Software

An efficient method for adding a text box to a Word document

Don't spend time adjusting the size of a text box to fit the text when Word can do the job for you.
The usual routine for entering a text box into a Word document is to select the spot where you want the text box to appear, choose Text Box from the Insert menu, drag the insertion point until the text box is about the right size, and then enter the text. This method is a bit inefficient, because you usually have to resize the text box a bit. It's difficult to get the size just right before you actually enter the text. I like to enter the text and then insert the text box. That way, the text box adjusts to the text automatically. The approach seems a bit backward, but it's more efficient. Here's how to enter a text box based on the text:

  1. Enter the text in the document anywhere you like. You can move the text box later.
  2. Select the text.
  3. Choose Text box from the Insert menu.

It's that simple. Word inserts and fills the text box using the selected text and adjusts the size of the text box, accordingly. This method is more efficient than the more traditional method of filling an existing text box.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

17 comments
gwr
gwr

Super - learn something every day. I edit a newsletter and Text Boxes always cause me problems. Thanks. gwr

macieku
macieku

For me it works only when I choose "Draw Text Box". If I choose pre-formated one, my text is replace with the explanation sample - is there a quick way around it?

stapleb
stapleb

Very nifty! Only problem I see is that the text box fills the width of the page, and once I resize it, I lose the "autofit" part of this feature. I suppose we can't have everything.

cummingsc
cummingsc

I tried it and it worked very well. It just shows that after almost 12 years; you can still learn something in IT

clifforde
clifforde

Susan, Really like it. You start typing away, then realize it should go in a Text box. But. Is it a One Shot deal? I did it using your first paragraph. Then I highlighted the last one and...the first paragraph is inserted in Text box. What am I doing wrong?

RU7
RU7

Select the text Ctrl + C Insert tab | Text Box Click desired pre-formatted text box Ctrl + V The text is inserted in the text box, autofitted and the text in the document is gone.

ssharkins
ssharkins

What do you mean by the "explanation sample?"

RU7
RU7

I have the same "Draw textbox" issue mentioned elsewhere, maybe 2007 specific. But when I do that my textbox is also margin to margin wide. As I change the width, left or right, the height changes to fit the text.

ssharkins
ssharkins

It'll fill the width of the page if the text does. The text box will be as wide as it needs to be -- to handle the text as entered. So, if you're inserting text that spans several lines from left to right margin, you're right, the text box will fill the width of the page.

ssharkins
ssharkins

Can you clarify what's happening? Using this blog text, I was able to higlight both the first and last paragraphs into 2 separate text boxes. That doesn't happen for you?

ssharkins
ssharkins

That's a good solution. I don't think it should be necessary -- I'll have to take a look at this in 2007.

jdreyer751
jdreyer751

On the "insert, text box" command, click the down arrow and select the "draw text box" option at the bottom of the selection panel - the feature now works as advertised - no need to cut and paste!

macieku
macieku

I click on Text Box icon and I'm presented with a choice of 36 pre-formated text boxes or an option to "Draw Text Box". If I choose the pre-formated box, for example "Simple Text Box", my highlited text is replaced with this: "[Type a quote from the document or the summary of an interesting point. You can position the text box anywhere in the document. Use the Text Box Tools tab to change the formatting of the pull quote text box.]"

stapleb
stapleb

ru7of9 you are absolutely right. Word changes the height of the text box in earlier versions if width only is changed. Well done you.

RU7
RU7

That is what the 5. comment already said. But that only draws the plain, bare-bones text box. The "cut and paste" method works for the pre-formatted templates. BTW, even though the Ctrl + C is copy, not cut, it still moves the text into the text box without leaving a copy in the document text.

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