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: Setting the Wrapping Default for Objects.

Setting the Wrapping Default for Objects

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 22, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


1

Don wrote with a problem related to how Word handles text boxes and drawing objects, by default. He wanted the ability to insert a text box or a drawing object in a Word document and always have the default wrapping style set to None. Whenever he currently inserts an object, the default wrapping style is set to Top & Bottom. Subsequently changing the wrapping style is tedious and time consuming. So the question Don posed was how to change the default settings.

Well, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that there is a way to set defaults, at least for AutoShapes (which includes text boxes). All you need to do is set up an AutoShape (text box) the way you want it, and then right-click on it. One of the choices available from the resulting Context menu is Set AutoShape Defaults. Choose this option, and all subsequent AutoShapes you add to the document will share the same defaults.

The bad news is that while you can set defaults for AutoShapes and text boxes, not all the formatting settings are persistent defaults. In other words, they are defaults only for the current document. When you close the document, or start working on another document, the defaults no longer apply. The net result of this is that you may have to set the formatting specs for your AutoShapes once per document.

I say "may have to" because some AutoShape formatting settings seem to be saved from session to session, and are persistent across documents. One of the persistent settings is the Wrapping setting. (This, thankfully, solves Don's problem.) Other settings, such as the distance between text and the edge of a text box or the characteristics of a line used for an AutoShape, are not persistent outside the current document.

A workaround for the spotty persistence is that you could save a document that contains a text box formatted just the way you want it, in a document in which you used the Set AutoShape Defaults option. When you are ready to start a new document whose text boxes you want to share the same characteristics, you could copy the AutoShape from the special document and place it in the new document. The simple cut-and-paste operation saves you from the necessity of formatting even that first text box or AutoShape. Instead, Word takes the cue from the text box or AutoShape that you pasted, and all subsequent text boxes and AutoShapes in the document will be formatted the same way.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1485) 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: Setting the Wrapping Default for Objects.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Totaling Across Worksheets

Want to sum the values in the same cell on a range of worksheets? It's not as easy as summing a range on the same ...

Discover More

Deleting All Graphics

Graphics can really add pizzazz to a worksheet, but they can also present some drawbacks. If you want to get rid of all ...

Discover More

Extracting Text Box Contents

If your document has quite a few text boxes within it, you may want to extract the contents of those text boxes to a new ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Finding Missing Fonts

When you open documents that were created a long time ago on a system far, far away (sounds almost epic, doesn't it?), ...

Discover More

Adding Horizontal Lines at the Sides of a Word

Want to add a couple of horizontal lines at the sides of a word? It can be trickier than it sounds, but there are several ...

Discover More

Understanding Strikethrough Formatting

The strikethrough text feature in Word can be used as part of your document or to indicate that changes have been made to ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two more than 2?

2023-08-18 21:14:32

Ray

Thank you. This was a useful tip for me. I searched online for a solution and you provided it.
Thanks


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.