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Adding a page border to your document can be a subtle way to make your Microsoft Word documents stand out. You can customize the style, thickness, and number of pages for a border to apply to your Word document.

Adding a Page Border in Microsoft Word

Creating a page border in Microsoft Word will depend on your version of Microsoft Office. For Office 365 and Office 2019, open a Word document and click the “Design” tab in the ribbon.

If you have an older version of Office, click the “Layout” or “Page Layout” tab instead.

From here, click the “Page Borders” button, in the “Page Background” section of the ribbon.

By default, the “Borders and Shading” box that opens should default to the “Page Border” tab. If it doesn’t, click on that tab to enter your border settings.

Click “Box” to add a typical box border to your document. You can use the default style, color, and border width, or change these settings from the various drop-down menus.

Click “OK” to apply the page border to your Word document.

By default, this border style is ten applied to every page.

Your document editing view will update to show the new border applied.

A page border applied to a Microsoft Word document

Alternative Page Border Styles and Formatting

The box page format is the default style, but alternative border styles and formatting options are available for you to use instead.

The box border is the most basic, adding a solid line with no shadow to your page. Even that can be customized with different types of lines, widths, and colors.

Custom Page Border Settings and Styles

Other than the box border, you can also apply a border with a shadow, a “3D” style border, and a custom border with mix-and-match options for each side.

To do that, select one of the options from the “Setting” section in the “Page Border” tab of the “Borders and Shading” dialog box. Your chosen style will appear for you to review in the “Preview” section before you apply it to your document.

Select your Word border style by clicking one of the options in the "Setting" section of the "Page Border" tab in the "Borders and Shading" dialog box

Applying or Removing Individual Border Lines

If you want to apply or remove individual border lines from your document (for instance, removing the border from the bottom of a page), you can do this from the “Preview” section.

If a border is applied, click on the border line to remove it. To apply it again, click on the line to make it re-appear.

Applying Custom Border Lines

Clicking on individual border lines in the “Preview” section is also how you can apply different styles to different lines when the “Custom” border setting is selected.

To do this, click the “Custom” button in the “Setting” column, select a line style from the “Style” drop-down menu, and then click on one of the border lines in the “Preview” box.

Changing Border Width and Color

You can make your border stand out with different colors and border widths. A wider border width will make your border stand out more in your document.

Border widths start from 1/4 pts and go up to 6 pts. A preview of your chosen border width appears in the “Preview” section. You can select any color you choose, either from the predefined options or by using the RGB color chart.

To change the border width or color, select your chosen options from the “Color” and “Width” drop-down menus. If you have the “Custom” border setting applied, you’ll need to click on each border line in the “Preview” section to apply your chosen settings to those lines.

To change the border width or color in Microsoft Word, select your chosen options from the Color and Width drop-down menus in the Page Border options menu

Adding a Border to a Single Page

Microsoft Word will usually apply border styles to each page, but you can apply a page border to an individual page or exclude certain pages like your front page.

To do this, enter the “Page Border” settings menu (Layout/Design/Page Layout > Page Borders) and click the “Apply To” drop-down menu.

If you want to apply a border to an individual page, make sure you’re active on that page in the Word document before entering the menu.

From the “Apply To” drop-down menu, select “This Section” to apply it to the page you’re currently on. To apply your border to the first page only, select “This Section – First Page Only” or, to apply it to all pages except the first page, select “This Section – All Except First Page” instead.

To apply a page border to individual pages, select the relevant option from the "Apply To" drop down menu in the Page Borders options menu

Click “OK” to save when you’re ready. This will then apply your page border to the pages you’ve specified, rather than to the entire document.

Profile Photo for Ben Stockton Ben Stockton
Ben Stockton is a freelance tech writer from the United Kingdom. In a past life, he was a UK college lecturer, training teens and adults. Since leaving the classroom, he's been a tech writer, writing how-to articles and tutorials for MakeUseOf, MakeTechEasier, and He has a degree in History and a postgraduate qualification in Computing.
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