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: Boxes in Boxes.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 19, 2019)
Word allows you to place text boxes within text boxes, but even if you have the interior text box formatted so that text is supposed to flow around it, the text still doesn't wrap—it just goes right over the top of the text box or behind it. If your formatting needs call for text in the exterior to flow around the interior text box, you are out of luck in Word.
However, there is a workaround you could try: Instead of using two text boxes (one inside the other), use three (or more) text boxes that are butted up next to each other. One holds the position of the old interior text box or frame, and the others collectively make up the "wrap around" portion of the older exterior text box or frame. Then, the "wrap around" text boxes can be linked so the text flows from one to the other.
This workaround will obviously take some experimentation, and it may not work for every purpose. However, it may do the trick for some readers.
As a side note, if you are producing the final output yourself, then tips like this can be very helpful. However, if you are leaving the final production to someone else—perhaps a publisher—then you should check with them before going to this degree of formatting. Many publishers simply want the text, and then they take care of the formatting. A simple phone call on your part can save quite a bit of trouble.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5486) 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: Boxes in Boxes.
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