Word Tip – Use Hyphens to Auto-create Lines

It’s July, the weather is miserable, we need something to lift our spirits, so bring on the ‘Keep it Simple’ tip!

This month it is a Word tip showing how to quickly create lines using hyphens!

You can view the video or follow the step-by-step shown underneath.

Enjoy and remember: Keep it Simple!


Today, we’re looking at Word!

Many people visually section off part of a document by putting in a line. There is  shortcut to do this – which is to use 3 hyphens.

Step 1

  • I’ll click after the second paragraph and press Enter to position the cursor where I want the line to be.
  • I’ll type in 3 hyphens using the SHIFT + Hyphen keys.


Position the cursor on the page where you want the line to appear

  • When I press Enter – the line will appear.

SHIFT + Hyphen 3 times to create a line

  • If that’s what I want, then it’s done!

But if I’d rather keep the 3 hyphens, then you might notice that a Smart Tag has also appeared.

  • If I click on the Smart Tag you will see I have a number of choices.

Smart Tag showing 3 choices

    • Particularly note the choice called ‘Stop Automatically Creating Border Lines‘.
    • You can click on this if you regularly want to use 3 or more hyphens and find this shortcut annoying.


  • However, I’m just going to click on ‘Undo Border Line‘ – and I get my 3 hyphens back.

Select the choice called Undo Border Line

NOTE: You can also click on the UNDO button or press CTRL + Z on the keyboard.

Can also use Undo or CTRL + Z


Then, there is a quicker way to undo the line, which I’ll show you next!

Step 2

  • I’ll pretend I’m going to sign off a letter and click at the end of the document, pressing Enter a few times.
  • Then I’ll hold down the SHIFT key and the hyphen button to create the longer amount of hyphens I need for a signature.

Hold down SHIFT + Hyphen to get the required length

  • When I press Enter, not only do I get a line – but it is a Bold line!

Shows a full width line that is bold

  • No problem, I just press the BACKSPACE key once – and it reverts back!

Shows line has reverted in length, after clicking Backspace button


Thank you for watching and I’ll be back with another useful ‘Keep it Simple‘ tip – next month!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *