Once in a while, you may find yourself wanting to spice up the layout of your Microsoft Word project, but without going overboard on design elements. This is when Word borders can be a good addition to your page design. Borders for Word documents can be designed in a variety of styles, from formal and all-business to creative and whimsical.
This guide shows you how to add a border in Word. There are many settings and options to choose from that make it possible for you to configure the borders to look just the way you want them to.
You’ll also learn how to find and use Microsoft Word border templates to achieve a different look. You'll discover great sources for Word border templates, as well as how to insert and set them up in your document.
How to Add a Border in Microsoft Word
With just a few clicks of your mouse, you can create borders for Word documents.
To add a border in a Word document, go to Design > Page Borders.
The Borders and Shading panel opens.
From here, you've got several options, and the choices you make are the key for how to decorate a page border.
On the left-most part of the panel, pick the border Setting:
- None. This is the default setting. If you select this, there will be no border on the page.
- Box. This setting creates a line border on the page.
- Shadow. This creates a border with a shadow.
- 3-D. This creates a border that's got depth.
- Custom. This setting lets you combine different types of borders for Microsoft Word on a single page or document.
As you make a selection, note that the Preview side of the panel shows you what the border will look like.
Here are some more detailed steps you can take to customize your border settings:
1. Set Custom Page Border Settings and Styles
In the next section of the Border and Shading panel, you can customize the various attributes of the border.
Choose from the many selections of:
- Style. Select a style for your border.
- Color. Specify a color for the border.
- Width. Change the thickness of the border.
- Art. This setting lets you create a border with built-in clip art. Scroll down to see all the art available.
By choosing from a variety of styles, colors, widths, and art, you can create a diverse assortment of borders. You don't have to settle for any of the default settings for Word borders. You can create a border that perfectly aligns with your visual branding, the topic of your project, and the tone you wish to convey.
2. Remove Individual Border Lines
If you'll recall, the Preview part of the Borders and Shading panel lets you see what the border will look like with the settings you selected.
This is also where you can specify where you would like the border to appear. It doesn’t have to be on all four sides of the page! Click on the buttons to select and de-select each side of the border. When a side is de-selected, then the border line doesn’t appear on that side.
For example, when I de-select the Left and Right Borders, they disappear from the Preview.
3. Where to Apply the Border
In the next part of the Borders and Shading panel, you specify which part of the Word document to apply the border you’ve just formatted.
These are the choices available to you:
- Whole document. This setting inserts the border on every page of your document.
- This section only. This setting inserts the border only in the current section you’re working in. You must create the section first for this option to be available.
- This section - First page only. This setting inserts the border only on the first page of the current section you’re working in. You must create the section first for this option to be available.
- This section - All except first page. This setting inserts the border on all the pages of the current section you’re working in, except the section’s first page. You must create the section first for this option to be available.
If you're not yet familiar with sections, read this tutorial on how to create and use sections in Word.
4. Choose Border Options
There are more border attributes within your control!
Click on the Options button.
The Border and Shading Options panel opens. From here, you can set the Margins. This determines the amount of space between the border and the edge of the page, or the between the border and the text on the page.
The Border and Shading Options panel also has its own Preview section that shows you how your choices will affect the border. When you’re happy with the settings you’ve chosen, click OK.
Don’t worry, you can always go back and make changes to the border you’ve created.
How to Change a Page Border
There are so many options and settings to configure when you create a border. You may find that you want to change any of them after you’ve created the border. Follow these steps for how to change a page border you’ve made.
To edit a page border you’ve already created, go to Design > Page Borders.
This launches the Border and Shading Options panel. Adjust the attributes you want to change.
When you’re happy with the settings, click OK. The border has been modified, based on the changes you made.
Here are more instructions for changing borders:
Remove a Page Border in Word
Sometimes you add a border to your Word document … and then you change your mind. Maybe it doesn’t look good, or you simply decide that a plain and clean layout is better.
If this happens, don’t despair. Removing a page border in Word is easy.
To remove an existing border in Word, click Design > Page Borders.
Under Setting on the Border and Shading Options panel, click None.
The border has been removed.
How to Use a Word Border Template
You can also skip the design process altogether by using a Word border template.
The first step is to find a border image. Envato Elements is a terrific source of graphic images to use as a border in your Word project.
Sign into your Elements account.
In the search bar, select Graphics, then type “borders.” Click the search icon.
If you wish, you can refine the search results by using a filter and/or sorting the results.
To get more details about a particular border template, click on the thumbnail. This opens the product page.
From here, you can learn more about the image package:
- preview of the images included
- list of file types
- application requirements
- image dimensions
To download a border image, click on one of the Download buttons.
The Add this file to a project dialog opens.
Choose a project to add the file into or create a new project. Then, click Add & Download.
The files are downloaded and saved into your computer as a zip file. You may need to double-click on the zip file to unzip it. When unzipped, the border template files may come in separate folders, like these:
To insert the border into your Word project, click on Insert > Pictures > Picture from file….
Locate the border file you want to use, then click Insert.
The border has now been added to the page.
With the border image selected, use any of the buttons on the Picture Format ribbon to change the border.
In this example, let’s change the color of the border. Click on the Color button. The Color panel opens. Choose any of the preset Color Saturation, Color Tone, or Recolor options.
Or click More Variations > More Colors… to select a specific color that's not on any of the Recolor choices.
For this example, I chose mustard yellow.
If you’re going to have text on the page, remember to change the text wrapping on the border image. Select the image, then click on Picture Format > Arrange > Wrap Text > Behind Text.
This means any text you add to the page will be visible on top of the border image and won't get hidden beneath it.
Also, make sure to de-select Move with Text, which is checked by default. Fix Position on Page should be checked instead.
This ensures that the border stays in place even when you type text on the page.
Get an Extensive Selection of Templates for Word
Aside from border templates for Word documents, you can also find great Microsoft Word templates, graphics, fonts, stock photos, soundtracks, and other creative assets from Envato Elements.
Envato Elements a cost-effective source because for a fixed monthly subscription. You get unlimited downloads of any creative components. These are a big help when you need to create many Word projects and other communication materials.
But for one-off projects, GraphicRiver is a good alternative source for Microsoft Word templates and professional graphics. In the GraphicRiver marketplace, you pay per use. This a la carte approach means you only pay for what you download. So, if you’re working on a few projects, then this could be the more cost-effective source.
FAQs on Word
As you go over this tutorial, do you have questions about Word? Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about Word. I've included links to relevant articles to help you learn how to use Microsoft Word, even if you're a complete beginner.
1. What's MS Word Used For?
If you’re new to Word or have never used it for, you may wonder if you should even get started. Word is Microsoft’s desktop publishing software and it’s one of the most widely used computer applications in the world! Using Word, you can create all sorts of documents, both printed and web-based.
Even though some alternatives have cropped up — including free ones — MS Word continues to be popular in offices, homes, and schools.
- Microsoft WordWhat Is Microsoft Word (Definition)? What Is MS Word Used For? (+Top Features)Alexis (Lexi) Rodrigo
2. Which Is Better, MS Word or Google Docs?
Google Docs is an alternative to MS Word that’s free and web-based. It offers many benefits, and you may wonder if it’s even better than Microsoft Word. As someone who uses both applications almost daily, all I can tell you is … it depends.
Either Word or Google Docs may be the best tool for the job — depending on what the job is! Read this post for the details.
- Microsoft WordMicrosoft Word vs. Google Docs Compared (Which Is Better to Use in 2020?)Alexis (Lexi) Rodrigo
3. Does Word Offer Clip Art?
Microsoft Word doesn’t have a built-in library of clip art. But it does allow you to browse and insert clip art from the web without ever leaving the application. You can also find clip art from sources like Envato Elements and GraphicRiver, and insert it into your Word project. This article shows you how to do all this, step by step.
4. Can I Change the Default Font in Word?
In a word, yes! Word lets you easily change the default Word and replace it with any of the fonts that come pre-installed. Or download professionally designed fonts in marketplaces like Envato Elements and GraphicRiver. This gives you total control over the design of your Word project. Click below for a full tutorial.
- Microsoft WordHow to Change the Default Font in Microsoft Word (+ Best 2020 Font Styles)Alexis (Lexi) Rodrigo
5. How Do You Add a Background Image in Word?
The procedure for inserting a background image in Word is just like adding a border image. Finding the right image, positioning it properly on the page, and applying the appropriate image effects will take your document’s design and layout to the next level — even if you’re not a professional designer. This article shows you how:
- Microsoft WordHow to Quickly Add & Edit Great Background Images in Microsoft WordAlexis (Lexi) Rodrigo
Spice Up Your Word Projects With Borders
To give your Word project a little oomph, try adding a border. Word lets you add a border that’s aligned with the style, tone, and design of your project. Whether your project is formal or whimsical, you’ll be able to add the appropriate border by calibrating the various options and settings available in Word.
Add a border in Word by using and customizing any of the preset styles. Follow the detailed steps above to learn how to create and change Word borders.
Another alternative is to insert a Word border template from Elements or GraphicRiver. Find Word templates in Elements if you’re a heavy user of Word. You’ll maximize your subscription because you get unlimited downloads for one monthly fee.
For a single Word document, GraphicRiver offers hundreds of templates for Word on a pay-per-use basis.
Whether you get them from Elements or GraphicRiver, border templates allow you to bring professional designs into your Word project. And with various modifications available to you, you’ll be transforming the templates into projects that are truly your own.
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