How to Add and Configure Outline Borders Around Text in Google Docs

Adding borders around text in Google Docs can help make certain parts of your document stand out. Outline borders are especially useful for highlighting key points or separating sections visually.

With some simple steps, you can add customized borders around text to suit your needs. This guide covers everything you need to know.

Why Add Borders in Google Docs

Here are some of the benefits of adding borders around text:

  • Draw attention – Borders immediately capture readers’ focus on important text.
  • Organize information – Borders can separate sections visually for easy scanning.
  • Emphasize key points – Highlight main ideas, quotes, definitions with a border.
  • Enhance visual appeal – Borders make your document more visually engaging.
  • Add creativity – Get creative with border styles, colors and thickness.

How to Add a Basic Border

Adding a basic border in Google Docs only takes a few clicks:

  1. Highlight the text you want to border.
  2. Click Format > Paragraph styles > Borders and shading.
  3. In the window that opens, select the border style, color, and width.
  4. Click Apply.

The border will now surround your selected text.

Border Styles

Google Docs supports different border styles for added visual impact:

  • Solid – A regular solid line border. This is the default style.
  • Dotted – A dotted line border. Great for informal or fun vibes.
  • Dashed – A dashed line border style. Gives a handwritten feel.
  • Double – Two lines border the text. Perfect for highlighting.

Simply select your preferred style in the Borders and shading window.

Border Color

Change the color of your text box border to perfectly match your document’s design:

  • Click the border Color palette icon in the Borders window.
  • Select one of the theme colors or choose Custom to pick any color.
  • The border will update automatically with a preview.

Border Weight

The border weight controls the thickness of the line surrounding your text. Adjust as needed:

  • Click the Border weight icon (stacked lines).
  • Choose from thin (0.5 pt) to thick (6 pt) weights.
  • Heavier weights make the border more prominent.

Adding Borders to Images/Shapes

To add a border to an image, drawing or shape in Google Docs:

  1. Click on the object to select it.
  2. Click the Border color palette icon above.
  3. Choose the border thickness, style and color.
  4. Click Save and close.

Using Borders as Lines

You can also use borders as lines to separate sections of your document:

  1. Place your cursor where you want the line.
  2. Go to Insert > Table > 1 x 1 table.
  3. Format the borders in the table settings.
  4. Resize the table width to extend across pages.

Configuring Default Border Settings

If you frequently use borders, you can configure default settings to save time:

  1. Add a border to some text and format it as desired.
  2. With the text still selected, click Format > Paragraph styles > Options.
  3. Name your border style and click Save.

Now you can quickly apply your customized border to text by selecting it in the Paragraph styles menu.

Using Borders for Emphasis

Strategically placed borders can help guide your readers by emphasizing key points:

Highlight Definitions

Border glossary definitions, key terms or acronyms when first introduced. This visually sets them apart on the page.

Spotlight Quotes

Pull important quotes out of paragraphs by bordering them. The border frames the text to grab attention.

Accentuate Captions

Border captions below images, graphics or tables to distinctly separate them from the visual itself.

Mark Key Takeaways

Visually highlight main ideas, conclusions or important discoveries by placing borders around them.

Border Design Tips

Here are some best practices for working with borders:

  • Use borders sparingly. Too many will clutter your document.
  • Keep borders consistent in multi-page documents for uniformity.
  • Avoid extremely thick borders that could obscure text.
  • Consider light border colors for a subtle effect.
  • Experiment with combining borders with bold, italics or highlighting.

Troubleshooting Borders

Here are solutions to some common border issues:

Borders not showing? Check that border weight is not set to 0 pt. Increase to make visible.

Border cuts off text? Increase the border padding to prevent text overlap.

Large text gaps? Reduce spacing before and after bordered paragraphs.

How to remove borders Select bordered text > Border palette > No color > Apply.

Or format the text as normal.


Adding borders in Google Docs takes just seconds. Use borders strategically to spotlight key messages, enhance readability and add visual flair.

With endless options for customization, borders give you creative freedom to format text in any style you choose. So get creative with borders to take your documents to the next level!