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There are plenty of ways to make text stand out in Google Docs. You can use a specific font style, formatting, or highlight text with color. Another option is to add borders or shading to your paragraphs.

Maybe you have a report where you want to put a box around a block of text. Or maybe you have an instructional document where you want to color a paragraph of essential text. Whatever the case, we’ll show you how to add borders and shading to your paragraphs.

Add a Border or Color to a Paragraph

Head to Google Docs, open your document, and select the paragraph by dragging your cursor through the text. This highlights it in blue.

Paragraph selected in Google Docs

Go to Format in the menu, move your cursor to Paragraph Styles, and pick “Borders and Shading” in the pop-out menu.

Select Format, Paragraph Styles, Borders and Shading

When the Borders and Shading window appears, you can make your selections.

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To add a border, start by choosing the Border Width. You’ll then see the line locations highlighted at the top. Click to select or deselect the border Positions you want to use.

Border Width and Positions

You can then use the drop-down boxes for Border Dash to pick a line style and Border Color to choose an option from the color palette.

Border Dash and Border Color

To apply shading to the paragraph, use the Background Color drop-down box. You can use shading with or without a border.

Paragraph Background Color

One more option is the Paragraph Padding at the bottom of the window. This lets you add more or less space between the text and the border or for the background color.

Paragraph Padding

When you finish setting up the border or shading, click “Apply.”

If you decide to remove a border or color you add to your paragraph, you can easily reset the changes you make. Select the paragraph and return to Format > Paragraph Styles > Borders and Shading. Click “Reset” in the pop-up window.

Reset Borders and Shading in Google Docs

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Making a section of text in your Google Doc stand out is easy with borders and shading. And if you want to apply those same formats to additional paragraphs in your document, learn how to copy formatting in Google Docs.

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
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