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: Finding Text Boxes.

Finding Text Boxes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 27, 2015)

Word has a powerful search and replace capability that lets you search for virtually anything in your document. Word even includes codes you can use to search for special items. (Click the Special button in the Find and Replace dialog to see what codes are available.) One thing you cannot search for, however, is text boxes. There is no special code that allows you find text boxes, and you can't search for them using the Object Browser.

You can, however, use a macro to look through a document and stop when it finds a text box. The following macro stops on each text box it finds and asks the user if that is the text box wanted.

Sub SearchTextBox()
    Dim shp As Shape
    Dim sTemp As String
    Dim iAnswer As Integer

    For Each shp In ActiveDocument.Shapes
        If shp.Type = msoTextBox Then
            sTemp = Selection.Text
            sTemp = Left(sTemp,20)
            iAnswer = MsgBox("Box contains text beginning with:" & vbCrLf _
              & sTemp & vbCrLf & "Stop here?", vbYesNo, "Located Text Box")
            If iAnswer = vbYes Then Exit For
        End If
End Sub

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12249) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Finding Text Boxes.

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. ...


Determining the Length of a Text File

When processing plain text files in a macro, it is often helpful to know how much data the file contains. The normal way ...

Discover More

Rounding Religious Wars

How to round values half way between two boundaries is apparently a topic of contention in some sectors of the ...

Discover More

Copying Formulas using a Pattern

Copying formulas from one cell to another is quite intuitive in Excel—unless you want the copied formulas to follow ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Removing All Text Boxes In a Document

Text boxes are a common element of many types of documents. At some point you may want to get rid of all the text boxes ...

Discover More

Boxes in Boxes

When you insert a text box within another text box, you may expect any text in the outer text box to wrap around the ...

Discover More

Columns within Text Boxes

When creating a layout for your document, you might use text boxes to position text in specific places. If you want those ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


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 5 + 9?

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

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.