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: No-border Text Boxes by Default.

No-border Text Boxes by Default

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 29, 2020)

When you insert a text box into your document, Word makes some assumptions about how that text box should appear. By default, the text box includes a border. If you normally remove the border, you may be wondering how you can instruct Word to not include the border, by default.

Well, there is good news and there is bad news. The good news is that you can instruct Word to not include the border by default. Just follow these general steps:

  1. Insert a text box into your document.
  2. Format the text box as desired.
  3. When the text box looks just like you want it, right-click on the text box. Word displays a Context menu.
  4. Choose Set AutoShape Defaults from the Context menu.

Now, whenever you create a text box, it will have the formatting attributes you specified. This affects every text box you create in the current document. If you want all new text boxes, in all documents, to be affected, then open the Normal.dot file and perform the above steps. (You can delete the text box from the Normal.dot file after performing the steps.)

Now for the bad news. Word considers a text box just another AutoShape. Thus, the formatting you set as default in step 4 will affect all the other AutoShapes you place in your document. If you only use text boxes, this isn't a big deal. If you use all sorts of other AutoShapes, then it can be a big drawback. You will need to analyze your needs and make your decisions accordingly.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1633) 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: No-border Text Boxes by Default.

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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