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: No-border Text Boxes by Default.

No-border Text Boxes by Default

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 11, 2018)


When you insert a text box into your document, Word makes some assumptions about how that text box should appear. By default, the text box includes a border. If you normally remove the border, you may be wondering how you can instruct Word to not include the border, by default.

Well, there is good news and there is bad news. The good news is that you can instruct Word to not include the border by default. Just follow these general steps:

  1. Insert a text box into your document.
  2. Format the text box as desired.
  3. When the text box looks just like you want it, right-click on the text box. Word displays a Context menu.
  4. Choose Set AutoShape Defaults (Word 2007) or Set as Default Text Box (Word 2010) from the Context menu.

Now, whenever you create a text box, it will have the formatting attributes you specified. This affects every text box you create in the current document. If you want all new text boxes, in all documents, to be affected, then open the Normal template and perform the above steps. (You can delete the text box from the template after performing the steps.)

Now for the bad news. Word considers a text box just another drawing object or shape. Thus, the formatting you set as default in step 4 will affect all the other drawing objects you place in your document. If you only use text boxes, this isn't a big deal. If you use all sorts of other shapes, then it can be a big drawback. You will need to analyze your needs and make your decisions accordingly.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9889) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: No-border Text Boxes by Default.

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 5 - 4?

2018-08-16 17:50:07


I'm using Word 2016 for Mac. I want to have a changeable text box at top right on each page that will identify the page's contents. Because the contents change, I can't use a header level text box. I've created the text box I want, and wish to copy/paste it on each page, in exactly the same position. When I paste it onto a new page, it doesn't go to the same location, so I have to futz around to get it into the right spot.

Apparently saving the box in Text Box Gallery will enable me to do what I want, but I can't find how to save it to there.
All help appreciated.

2017-12-11 16:16:50


So it took me years to realize this, but the default text box option actually does work. We have just been selecting it improperly. After you have set your default text box, follow these instructions.

1) click on the "text box" button on the "insert" tab at the top of word
2) look at the very bottom of the window thing that pops up from the "text box" button (
3) click "draw text box"
4) draw a text box on the page
5) that text box should be formatted according to your "default text box" settings

2017-12-03 16:18:28

Jeannine Twine

i cant find the context menu after I have drawn my text box. It doesn't appear no matter what I do.....Please help

2016-03-21 08:50:04


Thanks for this tip!

2014-09-25 11:08:35


To add to the comment I just submitted, you must be in the template itself to do this. If you try to do it in a regular document it will not allow you the option to save to the text box gallery.Sorry for not include this (as it is pretty important to note)!

2014-09-25 11:02:02


To the people who asked this question, and for future people. This tip as written does not work for word 2010. However, there is a way around it. As it says, make your text box how you want it; borders, fill, text alignment, etc. Once you have it set keep it selected, instead of right click set as default (because it doesn't work) go to the insert tab, click on the text box drop down, and in that there should be an option that says "save selection to text box gallery" click that and there you have it now as a text box option (it'll be at the very bottom of the list when you go to add a new one. So not quite the same as it simple being a default text box, but in this way you can add many different types as you see fit.

Hope this helps!

2014-02-02 18:50:33


Doesn't work in Word 2010 -- the line always appears. Must be a bug.

2013-11-24 09:06:28

Kim Sargerson

This tip does not work. I have even designed a new template document with the text box formatting that I require built in, and it still does not work (Word 2010).

2013-02-04 14:36:04


the answer doesn't work on this machine, nor can i find an altervative method anywhere else.

2012-03-09 12:07:24


How do I find that default text box the next time I want to use it? Is there a key stroke sequence I can use to bring up my default text box? Thanks!

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