Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Using Text Boundaries.

Using Text Boundaries

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 10, 2019)

If you work often in Print Layout view, you may find text boundaries helpful. These are dotted lines that appear in your document to mark the limits of text elements. For instance, when you use text boundaries, dotted lines appear around the margins of your text, as well as around headers, footers, footnotes, etc.

To control the display of text boundaries, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or a later version, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Advanced at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Scroll through the options until you see the Show Document Content section. (You'll need to scroll down a ways.) (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Advanced options of the Word Options dialog box.

  5. Use the Show Text Boundaries check box to control whether Word uses text boundaries or not. Click on the check box to turn the feature on and off; a check in the box means it is enabled.
  6. Click on OK.

The way that text boundaries are implemented in Word has changed over time. In Word 2007 and 2010, when you turn text boundaries on you will generally see the boundary of the body of the page—in other words, you can see where your page margins are.

Beginning with Word 2013, text boundaries were modified to include paragraphs as an element of the page. This means that text boundaries show around each paragraph on the page. This has been frustrating to many users, but there is no way to "go back" to the old way of indicating text boundaries, as far as we've been able to figure out.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8840) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Using Text Boundaries.

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

Adding a Missing Closing Bracket

When working with large amounts of data, it is a good idea to make sure that the data all consistently follows a pattern. ...

Discover More

Changing the Color of a Cell Border

Excel provides a variety of tools you can use to make your data look more presentable on the screen and on a printout. ...

Discover More

Determining the Day of the Month

Want to figure out the day of the month represented by a particular date? You can use the Day function in VBA to get the ...

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)

Moving Text Using the Mouse

Many people use the keyboard to do their primary editing tasks. Word doesn't limit you to the keyboard, however. You can ...

Discover More

Making the Show/Hide Setting Persistent

Word allows you to either display or hide non-printing characters that are in your document. This configuration setting ...

Discover More

Changing Colors of Spelling and Grammar Underlines

The red and green wavy underlines used in Word can be a boon for proofing a document, but they are of little use if 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}] 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 one more than 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.