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: Adding a Drop Shadow to a Text Box.

Adding a Drop Shadow to a Text Box

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 1, 2016)


Text boxes are used quite often in some Word documents to hold information that is ancillary to the main text within the document. For instance, you might use a text box to create a sidebar or other text object. To enhance your layout design using text boxes, you can add a drop shadow so the text box appears to float about the actual printed page.

To add a drop shadow to a text box, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the Drawing toolbar is displayed. (You can click on the Drawing tool on the standard toolbar to display the Drawing toolbar.)
  2. Select the text box you want to format. Small selection handles should appear around the perimeter of the text box.
  3. Click on the Shadow tool on the Drawing toolbar. (In Word 2002 and Word 2003 the tool is called Shadow Style.) Word displays a palette of available shadows.
  4. Click on the shadow desired.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (626) 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: Adding a Drop Shadow to a Text Box.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is five less than 8?

2013-08-31 19:27:48



There is a link at both the beginning and end of this article to take you to a version for later versions of Word.


2013-08-31 18:04:52

Gary Stanullwich

I'm subscribed to your "Tips", but I've got Word (Office) 2013. What would be the steps to creating "Shadows" for the text and/or the text box ?

Gary S.

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