Featured - How to add a border in Google Docs

While Google Docs doesn’t have quite as much functionality as Microsoft Word, the free online tool has a surprising amount of flexibility. For example, though it has no specific border too, it’s entirely possible to create page borders in Google Docs. Indeed, today we’ll be showing you how to add a border in Google Docs using three separate methods: using a table, drawing it by hand, and with an image.

Page borders in Google Docs: Why you might want them

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So why would you want borders in Google Docs in the first place? There are several reasons. Firstly, a border can give your page a more elegant look. Secondly, they can mark a space for a viewer to make notes in the margins. Finally, they can be used as a guide for cutting.

Of course, you can also use a page border to give your document a bit of flair and make it stand out. Our methods should help regardless of your purpose. Here’s how to create a border in Google Docs using each of them:

Create a Simple Page Border in Google Docs Using a 1×1 Table

Perhaps our favorite trick to create a border for Google Docs is the use of the table tool. By creating  1×1 border and expanding it to envelop the entire page, you can get a nice, customizable color page border that looks great. Here’s how:

  1. Add a 1×1 table

    In the toolbar of your Google Doc, click the “Insert” button, then press “Table” and click on the top left square only.

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Insert - Table 1x1

  2. Customize your table’s lines

    After clicking inside your table, you can use the pencil and line customization tools on the right-side of your toolbar to get it looking how you like.

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Insert - Table 1x1 - Edit

  3. Press “Format” in the toolbar, then ” Table >Table properties”

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Format - Table Table Properties

  4. Customize your table’s border thickness, padding, and more

    Press “OK” to apply the changes.

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Format - Table Table Properties

  5. Press “File > Page setup”

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - File - Page Setup

  6. Adjust the margins between the border and the edge of the page

    You’ll see the margin sizes on the right, in inches. Press “OK” when you’ve finished adjusting them.

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - File - Page Setup

  7. Enjoy your custom Google Docs page border

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Table - Text Inside - Result

How to Add Page Borders in Google Docs via the Drawing Tool

If you want a bit more control over your page’s borders, you can draw them yourself. Here’s how:

  1. Press “Insert” in the toolbar, then “Drawing > + New”

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Insert - Drawing - New

  2. Click the shape icon, hover over “Shapes” and choose a shape from the list

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Insert - Drawing - New - Shapes

  3. Drag the shape to fit your page and use the pencil and line tools to adjust its look

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Insert - Drawing - New - Shapes - Adjust the Shape - Edit

  4. Press the “T” button to and paste/write your text inside of the shape

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Insert - Drawing - Add Text

  5. Press “Save and Close”

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Insert - Drawing - Add Text - Save and Close

  6. Click on your shape and press the “Edit” flyout to modify it at any point

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Insert - Drawing - New Shape - Edit the Border

How to Use an Image for Your Google Docs Page Border

If you want to get a bit fancier and add a custom pattern, you can also do so with the drawing tool:

  1. Press “Insert > Drawing > + New”

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Insert - Drawing - New

  2. Click the image icon in the toolbar

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Insert - Drawing - New - Image

  3. Upload your image from your PC, Google Drive, URL, or Search

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Insert - Drawing - New - Image - Insert Image

  4. Resize the image to fit your page

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Insert - Drawing - New - Image - Insert Image - Adjust it

  5. Press the “T” icon to add text to the image

    Optionally, you can press the paint bucket icon and make the text box background white so that the pattern will show only as a thick line.

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Insert - Drawing - New - Image - Insert Image - Adjust it - Add Text

  6. Press “Save and Close”

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Insert - Drawing - New - Image - Insert Image - Adjust it - Add Text - Save and Close

  7. Click the image and press “Edit” at any point to modify it

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Insert - Drawing - New - Image - Insert Image - Adjust it - Add Text - Save and Close - Click on Image to Edit

How to Add a Page Around a Paragraph in Google Docs

What if you want to limit your border to a specific paragraph rather than having it around the entire page? You can achieve this effect using the paragraph styles formatting option:

  1. Press “Format > Paragraph styles > Borders and shading”

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Format - Paragraph Styles - Borders and Shading

  2. Select the border sides you’d like and set the width, color, padding, and dash

    Press “Apply” when you’re finished.

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Format - Paragraph Styles - Borders and Shading - Apply

  3. The border will display around your paragraph

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Format - Paragraph Styles - Borders and Shading - Apply - Result

  4. Optional: Remove the border again

    To start, click “Format > Paragraph syles > Borders and shading”.

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Format - Paragraph Styles - Borders and Shading

  5. Press “Reset” and then “Apply”

    Windows 10 - Google Docs - Format - Paragraph Styles - Borders and Shading - Reset - Apply

How to Add a Table of Contents in Google Docs

To add additional professionalism to your document, you may want to read our guide on how to add a table of contents in Google Docs. This is especially useful if you have a long, unwieldy document.

How to Add a Page Border in Microsoft Word

If you’d prefer a dedicated solution over the hacky solutions provided here, your best bet is Microsoft Word. You can read our tutorial on how to add a page border in Microsoft Word to get yourself started.

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