How-To

How to Insert a Vertical Line in Google Docs

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A good way to break up text in a Google Docs document is to add a vertical line. This guide will show you how.

Writing a document in Google Docs? You’ll be used to seeing big walls of text, but if you’re trying to write an engaging document, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Breaking up your document will make it easier to read and better for your readers. A good way to do this is by adding vertical lines, and there are a number of ways you can do this in Google Docs.

Here’s how to insert a vertical line in Google Docs.

How to Insert a Vertical Line in Google Docs Using the Drawing Tool

The drawing tool in Google Docs allows you to insert lines, shapes, text boxes, and images. You can use it to draw a vertical line that you can insert into your document.

To insert a vertical line using the Google Docs drawing tool:

  1. Open your document.
  2. Open the Insert menu.
    The Insert menu in Google Docs
  3. Hover over Drawing and select New.
    Inserting a drawing in Google Docs
  4. Select the Line tool.
    The line tool in Google Docs
  5. If it’s currently displaying one of the other line options such as arrows or curves, click on the downwards arrow next to the tool icon and select the Line option.
    Selecting a line tool in Google Docs
  6. Select where you want the line to start.
  7. Hold down Shift and drag straight down. This snaps your line to 15-degree increments which makes it easier to draw a completely vertical line. Let go of your mouse to insert your line.
  8. Select the Line Color tool to choose a different color for your line.
    Choosing a line color in Google Docs
  9. Select the Line Weight tool to change the thickness of your line.
    Selecting line weight in Google Docs
  10. The Line Style tool lets you create a dashed line if you wish. You can also use the Line Start and Line End tools to change the style of the ends of your line.
    Choosing the end of a line in Google Docs
  11. When you’re happy with your line, click Save and Close.
  12. Your line will appear before or after your text. If you want it to appear within your text, you’ll need to change the text wrapping—click on your line and a menu will appear.
  13.  Select Wrap Text to have the text wrap around your line.
    Wrapping text in Google Docs
  14. Press Break Text to have your line break the text up.
    Breaking text in Google Docs
  15. Choose Behind Text or In Front of Text to have the line appear through the text.
    Wrapping text options in Google Docs
  16. You can reposition your line by clicking on it and dragging it around.

Insert a Vertical Line in Google Docs Using Columns

If you want the text in your document to be in columns, you may want to insert a vertical line in Google Docs between two text columns.

To insert a vertical line using columns in Google Docs:

  1. Open your Google Docs document.
  2. Select the text you want to put into columns.
  3. Open the Format menu.
    Open the format menu in Google Docs
  4. Press Columns > More Options.
    Selecting column options in Google Docs
  5. Choose the number of columns you want and ensure that Line Between Columns is checked.
    Choosing column options in Google Docs
  6. Click Apply—your text will appear in columns with a vertical line between them.
    Inserted vertical lines in Google Docs

Insert a Vertical Line in Google Docs Using Tables

Another way to achieve a similar effect is to use table borders to create a vertical line. The benefit of this method is that as you type more text, the vertical line will extend to match the amount of text.

To insert a vertical line in Google Docs using tables:

  1. Open the Insert menu.
    The Insert menu in Google Docs
  2. Hover over Table and drag out the number of rows and columns that you want.
    Inserting a table in Google Docs
  3. Click on any of the table borders except the one you want to leave in place.
  4. Hold down Shift and click on all the other borders except the one you want to appear in your document.
    Selecting borders in Google Docs
  5. Select the Border Width icon and choose 0 pt.
    Choosing border width in Google Docs

As you type in the cells of your table, the vertical line will grow as the cell increases in height. You can also click on the line and drag it to reposition the cell border.
Google Docs example text

Get Creative with Google Docs

Knowing how to insert a vertical line in Google Docs will break up your document text and allow you to write more creative documents. There are other ways to make your documents stand out in Google Docs, however.

For instance, you can add a border in Google Docs to frame your page. You can layer images in Google Docs to create complex visual elements. It’s even possible to combine your skills and make a book in Google Docs.

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