Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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 Sidebars.

Adding Sidebars

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 13, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


In publishing, sidebars are used extensively in some page designs. You often see them in magazines and sometimes in books. A sidebar is generally a short, concise treatment of a subject related to the main text, but which is called out in a boxed format to the side of the main text. Sidebars are generally digressions from the main topic of the text, and if they were included in the main text they would distract from the information being conveyed.

In Word, the usual way of creating sidebars is to use a text box. To create a sidebar, follow these general steps:

  1. Switch to Print Layout view, if you are not already in that viewing mode.
  2. Display the page on which you want to place the sidebar.
  3. Decide whether you want the sidebar on the left or right side of the page.
  4. Add a text box that will contain the sidebar text.

Your sidebar has been placed, and you can type text in the box that defines the sidebar. You can also position and format the text box, using tips provided in other issues of WordTips, to appear exactly as you desire.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10668) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Adding Sidebars.

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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