Microsoft Word has several features to speed up your word processing experience, from hotkeys to autocorrect. One feature that’s particularly contentious, though, is the automatic insertion of a horizontal line when you type —, ===, or ___. Today we’re going to show you how to remove these lines in Word and how to stop it from happening again.

The first thing you should know is that when you accidentally insert a line in Word, you can always undo it with Ctrl + Z. If you press Enter immediately after that, Word shouldn’t create the line again.

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If you use the symbols above a lot, though, you’re going to waste a lot of time undoing and not a lot of time actually writing. Before we can stop this from happening, though, you need to understand how the line is inserted in the first place.

Below, you’ll be showing you this, and in the process another method to delete a horizontal line in Word. We’ll then move on to how you can adjust your preferences to disable the feature:

How to Remove an Automatic Horizontal Line in Word

When Word inserts a horizontal line, it doesn’t use the shape tool as you might expect. Instead, it inserts a border line at the location you pressed Enter. We can remove this border line in Word to get rid of the horizontal line. In settings, we can then disable automatic border lines to stop this behavior. Here’s how:

  1. Place your cursor above the horizontal line in Word and press the border line icon

    You’ll find the border line icon in the “Home” tab of your ribbon, in the bottom middle row of the “Paragraph” section.

    Windows 10 - Word - Home - Paragraph - Borders

  2. Select “No Border” from the list

    Pressing the No Border button will delete the horizontal line in Word immediately. You can now move on to disabling the automation insertion feature.

    Windows 10 - Word - Home - Paragraph - Borders - No Border

  3. Click “File” in the top-left corner

    Windows 10 - Word - File

  4. Press “More… > Options” in the File menu

    Windows 10 - Word - File - Options

  5. Click “Proofing” in the sidebar, then “AutoCorrect Options…” in the main pane

    Windows 10 - Word - File - Options - Proofing - AutoCorrect Options

  6. Open the “AutoFormat As You Type” tab and untick “Border lines” and press “OK”

    Windows 10 - Word - File - Options - Proofing - AutoCorrect Options - Autoformat As You Type - Uncheck Border Lines - Ok

  7. Press “OK” at the bottom of the main options window

    Windows 10 - Word - File - Options - Proofing - AutoCorrect Options - Autoformat As You Type - Uncheck Border Lines - Ok

  8. Type ‘—‘ and check whether the line is inserted

    Windows 10 - Word - File - Options - Proofing - AutoCorrect Options - Autoformat As You Type - Uncheck Border Lines - Ok - Result

Extra: How to Clear Formatting in Word

A blank page may be useful if you’re planning to continue your document, but it can look very unprofessional when you’re sending off a finished document and you might want to delete it. We show you a few different ways to delete a page in Word.

How to delete a page in word

Extra: How to Delete Extra Pages in Word

If you pasted text into your document from the internet or another document, you may find it necessary to learn how to clear formatting in Word. You can do this for an entire document or just a certain section that’s causing you trouble.

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