it’s applicable since there is no table or text box in GIF above. This particular border is applied to the paragraph above it. In MS Word, paragraphs can have their borders.

How to Remove Automatic Horizontal Lines in Word

To delete a horizontal line position, you point above it.

The first method is to press “Ctrl + Z” right after entering the characters and press “Enter” to undo the horizontal line’s automatic creation. The line is deleted, and your character remains.

However, undo creating lines every time may not be practical. You can delete the following line, but you should understand how Word adds horizontal lines. When you press “Enter” at the end of characters that Word replaces with lines, Word removes the characters and adds a bottom border to the paragraph just above where you type the characters.

To remove lines:

  1. Place the cursor in the paragraph just above where the line was added.
  2. Make sure the “Home” tab is active.
  3. If not, click the “Home” tab on the ribbon.

In the “Paragraph” section of the “Home” tab, click the down arrow to the right of the “Borders” button and choose “No Border” from the drop-down menu. This will delete the line from below the paragraph where you placed the cursor.

If you don’t want to have to undo the creation of an automatic horizontal line every time, you can prevent it from happening by disabling this feature. To do so, click the “File” tab.

On the behind-the-scenes screen, click “Options” in the list of items on the left.

options word

On the “Word Options” dialog box, click “Proofing” in the list of items on the left.

proofing word

In the “AutoCorrect options” section, click the “AutoCorrect Options” button.

autocorrect options word

The “AutoCorrect” dialog box is displayed. Click the tab “AutoFormat As You Type”

autoformat word

In the “Apply as you type” section, check the checkbox “Border lines”, so don’t check the box. Click “OK” to accept the changes and close the “AutoCorrect” dialog box.

Autocorrect word

You are returned to the “Word Options” dialog box. Click “OK” to close it.

Now, when you type three or more dashes, underscores, or equal signs in a paragraph and press “Enter”, the characters won’t change.

In addition to creating dashes from dashes, underscores, and equal signs, Word also creates horizontal lines automatically from at least three asterisks (*), tilde (~), and table signs (# ). The figure below shows the different types of horizontal lines that Word automatically generates.

If you want to let, Word automatically inserts horizontal lines, turn on the “Borderlines” option (a checkmark will appear in the checkbox).