Microsoft Word Annoyance – The Horizontal Line

I knew I am not the only one who has been annoyed by a horizontal line in Microsoft Word, but I didn’t know I have so many companies.

The horizontal line appears without my intention and approval. It happens when I type three or more hyphens (-) and press enter.

I can’t get rid of it with the simple delete key. I can’t even select it in the first place for deletion. I tried and wasted time in trying to figure out the solution on my own.

Thanks to Google, I found the solution. Why didn’t I think of googling or youtubing the problem sooner? Nowadays, it feels like for every “how-to” question, there is an answer on Google or Youtube.

The interesting thing is I got over 2 millions results to the problem I googled, it looks like thousands if not millions of others are either annoyed by the same problem and are looking for the solution, or some smart techies are offering help to the tech challenged people like me.

Whatever camps you are in, I thought I should share the best tip I found, and hope you will benefit as well.

What causes the problem?

When I type three or more hyphens (-), underscore characters (_),  equals signs (=), asterisks (*), tildes (~), or hash signs (#), and press Enter, Word automatically creates a paragraph border. By default these characters are converted to a thin, thick, double, broken,  zigzag, or thick-and-thin border at the bottom of a paragraph.

The Solutions

The best, quick and simple tip to get rid of the horizontal like is to click in the paragraph before the line and press Ctrl + Q, which resets the paragraph formatting to the default for the style. Be careful through, this will remove any other paragraph formatting as well.

For more info, check out the following sites:

There is a line in my document that I can’t delete because I can’t select it. How did it get there, and what can I do about it?

Stop Horizontal Line Auto Correct Feature in Microsoft Word

It’s great to have the Microsoft vs. Google competition!