September 30, 2022

How to insert and format a text box in Microsoft Word

If you want to get creative with your text or just want more flexibility, consider adding a text box customization in Word.

If you want more flexibility with certain texts in your Word document, why not use a text box? Since a text box is considered an object, you can move it anywhere in your document. This is handy for placing text in areas you wouldn’t normally do.

You can use a text box to draw attention to something in your document, rotate snippets of text, or create a unique appearance. Microsoft Word also provides formatting options for text boxes which give them their own nifty style or useful function.

Here we are going to show you how to add or draw a text box and then format it as you like in Microsoft Word.

Insert or draw a text box in Word

With Word on Windows, you can either insert a preformatted text box or draw one yourself. Either way, you can customize it afterwards, so choose the best option for you.

Go to the place in your document where you want the text box and select it Insert tongue. Click it Text zone drop-down arrow and choose a built-in style or draw a text box.

Insert a text box in Word on Windows

If you’re using Word on Mac, go to Insert tab, click the Text drop-down arrow, then the Text zone The arrow. You can then choose to draw a simple text box or an area where the text inside is vertical.

Insert a text box in Word on Mac

To draw your text box on either platform, drag the crosshair to create the size you want. You can resize the text box at any time after drawing it.

Draw a text box

When your text box appears, click inside to add your own words.

Format and customize a text box in Word

Once you have inserted or drawn your text box, select it and navigate to the Shape Format tab to view all of your formatting options. You will find the following functionality in Word on Windows, which might differ slightly in Word on Mac.

Format Form tab in Word

Shape styles

Choose a predefined theme or style for your text box. These options include fill colors and various effects.

Themes and presets

You can also use the Shape Fill, Outline, and Effects options to create your own distinctive style. From gradients and patterns to dashed lines and scribbles, you have tons of great options to customize the look of your text box.

Shape effects

To note: If you select a predefined text box, some options in the Shape styles section may not be available.

WordArt styles

Besides making the text box itself stylish, you can do the same with the text inside. Check Quick styles in WordArt styles for the predefined options.

WordArt Quick Styles

Or use text fill, outline, and effects to make the text stand out. You can do things like add shadow and glow or warp the text, to make it curvy and cool.

WordArt Effects

Text, accessibility, organization and size

The remaining sections of the ribbon allow you to change the direction of the text inside the box, use text wrapping with other elements in your document, rotate the text box, and adjust its exact size. You can also use the alt text accessibility option to describe the text box.

Text options on the Format Shape tab

Edit your text box

After you have customized your text box, you can still edit it at any time. Just note that when you select the text box to make changes, it may appear without some of the elements or effects you applied. This is to make text editing easier.

Once you are done making your changes and deselecting the text box, it will return to normal with your customizations.

Edit a text box in Word

Add text anywhere, anywhere in Word

Text boxes in Microsoft Word allow you to place text anywhere in your document without worrying about margins or other normal text limitations. And because you can completely format the text box however you like, it can be a fun and useful addition to your document.

If you use Google Docs and Microsoft Word, learn how to use text boxes in Docs too!


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