Word 2016: Text Boxes

Lesson 21: Text Boxes



Text boxes can be useful for drawing attention to specific text. They can also be helpful when you need to move text around in your document. Word allows you to format text boxes and the text within them with a variety of styles and effects.

Optional: Download our practice document.

Watch the video below to learn more about text boxes in Word.

To insert a text box:

  1. Select the Insert tab, then click the Text Box command in the Text group.
    Clicking the Text Box command
  2. A drop-down menu will appear. Select Draw Text Box.
    Clicking Draw Text Box
  3. Click and drag anywhere on the document to create the text box.
    Drawing a text box
  4. The insertion point will appear inside the text box. You can now type to create text inside the text box.
    Creating text
  5. If you want, you can select the text and then change the font, color, and size by using the commands on the Format and Home tabs. To learn more about using these formatting commands, see our Formatting Text lesson.
    The formatted text
  6. Click anywhere outside the text box to return to your document.

You can also select one of the built-in text boxes that have predefined colors, fonts, positions, and sizes. If you choose this option, the text box will appear automatically, so you will not need to draw it.

A built-in text box

To move a text box:

  1. Click the text box you want to move.
  2. Hover the mouse over one of the edges of the text box. The mouse will change into a cross with arrows.
  3. Click and drag the text box to the desired location.
    Moving a text box

To resize a text box:

  1. Click the text box you want to resize.
  2. Click and drag any of the sizing handles on the corners or sides of the text box until it is the desired size.
    Resizing a text box

Modifying text boxes

Word offers several options for changing the way text boxes appear in your document. You can change the shape, style, and color of text boxes or add various effects.

To change the shape style:

Choosing a shape style allows you to apply preset colors and effects to quickly change the appearance of your text box.

  1. Select the text box you want to change.
  2. On the Format tab, click the More drop-down arrow in the Shape Styles group.
    Clicking the More drop-down arrow
  3. A drop-down menu of styles will appear. Select the style you want to use.
    Changing the text box style
  4. The text box will appear in the selected style.
    The new style

If you want to have more control over text box formatting, you can use any of the shape formatting options such as Shape Fill and Shape Outline. To learn more, see our Shapes lesson.

To change the text box shape:

Changing the shape of a text box can be a useful option for creating an interesting look in your document.

  1. Select the text box you want to change. The Format tab will appear.
  2. From the Format tab, click the Edit Shape command.
    Clicking the Edit Shape command
  3. Hover the mouse over Change Shape, then select the desired shape from the menu that appears.
    Selecting a shape
  4. The text box will appear formatted as the shape.
    The text box formatted as a shape


  1. Open our practice document.
  2. Insert a Simple Text Box.
  3. In the text box, type Get an additional 25% off when you mention this ad!
  4. Change the font to Gadugi, 20 pt, Center Align.
  5. Change the shape of the text box to Double Wave from the Stars and Banners group.
  6. Change the text box style by selecting any style in the Intense Effect row.
  7. Drag the text box to the space below Buy 1, Get 1 Free* and Formalwear.
  8. When you're finished, your document should look something like this:
    Textbox Challenge