Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Adding a Drop Shadow to a Text Box.

Adding a Drop Shadow to a Text Box

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 19, 2013)


Text boxes are used quite often in some Word documents to hold information that is ancillary to the main text within the document. For instance, you might use a text box to create a sidebar or other text object. To enhance your layout design using text boxes, you can add a drop shadow so the text box appears to float about the actual printed page.

To add a drop shadow to a text box, follow these steps:

  1. Select the text box you want to format. Small selection handles should appear around the perimeter of the text box.
  2. Click the Format tab of the ribbon. (This tab is only visible when you select a text box, as directed in step 1.)
  3. Click on the Shadow Style tool in the Shadow Effects group. Word displays a palette of available shadows.
  4. Click on the shadow desired.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5959) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Adding a Drop Shadow to a Text Box.

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. ...


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What is 4 + 4?

2016-06-02 06:27:31


The shadow drop - down list is not opening.

2014-12-30 18:24:48

Allen Brown

The shadow does not last. On reopening the document the shadow is been replaced by black lines.

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