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: Creating See-through Text Boxes.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 14, 2019)
Word allows you to create text boxes in your document. These can be used to create special document elements, such as sidebars or boxed text. There may be times when you want the text box to be transparent, meaning that whatever is behind the text box shows through. There are two ways you can handle this: you can either make the text box partially transparent or make it fully transparent. How you accomplish this depends on the version of Word you are using.
If you are using Word 2007, follow these steps to control the transparency:
Figure 1. The Colors and Lines tab of the Format Text Box dialog box.
Figure 2. The Layout tab of the Format Text Box dialog box.
In Word 2010 the steps are a bit different:
Figure 3. The Fill options of the Format Shape dialog box.
Figure 4. The Line Color options of the Format Shape dialog box.
In Word 2013 or a later version, the steps are even more different:
Figure 5. The Format Shape task pane.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12687) 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: Creating See-through Text Boxes.
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