Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Adding Borders to Paragraphs.

Adding Borders to Paragraphs

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 29, 2016)

Unlike some word processors, Word allows you to quickly and easily add different types of borders to your paragraphs. You can add borders to any or all sides of a paragraph, or you can create a drop-shadow effect. (Drop shadows cause your boxed paragraphs to "stand off" the page, providing almost a three-dimensional appearance.) To add borders to your paragraph, follow these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point in the paragraph to which you want the border added.
  2. Select the Borders and Shading option from the Format menu. You will see the Borders and Shading dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Borders tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Borders tab of the Borders and Shading dialog box.

  5. For a regular boxed appearance around your paragraph, select the Box option from the Setting area.
  6. To use a drop-shadow box, select the Shadow option from the Setting area.
  7. Word includes a 3-D box that you can use by selecting the 3-D option from the Setting area.
  8. If you want a custom border, select the Custom option from the Setting area. Then, you can control the border by clicking on the line buttons located in the Preview box.
  9. Select a line type from the Style list.
  10. To adjust the distance the borders of the box will be from the paragraph text, click on the Options button to set the From Text options. (See Figure 2.)
  11. Figure 2. The Border and Shading Options dialog box.

  12. Change any of the From Text distances, clicking OK when done.
  13. Click on OK to close the Borders and Shading dialog box.

You can quickly remove a paragraph border by selecting None in the Borders and Shading dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (164) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Adding Borders to Paragraphs.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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