Rounded Corners for a Text Box

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 3, 2018)


When Manuel uses the Text Box tool on the Insert tab of the ribbon, Word allows him to draw a text box anywhere in his document. This text box is always rectangular, but Manuel wonders if there is a way to create a text box that has rounded corners.

Word actually gives you quite a bit of control when it comes to text boxes. That is because in past versions of Word there was a great deal of difference between text boxes and shapes, but in later versions there has been very little actual difference between them. Thus, one way is to not use the Text Box tool to draw text boxes. Instead, use the Shapes tool (Insert tab of the ribbon, Illustrations group) to create a shape. You can then format the shape to appear just like a text box and even add text within the shape. (To add text, right-click the border of the shape and choose Add Text from the Context menu.)

If you prefer to stay with text boxes or you simply want to change the nature of text boxes already in your document, then follow these steps:

  1. Select your text box.
  2. Display the Format tab of the ribbon. (This tab is visible only when the text box is selected.)
  3. Click the Edit Shape tool, in the Insert Shapes group. Word displays some options.
  4. Choose Change Shape. Word displays a wide assortment of shapes.
  5. Click a shape—the rounded-corner rectangle is a good choice.

Word obediently changes your text box to a shape, but remembers all the formatting you'd previously applied to the text box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5960) 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. ...


Changing the Maximum Undo Levels

Want to change the number of "undo" steps available when editing? You can't, because Word doesn't' really have a maximum. ...

Discover More

Displaying the Navigation Pane when Opening a Document

The Navigation pane can be a big help in moving around a document. If you want to make sure it is always displayed for ...

Discover More

Controlling Sorting Order

When you sort information in a worksheet, you have control over the order in which that information is sorted. Here's a ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Inserting a Text Box

Many people use text boxes to help organize and layout information on the page. Here's how you can add text boxes to your ...

Discover More

Changing Defaults for Text Boxes and Callouts

Do you find yourself frequently creating text boxes and callouts? This tip describes how to change the default settings ...

Discover More

Wrapping Text around a Graphic in a Text Box

Word allows you to wrap text around a graphic or around a text box, but it won't allow you to wrap text in a text box ...

Discover More

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

View most recent newsletter.


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}] 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 5 + 9?

2016-12-09 02:50:38

Ken Endacott

Unlike text flow outside a shape, it is not possible to flow text inside a shape. The text is inside a rectangular textframe with the default margins from the textframe to the closest shape line of 7.2 points. The following macro will change the margins to zero points to give a tighter fit of text inside the shape.

Sub TextFrameMargins()
Dim shp As Shape
Set shp = Selection.ShapeRange(1)
With shp.TextFrame
.MarginTop = 0
.MarginLeft = 0
.MarginRight = 0
.MarginBottom = 0
End With
End Sub

2016-12-07 14:11:46


Could you tell me how to make the text flow inside the new shape rather than remaining a box?

2016-09-13 02:18:42

Ankus Adhikari

Thank you soooo muchh.

2016-08-19 23:48:07

Rosie Wilson

This was a GREAT TIP!

2016-07-22 10:22:43


Thank you!!
Needed this

2015-03-06 10:58:00

Glenn Case

Rowena, thanks for a nice extension to this tip!

2015-03-05 09:49:33


thanks, This was very helpful

2013-02-18 08:04:26


I love this tip, it'll be so beautiful to use rounded text boxes, they will give a very modern look to a document

2013-02-18 07:31:10

Surendera M. Bhanot

Textbox is a shape too. One can insert texy in any shape by right clicking the shape aftr ir has been selected and then click "Add Text" in the ensuing Context-Sensetive drop-down menu. One can readjudt the shape to accommodate the text, or resize the text to accomodate it within the shape. There is a "Text Fit to Shape" option is also available to automatically do the job.

2013-02-18 00:17:47



All along, I've been thinking that shapes module is used only for drawing shapes. It's nice that they can applied for changing the shape of the text boxes too!

2013-02-16 10:36:54


Allen, thank you so much for your continued input on these tips and shortcuts! I can't believe this information is free of charge!

Thanks again. No more square text boxes for me!

2013-02-16 05:11:00

Rowena Taylor

And then select the shape once you have formatted it, and hold down the Alt key and flick the F3 key. Save the shape with a "key" name.
When you want to use the shape, type in the key, and press the F3 key.

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

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.