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Word's Border and Shading feature makes it possible to add borders around text and to add shading to text backgrounds. It's relatively easy to apply. Just select the text and apply the border or shading setting to it. In this chapter, I cover how to apply borders to text and paragraphs, cells and tables, and to full pages. Then I explain how to add shading to any selection in a new document. Borders work with selections. So if I wanted to add a border to the first body paragraph of this document, I'd begin by selecting it.
So let's do that. I'm going to do triple-click in this paragraph. Then I'd choose a border option from the Border menu on the Home Ribbon. So here is the Home Ribbon and I want to use one of the border options, which is under this menu here. The Border menu graphically illustrates what borders would be placed. For example, if I choose Bottom an underline under the last line of the paragraph would appear. Note that unlike an underline, a paragraph border stretches from one indent setting to the other.
I cover indentation settings in the chapter about paragraph formatting. By default, indents are set flush with the margin, which is what you're seeing here. This line goes for one side to the other. If I pull down the Border menu again, you can see which option is selected. Selecting it again turns it off. For a single paragraph, the only borders that really apply are Bottom, Top, Left, Right, None and Outside. The other options simply don't do anything. If I want a border around the whole paragraph, I'll choose Outside.
This in effect turns on Bottom, Top, Left and Right, and you can see that here. If I wanted to remove borders, I could choose None. If I have two paragraphs selected, let me do that, I can use the Inside or Horizontal option to put a border between them, so it'd be something like this. Maybe the Horizontal option. Or I could put a line between and around them by choosing All. You could also set these options with the Border and Shading dialog. First select the paragraphs you want to put a border around, then choose Format > Borders and Shading.
You'd want to use the Borders tab to do this. You can then use the Borders pane to put a predefined or custom border around your selection. For example, the Shadow option here puts a Drop Shadow box around the selection, and you could see that in the Preview area. If I click OK, that will apply it. Let's go back in there. You could also create custom borders. You'd set options in the middle column, then click on the Preview area to just set the borders.
So for example, maybe I want dashed lines along the top here, just on the top. And then maybe I want to a solid line, down here in the bottom and the sides or maybe I want them to be a different width, thick width. So basically you choose the option you want, and then click on the picture to place it. So when I click OK, the selection is going to have a dashed line border on the top. It's going to have a regular plain border on either side and a thick one on the bottom. Let's see and that's what it is. Let's pull down that menu, and look at that again.
You can even specify how far border should be positioned from the text, by clicking the Options button and entering measurements. So if I click Options, I can determine how far that border will be from the text. Right now, its 4 pt on the left and right, and 1 pt on the top and bottom. But maybe I want it to be 10 pt all around, make a really big change so you could see the difference. When I click OK, and I click OK again, you'll see how this whole thing widened out to make more room for the border. Let's get rid of all this. The easiest way is to pull down this menu here and choose None.
That'll get rid of everything. So you can also use the Borders feature to place a box around certain text. Start by selecting the word or phrase that you want to put a box around, so maybe just these just two words here. And then use the Borders menu to place a box around it. So I can pull this menu down and I can choose Outside and it will put a box around it. Now the reason is it appears with dashes is because that's the last border I had set. If I wanted regular borders again, I'd have to go under the Format menu, choose Borders and Shading, and then change that to a plain line. Click OK.
And then from this point on, it should be a plain line. If the text you want to do this to spans multiple lines, like here is some text here and maybe I will apply our border again, there is my border, what will happen is that you'll get a separate box on each line. I'm not sure why you'd want that, but that's what you'd get. To remove borders, just select the text again and choose None from the menu. So we can remove that. If I want to remove this I can select it, and remove it too. Text borders are graphic elements that you can use to divide text to make it more interesting for the eye.
I often use them below headers or above footers to make it clear where body text begins. If you use borders throughout your document, you can incorporate them in one of your document styles, to make applying them easy and consistent. You can watch the videos in the style chapter to learn more about creating and modifying styles. Don't confuse borders with underlines. They are different. Borders work with the selected text or entire paragraphs of text. Underlines only work for text characters. Borders are a paragraph formatting option.
Underlines are a character style. They may seem similar, but they are indeed different. Make sure you use the right one to achieve your formatting goals.
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