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 Quick Style (Quick Styles: Collections of formatting options that make formatting your documents and objects easier.) to quickly change the look of your line.

What do you want to do?


Add a Quick Style to a line

Quick Styles for lines include theme colors (theme colors: A set of colors that is used in a file. Theme colors, theme fonts, and theme effects compose a theme.) from the document theme (theme: A set of unified design elements that provides a look for your document by using color, fonts, and graphics.), 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 (theme colors: A set of colors that is used in a file. Theme colors, theme fonts, and theme effects compose a theme.), 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 (theme: A set of unified design elements that provides a look for your document by using color, fonts, and graphics.).

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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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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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Applies to:
Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Word 2010, Outlook 2007