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: Changing Defaults for Text Boxes and Callouts.

Changing Defaults for Text Boxes and Callouts

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 5, 2015)

Word allows you to easily add text boxes and callouts to your documents. These can be used for a variety of purposes, and you can format the text box or callout to appear just about any way you desire. Word refers to text boxes and callouts, collectively, as AutoShapes. If you find yourself making a lot of similar changes to AutoShapes, you can set the default values of them in the following manner:

  1. Set up your AutoShape to appear as you desire.
  2. Right-click on the AutoShape. Word displays a Context menu.
  3. Select Set AutoShape Defaults from the Context menu.

Now, the next time you insert an AutoShape, it will retain many of the same default settings that you defined in step 1. It won't retain them all, however. Word remembers things like line weight, line type, and color, but it does not remember things like text attributes within the text box or the direction and length of callout tails.

There are several ways around this problem, however. If you are using the exact same AutoShape multiple times in the same document, simply select the one that is formatted as you want, hold down the Ctrl key, and drag the AutoShape to a new location. By holding down the Ctrl key you inform Word that you want to copy the AutoShape rather than move it.

A more versatile solution is to simply define your AutoShape as an AutoText entry. Follow these steps:

  1. Set up your AutoShape to appear as you desire.
  2. Select the AutoShape. (Just click on it once.)
  3. Press Alt+F3. Word displays the Create AutoText dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Create AutoText dialog box.

  5. Provide a name for the callout. Use a name that is representative of the AutoShape's purpose.
  6. Click on OK. The AutoText entry is now created.

Later, when you want to use the AutoText entry, simply type the name of the entry (the one you provided in step 4) and then press F3. In the case being discussed here, the AutoShape, complete with all formatting settings, is inserted in your document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1561) 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: Changing Defaults for Text Boxes and Callouts.

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

Including Weeks in Elapsed Time

When showing how much time has elapsed between two dates, it is sometimes helpful to express the result in terms of elapsed ...

Discover More

Forcing Input to Uppercase

If you type information into a workbook, you may want to make sure that what you type is always stored in uppercase. There is ...

Discover More

Renaming Multiple Files

Got a bunch of files you need renamed? Windows can help you out, but only in a limited manner. This tip shows you how.

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Cannot View Graphics in a Document

Got a problem where you can't view any of the graphics you insert in your document? The solution could be simple, or you ...

Discover More

Vertical Alignment of an Inline Graphic

Word allows you to insert graphics in two ways: either inline or floating. If you use inline graphics, you may want to adjust ...

Discover More

Missing Left Border

Ever wonder why a border around a graphic doesn't print the way it looks on the screen? There are several ways to add and ...

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 for this tip:

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}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. 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 one more than 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
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.

Links and Sharing
Share