Linking Text Boxes

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 10, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007 and 2010


14

Kylie wonders how, in Word 2010, she can link text boxes so that text flows from one text box to another. She knows how to do it in Word 2007 (right-click on the text box and choose "create text box link"), but it appears that option is not available in Word 2010.

Kylie is correct; it appears that the Context menu option she references is available in Word 2007 but missing in Word 2010. You can still create a link between text boxes, however, by following these steps:

  1. Create both of your text boxes.
  2. Place your text (even if it is very long) in the first text box.
  3. Make sure the second text box is empty—it should not contain any text.
  4. Place the insertion point within the first text box.
  5. Make sure the Format tab of the ribbon is visible. (This tab is only available if a text box is selected or if the insertion point is within a text box.)
  6. Click the Create Link tool, within the Text group. The mouse pointer changes to a cup containing a downward-pointing arrow.
  7. Click the mouse pointer within the second text box.

These steps will also work in Word 2007 as well as in Word 2010.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11668) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010.

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 seven minus 1?

2023-05-10 05:48:00

Kiwerry

An update for 365 users: The tip still works, but
1) the "Format Tab" is now the "Shape Format" tab,
2) when you move the pointer over the second text box the cup tilts over
and characters fall out of it ( see Figure 1 below) , and
3) the second box remains empty until you start adding text to the first box;
instead of the first box increasing in size, it now overflows into the second box.

Finally, if you need to break the link, note that the "Break Link" button only appears (where the "Create Link" was) once the second box is empty.

Apologies for the grainy picture; it proved impossible to get a screenshot that showed the cup icon so I had to take a picture with my phone.

Figure 1. 


2020-07-12 21:54:22

Crystal Jackson

Thank you for this awesome article, however I am experiencing an issue. When I create both text boxes and attempt to link them both, the measuring cup never tilts downward and if I right-click a dialog box appears telling me to make sure the target text box is empty. My target text box is empty. I am not sure why I am having this issue.


2017-01-13 14:05:28

Scott

Worked perfectly, thanks for the information Allen!


2016-10-12 09:07:41

Christa

Thank you this worked like a charm!


2016-07-30 04:48:15

RT

Excellent! Many thanks.


2016-07-28 18:51:23

Mike Williams

Thanks for the tip. I appreciate succinct assistance.


2016-05-05 15:58:41

Anna

Thank you very much for this article. It is not the first time when this is the only site where I can find answers to my questions. The least helpful are, however, the "official" help websites.


2015-12-31 16:49:27

Melissa

Thank you! I've been searching the internet and reading Word 2007 for Dummies. This is the only article that made sense to me and worked for Word 2013.


2015-10-05 17:13:17

Sahil

I need to link textboxes, but in MS Excel, not MS Word. Is that possible?


2015-09-01 17:28:07

Meg

Fantastic - cant believe I learned something totally new about MSWord. Only been using it for the last 15 years... thanks for the tip Allen!!!


2015-08-12 11:39:57

Isabel

Awesome. Thank you!


2015-08-12 09:35:46

David Gardner

The answer to Nancy's question: click in the first of two linked text boxes | Make sure the Format tab of the ribbon is visible | click the Break Link tool.

Also, if you need multiple text boxes that contain the linked text:
1. Insert the next text box
2. Remove any text within the new text box
3. Click within the previous text box
4. Click Create Link
5. Click within the new text box
Repeat steps 1-5 to create additional linked text boxes.


2015-02-14 16:19:49

Roseanne T. Sullivan

Thanks for this tip! I didn't know this is possible. It worked the first time I tried.


2014-03-27 16:46:59

Nancy

How do you stop linking the text boxes??


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