How to Get Rid of Dotted Lines in a Word Document

by Sonia Waring

To delete text or other items, such as graphics, in a word processor, all you have to do is select the item in question. Not so with the mysterious dotted lines, a Microsoft Word “autocorrect” function that sometimes appears in a document. It appears when you type a series of characters that Word interprets as a separator, such as a line of asterisks or dashes. However, unlike some other autocorrections, such as © for (c), Word’s substitution for the separator line is not a character, but a paragraph style. Remove the line by changing the paragraph style.


Select both the paragraph above and the paragraph below the dotted line in question.


Click on arrow next to the “Border” button in the "Paragraph" section of buttons. The button is labeled with an image of a four-square table with dotted lines delineating every section except for the bottom, which is a thin, solid line.


Click the option “No border.”


  • These steps are specific to Word 2007. The process is similar in Word 2003, though you’ll find paragraph formatting in the “Format” menu rather than the “Home” tab.
  • To alter the paragraph border instead of eliminating it, click the “Borders and Shading" option in the “Border” drop-down menu.

Video of the Day

Brought to you by Techwalla
Brought to you by Techwalla

About the Author

Sonia Waring has been a professional technology editor since 1998, focusing primarily on software reviews and how-to articles. She also edits copy for scientific journals, several websites, and an independent network security consultancy.

More Articles

Photo Credits