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: Inserting a Text Box.

Inserting a Text Box

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 5, 2020)

Text boxes are useful for setting off information from the main part of your document. You can insert text boxes using any version of Word. There are two ways you can add a text box to your document, depending on the version of Word you are using. For any version of Word you can use the following method to insert a text box:

  1. Make sure the drawing toolbar is displayed at the bottom of your screen. (There is a tool on the standard toolbar that allows you to toggle whether the drawing toolbar is displayed.)
  2. Switch to Page Layout view (if you are not already in that mode).
  3. Make sure you can see, on your screen, the general area where you want to insert the text box.
  4. Click on the Text Box tool on the drawing toolbar. The mouse cursor changes to crosshairs.
  5. Position the crosshairs where you want the upper-left corner of the text box. Click on the left mouse button and drag the rectangle to the lower-right corner of the text box. Release the mouse button.

You can also add a text box to your document by following these steps:

  1. Switch to Page Layout view (if you are not already in that mode).
  2. Make sure you can see, on your screen, the general area where you want to insert the text box.
  3. Choose Text Box from the Insert menu. The mouse cursor changes to crosshairs.
  4. Position the crosshairs where you want the upper-left corner of the text box. Click on the left mouse button and drag the rectangle to the lower-right corner of the text box. Release the mouse button.

If you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003, when you choose to add a text box you will see the drawing canvas appear on-screen. If you don't want to draw your text box within the drawing canvas, simply click and drag outside the canvas area, or press Ctrl+Z, Backspace, Esc, or Del right after the canvas appears. This gets rid of the drawing canvas, but does not turn off the text box drawing tool.

With your text box created, you are ready to enter text into the box. The text you place in a text box is considered a part of that text box. For instance, if you change the size of a text box, then the text contained within it is reformatted to fit in the new dimensions of the text box. Similarly, if you delete a text box, the text within the box is also deleted.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (995) 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: Inserting 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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