Change the color, style, or weight of a line

You can change the look of a line shape by changing its color, line style, or weight. If you are using Excel, Outlook, Word, or PowerPoint, you can apply a predefined Quick Style to quickly change the look of your line.

Note: These features are available only in the desktop versions of the programs listed above.

What do you want to do?

Add a Quick Style to a line

Change the color of a line

Make a line dashed

Change the weight of a line

Work with lines in Project

Format cell borders in Excel

Add a Quick Style to a line

Quick Styles for lines include theme colors from the document theme, shadows, line styles, gradients, and three-dimensional (3-D) perspectives. When you position your pointer over a Quick Style thumbnail, you can see how the style affects your line. Try different Quick Styles until you find one that you like.

  1. Select the line you want to change.

    If you want to change multiple lines, select the first line, and then press and hold Ctrl while you select the other lines.

  2. On the Format tab, click the Quick Style you want.

    Shows line Quick Styles in Office

    To see more Quick Styles, click the More button Button image .

    Note: If you don't see the Format tab, make sure you've selected the line.

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Change the color of a line

  1. Select the line that you want to change.

    If you want to change multiple lines, select the first line, and then press and hold CTRL while you select the other lines.

  2. On the Format tab, click the arrow next to Shape Outline, and then click the color that you want.

    Shows line color options in Office

    Note: If you don't see the Format tab, make sure you've selected the line.

    To use a color that isn't a theme color, click More Outline Colors, and then click the color you want on the Standard tab, or mix your own color on the Custom tab. Custom colors and colors on the Standard tab are not updated if you later change the document theme.

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Make a line dashed

  1. Select the line you want to change.

    If you want to change multiple lines, select the first line, and then press and hold CTRL while you select the other lines.

  2. On the Format tab, click the arrow next to Shape Outline.

    Shows different line styles in Office

    Note: If you don't see the Format tab, make sure you've selected the line.

  3. Point to Dashes, and then click the style you want.

    To create a custom style, click More Lines, and then choose the options that you want.

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Change the weight of a line

  1. Select the line that you want to change.

    If you want to change multiple lines, select the first line, and then press and hold Ctrl while you select the other lines.

  2. On the Format tab, click the arrow next to Shape Outline.

    Shows different line weights in Office

    Note: If you don't see the Format tab, make sure you've selected the line.

  3. Point to Weight, and then click the line weight that you want.

    To create a custom line weight, click More Lines, and then choose the options that you want.

    Note: To draw a double line, draw a single line, copy and paste a second line next to it, and then group the two lines.

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Work with lines in Project

You need to have a Gantt chart open to follow these steps.

  1. Right-click the line you want to change and click Properties.

  2. Under Line, choose a color from the Color list and a line thickness from the Line list.

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Format cell borders in Excel

If you want to apply line styles and colors to borders in Excel spreadsheets or tables, see the following articles:

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See Also

Draw or delete a line or connector

Format the bar chart of a Gantt Chart view in Project

What do you want to do?

Add a Quick Style to a line

Change the color of a line

Make a line dashed

Change the weight of a line

Add a Quick Style to a line

Quick Styles for lines include theme colors from the document theme, shadows, line styles, gradients, and three-dimensional (3-D) perspectives. Try different Quick Styles until you find one that you like. With live preview, when you position your pointer over a Quick Style thumbnail, you can see how the Quick Style affects your line.

  1. Select the line that you want to change.

    If you want to change multiple lines, select the first line, and then press and hold CTRL while you select the other lines.

  2. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click the Quick Style that you want.

    To see more Quick Styles, click the More button Button image .

    The Format tab under Drawing Tools in PowerPoint 2010.
    Example of the Shape Styles group on the Format tab

    If you do not see the Drawing Tools or Format tabs, make sure that you have selected the line. You might have to double-click the line to open the Format tab.

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Change the color of a line

  1. Select the line that you want to change.

    If you want to change multiple lines, select the first line, and then press and hold CTRL while you select the other lines.

  2. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click the arrow next to Shape Outline, and then click the color that you want.

    The Format tab under Drawing Tools in PowerPoint 2010.
    Example of the Shape Styles group on the Format tab.

    If you do not see the Drawing Tools or Format tabs, make sure that you have selected the line. You might have to double-click the line to open the Format tab.

    To change to a color that is not in the theme colors, click More Outline Colors, and then either click the color that you want on the Standard tab, or mix your own color on the Custom tab. Custom colors and colors on the Standard tab are not updated if you later change the document theme.

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Make a line dashed

  1. Select the line that you want to change.

    If you want to change multiple lines, select the first line, and then press and hold CTRL while you select the other lines.

  2. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click the arrow next to Shape Outline.

    Change the dash type of a line

    If you do not see the Drawing Tools or Format tabs, double-click the line to make sure that you selected it.

  3. Point to Dashes, and then click the line style that you want.

    To create a custom style, click More Lines, and then choose the options that you want.

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Change the weight of a line

  1. Select the line that you want to change.

    If you want to change multiple lines, select the first line, and then press and hold CTRL while you select the other lines.

  2. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click the arrow next to Shape Outline.

    Change the weight of a line

    If you do not see the Drawing Tools or Format tabs, double-click the line to make sure that you selected it.

  3. Point to Weight, and then click the line weight that you want.

    To create a custom line weight, click More Lines, and then choose the options that you want.

Note: To draw a double line, draw a single line, copy and paste a second line next to it, and then group the two lines.

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See Also

Draw or delete a line or connector

What do you want to do?

Add a Quick Style to a line

Change the color of a line

Make a line dashed

Change the weight of a line

Work with lines in Publisher

Add a Quick Style to a line

Important: Quick Styles are available only in these 2007 Microsoft Office system programs: Excel, Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint.

Quick Styles for lines include theme colors from the document theme, shadows, line styles, gradients, and three-dimensional (3-D) perspectives. Try different Quick Styles until you find one that you like. When you place your pointer over a Quick Style thumbnail, you can see how the Quick Style affects your line.

  1. Select the line that you want to change.

    If you want to change multiple lines, select the first line, and then press and hold CTRL while you select the other lines. For more information about selecting lines, see Select a shape or other object.

  2. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click the Quick Style that you want.

    To see more Quick Styles, click the More button Button image .

    If you do not see the Drawing Tools or Format tabs, double-click the line to make sure that you selected it.

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Change the color of a line

  1. Select the line that you want to change.

    If you want to change multiple lines, select the first line, and then press and hold CTRL while you select the other lines. For more information about selecting lines, see Select a shape or other object.

  2. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click the arrow next to Shape Outline, and then click the color that you want.

    If you do not see the Drawing Tools or Format tabs, double-click the line to make sure that you selected it.

    To change to a color that isn't in the theme colors, click More Outline Colors, and then either click the color that you want on the Standard tab, or mix your own color on the Custom tab. Custom colors and colors on the Standard tab are not updated if you later change the document theme.

Make a line dashed

In Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word

  1. Select the line that you want to change.

    If you want to change multiple lines, select the first line, and then press and hold CTRL while you select the other lines. For more information about selecting lines, see Select a shape or other object.

  2. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click the arrow next to Shape Outline.

    If you do not see the Drawing Tools or Format tabs, double click the line to make sure that you selected it.

  3. Point to Dashes, and then click the line style that you want.

    To create a custom style, click More Lines, and then choose the options that you want.

Change the weight of a line

In Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word

  1. Select the line that you want to change.

    If you want to change multiple lines, select the first line, and then press and hold CTRL while you select the other lines. For more information about selecting lines, see Select a shape or other object.

  2. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click the arrow next to Shape Outline.

    If you do not see the Drawing Tools or Format tabs, double click the line to make sure that you selected it.

  3. Point to Weight, and then click the line weight that you want.

    To create a custom line weight, click More Lines, and then choose the options that you want.

Note: To draw a double line, draw a single line, copy and paste a second line next to it, and then group the two lines. For more information, see Group or ungroup shapes, pictures, or other objects.

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Work with lines in Publisher

  1. Select the line that you want to change.

    If you want to change multiple lines, select the first line, and then press and hold CTRL while you select the other lines.

  2. On the Drawing toolbar, click Dash Style Button image , Line/Border Style Button image , or the arrow next to Line Color Button image , and then click the style that you want.

    To change to a color that is not displayed, click More Outline Colors, and then either click the color that you want on the Standard tab, or mix your own color on the Custom tab.

    To create a custom weight, click More Lines, and then choose the options that you want.

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See Also

Draw or delete a line or connector

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