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Finding Text Boxes

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Finding Text Boxes.

Word has a powerful search and replace capability that lets you search for virtually anything in your document. Word even includes codes you can use to search for special items. (Click the Special button in the Find and Replace dialog to see what codes are available.) One thing you cannot search for, however, is text boxes. There is no special code that allows you find text boxes, and you can't search for them using the Object Browser.

You can, however, use a macro to look through a document and stop when it finds a text box. The following macro stops on each text box it finds and asks the user if that is the text box wanted.

Sub SearchTextBox()
    Dim shp As Shape
    Dim sTemp As String
    Dim iAnswer As Integer

    For Each shp In ActiveDocument.Shapes
        If shp.Type = msoTextBox Then
            sTemp = Selection.Text
            sTemp = Left(sTemp,20)
            iAnswer = MsgBox("Box contains text beginning with:" & vbCrLf _
              & sTemp & vbCrLf & "Stop here?", vbYesNo, "Located Text Box")
            If iAnswer = vbYes Then Exit For
        End If
End Sub

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3520) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Finding Text Boxes.

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Comments for this tip:

Ken Endacott    19 Jan 2016, 06:37
The macro has a number of shortcomings.

1. The macro searches for textboxes in the main story only. It does not search in other stories such as headers and footers etc. This is a significant shortcoming because textboxes in headers and footers are often used to give sidebars, disclaimer notices and watermarks.

2. Textboxes are not found if they are in groups or canvases.

3. The order that textboxes are found is not necessarily in the order that they appear in the document.

4. Each time the macro is run it finds shapes in the same order. It would be more useful if it re-started the search from the cursor position or the last found textbox.

5. A textbox is a special rectangular shape that has a textframe containing text. Other shapes can also contain textframes with text. It is possible to have a rectangle containing text that looks and feels like a textbox but is not flagged as being a textbox. The following macro will search the main story for any shape including textboxes, that contains text. It will not search inside groups or canvasses.

Sub SearchShapeWithText()
    Dim shp As Shape
    Dim sTemp As String
    Dim iAnswer As Integer
    Dim TxtFrame As TextFrame
    For Each shp In ActiveDocument.Shapes
        Set TxtFrame = shp.TextFrame
        If Not TxtFrame Is Nothing Then
          If TxtFrame.HasText Then
            sTemp = Selection.Text
            sTemp = Left(sTemp, 20)
            iAnswer = MsgBox("Shape contains text beginning with:" & vbCrLf _
              & sTemp & vbCrLf & "Stop here?", vbYesNo, "Located Text Box")
            If iAnswer = vbYes Then Exit For
          End If
        End If
End Sub
Mr Red    18 Jan 2016, 05:07
Thanx 4 code. Doesn't find grouped objects. Not a problem since grouping was only set to layout page by duplicating. (repetitive orthogonal layout) But worth keeping in mind.
Iqbal Ansari    06 Dec 2014, 02:43
plz tell me how to convert Text Boxes in to simple text cause when i save the data word into text file. All textbox's matter is save into txt file.

please give me some solution.


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