Microsoft Word themes have styles like this:

enter image description here

With color behind a line of text that spans the width of the page.

How do I do this myself with custom colours?


In Office 365:

  1. Put the cursor on the line/paragraph you want to change. Note: Do not highlight or select text, just put the cursor there with no text selected.
  2. Click "Design" tab.
  3. Click "Page Borders" (far right), which opens the "Borders and Shading" options dialog(*).
  4. Click the shading tab and use the "Fill" drop-box to change the colour of the border which will be full width of the page.

You can also use this on a text selection to change just the selected text (not full width).

(*) Why Microsoft think naming this "Page Borders" on the ribbon and then "Borders and Shading" in the dialog is beyond me.

enter image description here

  • Thank you, I knew it was somewhere... but could not fathom it was under "Page Borders"! 🤦‍♂️ I think it was under paragraph in earlier versions.
    – RobMcZag
    Dec 19 '21 at 9:28
  • I had difficulty changing the formatting for an existing TOC, but was able to get it eventually by turning on the Paragraph Marks, highlighting the mark, and then doing the above. Jan 20 at 19:08

Use the "shading" dialogue to set a shading for the paragraph in question:

Menu --> Borders --> Borders and Shading --> Shading

Here, select a colour, and pay attention that the "Apply to" field is set to "Paragraph".

enter image description here

(This is for MS Word 2010, but I suppose it has not changed in later versions; it was the same also in earlier ones.)

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