Chapter 26. Text Boxes and Other Shapes


  • What are text boxes?

  • Why use text boxes?

  • Prefab text boxes

  • Formatting text boxes

  • Adding text to other shapes

Text boxes are shapes that can contain text. They are containers that themselves can be manipulated as graphics, but which can contain text (as well as a variety of other objects). For all the marvelous things they can do for you, they are seriously underused. Text boxes:

  • Enable you to place text anywhere on the page, including on top of other text.

  • Can be bordered or unbordered, filled or unfilled.

  • Can be chained together so that text flows from one, into a second, into a third, and so on.

  • Can be any shape, although the inside text itself is constrained to a rectangular shape (unless you resort to tricks).

  • Can be rotated to any angle, although the text inside is constrained to 0°, 90 °, and 270°.

With all this flexibility, why is the chapter called "Text Boxes and Other Shapes?" It's called that because the distinction between text boxes and other shapes is largely academic. When you first insert a text box, it's purely a rectangular container for text. It can't be rotated, and it's limited to that box shape. However, you can quickly and easily transform it into any of the shapes supported by Word—and there are plenty—and it will still act as a text container.

Furthermore, if the resulting shape's wrapping is set to anything other than In Line with Text, it can then be rotated—without the text falling out! Of course, the text itself ...

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