How to Insert a Text Box in MS Word

Reading through pages of plain sentences or paragraphs is both tedious and unpleasant. Text boxes are a great way to emphasize and draw attention to specific text, or to give an otherwise boring document some style. This feature can also come in handy when you need to move text around your document. Microsoft Word allows you to easily insert pre-defined text boxes that you can customize to suit your needs. 

Now, there are about two ways you can insert a text box in MS Word:

Two Ways to Insert a text box in MS Word

  • Using the pre-defined text box in MS Word 
  • Using the Draw Text Box tool in MS Word

Both these methods will be covered in this guide down below. At the same time, we also made sure to include some customization tips to make your text boxes catch your readers’ attention. 

The first method allows you to create a text box in the fastest way possible, while the second one gives you more freedom in terms of formatting style. Without further ado, let’s get started!

Here’s how you can insert a text box in MS Word.


Why Should You Use a Text Box in MS Word?

While text formatting tools can make your document look a little different, they are limited and, more often than not, won’t get the job done. Using text boxes, on the other hand, gives the important parts of your document a nicer touch and better emphasis. 

There’s definitely a fine line where having too many text boxes can ruin your document though, so be careful when using this feature. A good rule of thumb for figuring out when to insert a text box in MS Word is usually when:

  • You want to add references to some sources, situating a text box somewhere on your screen.
  • You want to include some extra bits of information without sacrificing the quality of your main document. 

Of course, there are other situations when a text box is useful to have. You don’t have to follow our rules strictly, as these are just general guidelines that you can follow instead. 

This is why you should make the most out of text boxes. The various styles and layouts available in MS Word can easily draw the attention of your audience. This also gives your readers a better chance to pick up the main takeaways of your piece. Applying this feature allows you to move and resize them without a sweat.    

Without any delay, let’s get on with it! 


Method 1: Using The Pre-defined Text Box In Ms Word

MS Word is packed with templates that are readily available for use. Text boxes are not an exemption. There are more than a dozen pre-defined text boxes you can choose from depending on your needs. 

Let’s try them out.

Step 1. Open up your MS Word document. 

First things first, we will need to open a Word document and make sure we have some text in it. If you don’t have any yet, you may create a complete copy of the document used in this guide. Alternatively, feel free to use your personal Word document for this method. If you’re worried about messing up your document, don’t fret! The changes made here can easily be undone. 

Step 2. Go to the Insert tab on the ribbon. 

On the ribbon, click the Insert tab found next to the Home tab at the upper-left corner of your window. Then, move to the left side of the ribbon and select Text Box. A drop-down menu will appear displaying several built-in text boxes that come in pre-defined formats. 

If that isn’t enough for you, there’s also the option of clicking More Text Boxes from Office.com for more styles.

Start selecting a style that suits the theme of your document. The formatted text box will then appear at the right side of your file. Don’t panic if the text box is somewhere far away from where you intended it to be. We will go through the process of resizing and moving your text box later on.  

Once you’ve clicked on a text box style, a text box with a default message should appear. Simply double-click or select the text box to edit the text, and input your own text into the box.

That’s about it. You’ve just inserted a stylish and distinguishable text using the built-in text box feature of MS Word. 

Now, there’s actually more to it than just that. If you want to learn how to customize an already professional-looking text box, go ahead and skip to the “Customizing a Text Box in MS Word” section

Also, we have provided a separate section to walk you through the hows of resizing, moving, and deleting your text boxes


Method 2: Using the Draw Text Box tool in MS Word 

This method allows you to create a text box from scratch and, later on, modify it to fit your own creative design. 

Here’s how you can do just that!

Step 1. Open up your MS Word document. 

Before anything else, we will need to open a Word document. If you don’t have any yet, you can create a complete copy of the document used in this guide. This way, you can follow this guide every step of the way. Alternatively, you can choose to use your prepared Word document that also needs text boxes. 

Step 2. Go to the Insert tab on the ribbon. 

On the ribbon, click on the Insert tab. You’ll find this next to the Home tab at the upper-left corner of your window. Then, move to the left side of the ribbon and select Text Box. This will open a drop-down menu on the right side of your screen. Now, select the Draw Text Box tool found at the bottom of the menu. 

Once selected, you will notice that your mouse cursor will change into a black crosshair. This signals us that we are ready to create a text box. 

The yellow circle beside the crosshair was purposefully added to help you spot the mouse. You will not have the same circle on your screen, so simply ignore that and carry on with the other instructions.

Step 3. Draw your text box. 

Once that’s done, we can now draw the text box by left-clicking and holding down the mouse while dragging your cursor to a particular direction.

You can now place your desired text in the box. Furthermore, you can resize the text box by clicking and dragging the circles around the box. 

Notice that we have stretched the text box a bit to make sure the sentences inside have ample space to move around.

There you have it! You just created a simple text box from scratch. 

Now, we know that a simple text box might not cut it. So if you want to do some formatting, then go ahead and move on to the Customizing a Text Box in MS Word section.  


Resizing, Moving, and Deleting a Text Box in MS Word

In this section, we will walk you through the steps of resizing, moving, and deleting your text box in MS Word. 

Here’s how you can do that. 

Resizing a text box in MS Word

You can easily resize your MS Word text boxes by simply dragging any of the four corners of your text box. Make sure that your cursor changes into a crosshair before dragging. Otherwise, you will be moving your box instead of resizing it. 

You should be able to drag your text box horizontally and vertically at the same time.  

Another way is to drag the midpoints of each side if you want to resize one side at a time. Drag the top or bottom midpoints to resize vertically and left or right midpoints to resize horizontally. 

For a more accurate sizing, MS Word has a Drawing tool where you can specify the height and width of your text box in exact units. 

After selecting a text box, go to the Format tab on the ribbon. Note that this will only be visible when you have selected at least one text box. 

On the right-most part of the ribbon, you will see the height and width field under the Size group. You can then enter your exact measurements in the given fields. 

Tip: Double-clicking any side of your text box, automatically activates the Format tab

Moving a text box in MS Word 

Moving a text box in MS Word can easily be done by selecting the text box then dragging it by any of the sides. Make sure you avoid selecting the circles as these will resize your text box instead of moving it  

Make sure to NOT hover your mouse inside the box, as this will only let you edit the text. 

As another option, you can use your keyboard’s arrow keys to move your text box. This method enables you to move your text box gradually by millimeters. This way, you can easily align them with other elements in your document.  

If you’re looking for a more accurate way to position your text box, you can use MS Word’s Layout options found in the Format tab. We used the Top and Bottom text wrapping for this example. Go ahead and choose one that suits your layout.  

Tip: Click on the More Layout Options for a finer way to position your text box.  

Deleting a text box in MS Word

After selecting a text box, you should be able to delete it by pressing the Delete or Backspace keys on your keyboard.  


Customizing a Text Box in MS Word

Microsoft Word offers several ways to customize text boxes with colors, shapes, styles, and a number of other effects. Even built-in text boxes can be modified to your preference. All these options are found in the Format tab on the ribbon. Remember that the Format tab can only be activated once a text box is selected

Tip: Double-clicking any side of your text box automatically activates the Format tab. 

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the groups under the Format tab. 

Shape Styles Group

The options in this group can be used to customize the shape, background color, border outline, and shape effects of your text box. Of course, Microsoft Word has a number of pre-defined themes readily available for use.  

WordArt Styles Group

As for any Word document, you can change your text as WordArt. If you’re not familiar with WordArt, don’t worry we’ve got you covered. 

WordArt is simply how Microsoft Word refers to style options that make your text come alive with special effects. Basically, they’re pre-decorated text that’s ready for use. You can simply choose a style to see how it works. 

These options are also accessible when you right-click on any side of your text box.  You should see the three formatting tools: Style, Fill, and Outline

As you may have noticed, there’re more than a dozen customization tweaks that we can do to make our text boxes stand out. Try out a few more and tell us down in the comments which styles you liked best!


Conclusion

You have finally arrived at the end of this tutorial. Hopefully, we’ve helped you figure out how to insert a text box in MS Word. Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve covered in this article. 

Text boxes let you emphasize parts of your document in a professional way. And with all the options you have in MS Word, inserting and modifying text boxes will be like a walk in the park. 

There are two ways to create text boxes in MS Word. First, you can use the pre-defined text boxes. This is also the quickest way because it comes with styles and effects already. Second, you can create a text box from scratch and use your creative skills to design and layout your text box. 

We hope you found this article helpful!

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