Removing Text Boxes but Saving the Text

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 10, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Angela has a document that has about 400 text boxes in it, and each text box contains text. She wonders if there is a way of removing the text boxes but leaving the text in the document.

This can be done manually by simply selecting the text in a textbox (being sure not to select the textbox itself), pressing Ctrl+C to copy the text, clicking where you want the text to go, pressing Ctrl+V, and then deleting the text box. This would, however, quickly get tedious when you are dealing with as many text boxes as Angela has.

In this case, it is best to rely on a macro to do the changes. The macro can run through all the text boxes rather quickly, doing the work that is necessary. The following is an example of such a macro:

Sub ConvertTextboxText()
    Dim shp As Shape
    Dim oRngAnchor As Range
    Dim sTemp As String
    Dim J As Long

    For J = ActiveDocument.Shapes.Count To 1 Step -1
        Set shp = ActiveDocument.Shapes(J)
        If shp.Type = msoTextBox Then
            sTemp = shp.TextFrame.TextRange.Text
            If Len(sTemp) > 1 Then
                Set oRngAnchor = shp.Anchor.Paragraphs(1).Range
                sTemp = Left(sTemp, Len(sTemp) - 1)
                oRngAnchor.InsertBefore "[[ " & sTemp & " ]]"
            End If
        End If
    Next J
End Sub

This macro works only with text boxes, ignoring any other shapes that may contain text. It starts at the last text box and works its way toward the beginning of the document. When done, all the text that used to be inside of the text boxes is inserted at the beginning of the paragraph to which the deleted text box was previously anchored.

In addition, that text is surrounded by [[ double brackets ]] so you can easily tell where the text is located. Since text boxes can sometimes be anchored a ways away from where they appear in the document, you will definitely want to search for these double-bracketed pieces of text and move them to where you want them finally located.

If you are looking for other ways to accomplish the same task, you might be interested in this web page:


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 (7739) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365.

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 1 - 0?

2020-08-29 19:37:29


Great tip! I don't need it now, but I could see its utility if I every get a ms. filled with boxes. Thanks, Allen!

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