Finding and Replacing Text Boxes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 29, 2020)

3

Tim wonders if Find and Replace can be used to search for and locate text boxes. He would like to search for text boxes and replace each of them with a graphic, as he finds this almost impossible to do manually when some text boxes are essentially invisible in his document.

If your text boxes are inline with your text, then you can use Find and Replace to locate and replace them. All you need to do is to display the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box and, in the Find What box, enter ^g. This is the code for find graphics, but Word treats text boxes as of they are graphics when they are inline.

The problem is, of course, that most text boxes are not inline—text wraps around them and they reside on their own layer. For these types of text boxes you must use a macro to do the searching and replacing. The following is an example of one you could use:

Sub ReplaceTextBox()
    Dim shp As Shape

    For Each shp In ActiveDocument.Shapes
        If shp.Type = msoTextBox Then
            shp.Select
            shp.Delete
            Selection.PasteAndFormat (wdPasteDefault)
        End If
    Next
End Sub

To use the macro, select the graphic you want to use in your replacement and then press Ctrl+C. This places the graphic in the Clipboard. When you run the macro, it is this graphic—the one in the Clipboard—that is pasted into the document in place of each text box.

You should be aware that the macro replaces all of the text boxes in a document with the graphics. If you wanted to selectively replace text boxes, the coding would be a good deal more complex.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (2894) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Multiple Print Areas on a Single Printed Page

Want to print small, non-contiguous areas of your worksheet all on a single page? You might think that defining a ...

Discover More

Finding Default Shortcut Keys

There are scores of shortcut keys defined in Word. If you want to discover what all those shortcut keys are, here are a ...

Discover More

Table Header Rows after a Manual Page Break

Insert a manual page break into the middle of a table, and you may find that subsequent pages of the table don't always ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Finding Text Using a Specific Highlighting Color

If you use the highlighter tool extensively, you may want to search for text that is highlighted using a particular ...

Discover More

Quick and Dirty Paragraph Count

Need to know how many paragraphs are in a document? You can use Word's Find and Replace feature to get a count quickly.

Discover More

Replacing the Space between the Last Two Words of Each Paragraph

Some replacement tasks can seem daunting, but Word provides some great tools for making just about any replacement you ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three less than 9?

2017-01-16 09:38:49

Eileen

does this also work in PowerPoint or is there an equivalent?

Thanks!


2017-01-14 07:25:35

Ken Endacott

You can use the Object Browser to step through the tables in a document, then if required convert a table to text. These functions are described in:
WordTips “Using the Object Browser”
WordTips “Converting a Table into Text”


2017-01-14 04:56:42

Dave

Can I do this I find to find tables? I sometimes have documents with large amounts of tables and I would like to easily adjust them or convert them as the need arises. What are my options here? Thanks.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.