Getting Rid of a Text Box, but Not the Text

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 20, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


10

Robert wondered if there was a way to remove a text box but still retain the text that is in the box. The answer to the question depends on what is meant by "remove a text box." If you want the text to remain in the same position that it currently is located and the "box" not be visible, then all you need to do is to format the box so it doesn't include any lines or shading. Right-click the text box and choose

  1. Select the text box. This is done by clicking on the outline of the text box; you'll see sizing handles appear around the box itself and the Shape Format tab of the ribbon is automatically displayed.
  2. Click the down-arrow next to the Shape Outline tool. (This tool is in the Shape Styles group on the ribbon.) Word displays some outline options.
  3. Choose the No Outline option. Word immediately removes the outline from the text box.
  4. If you also want to remove the background color in the box, click the down-arrow next to the Shape Fill tool. (This tool is immediately above the Shape Outline tool you used in step 2.) Choose the No Fill option.

The result is a borderless box that still displays your text.

If "remove a text box" means you actually want to get rid of the text box completely, then you can follow these steps:

  1. Click once within the text inside the text box. The insertion point should now be within the text box text.
  2. Press Ctrl+A. This selects all the text in the text box.
  3. Press Ctrl+C to copy the selected text to the Clipboard.
  4. Click somewhere in the document outside of the text box, at the point where you want the text to appear.
  5. Press Ctrl+V. The text in the Clipboard is pasted into your document.
  6. Select the text box by clicking on the outline of the box. You'll see sizing handles appear around the box itself.
  7. Press the Delete key. The text box is deleted.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12992) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021.

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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Comments

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What is one less than 7?

2024-01-29 18:13:31

Leonard Halstead

Your instruction on how to 'Get rid of a text box, but not the text' does not work in Word.


2023-12-21 10:47:08

Paul Stregevsky

Richard wrote,

"Can you describe a technique to basically take all the text in a document and turn it into flowing text where it is 'visually located'?

"Most often in this scenario I'm not interested in retaining the format of the originating document. I basically want a text document that I can manipulate - unfortunately Acrobat does not have a 'save as text' option (occasionally cut/past will work but not always)."

In Acrobat, select File > Export To > Microsoft Word > Word Document > Settings > Retain flowing text.
I think this will avoid the dreaded isolated texboxes ... except in headers and footers.

(see Figure 1 below)

Figure 1. Retain flowing text


2023-12-20 12:28:53

VW

"Back in the good old days" we used to convert textboxes to frames, then hit the "remove frame" button to place all its contents within the body of the doc (where the anchor was placed). Like somebody already said: "Why so difficult, Microsoft?" Sheesh.


2023-09-22 11:05:37

SC

With the different versions of Word offering different ways of doing things, and thus directions vary, removing a text box from text in Word should NOT be so complicated...This is my dilemma. My version of Word apparently is not the exact same as the above directions are given for. (Though the directions are very well detailed and written). Removing a text box SHOULD be a single click, on the text box, and then "delete" to delete the TEXT box. If I wanted to delete the text within it, I'd select the text as well. Why so difficult, Microsoft?


2022-08-25 06:07:07

Ken Endacott

Sub ConvertTextboxes()
' Select a single shape or a range of shapes before executing
Dim aShape As Shape
Dim aRange As Range
Dim AnchorRange As Range
Dim k As Long
Dim leftPos As Single

If Selection.ShapeRange.Count = 1 Then
Set aShape = Selection.ShapeRange(1)
aShape.Select
Set aRange = aShape.Anchor
Else
Set aRange = Selection.Range
End If

k = 0
For Each aShape In aRange.ShapeRange
If aShape.Type = msoAutoShape Or aShape.Type = msoTextBox Then
If aShape.TextFrame.HasText Then
aShape.TextFrame.TextRange.Select
If Len(Selection.Range.Text) > 1 Then
Selection.Copy
Set AnchorRange = aShape.Anchor
AnchorRange.Collapse
leftPos = aShape.Left
aShape.Delete
AnchorRange.Select
Selection.PasteAndFormat (wdFormatOriginalFormatting)
AnchorRange.End = Selection.End - 1
AnchorRange.Select
Selection.ParagraphFormat.LeftIndent = leftPos
k = k + 1
End If
End If
End If
Next aShape
DoEvents
DoEvents ' --- need two DoEvents ---
MsgBox k & " Shapes with text converted"
End Sub


2022-08-25 06:02:06

Ken Endacott

Macro with correct line spacing


Sub ConvertTextbox()

Dim tBox As Shape

Dim AnchorRange As Range

' --- Check that floating closed shape has been selected ---

If Selection.ShapeRange.Count = 0 Then

MsgBox "No textbox or floating shape at cursor"

Exit Sub

End If

Set tBox = Selection.ShapeRange(1)

If Not tBox.TextFrame.HasText Then

MsgBox "Shape has no textframe or is an open shape"

Exit Sub

End If

tBox.TextFrame.TextRange.Select

If Selection.Range.Text = Chr(13) Then

MsgBox "Shape has no text"

Exit Sub

End If



' --- copy contents to clipboard ---

Selection.Copy



' --- determine anchor point ---

Set AnchorRange = tBox.Anchor

AnchorRange.Collapse



' --- delete shape ---

tBox.Delete

' --- copy clipboard to anchor position ---

AnchorRange.Select

Selection.PasteAndFormat (wdFormatOriginalFormatting)

End Sub


2022-08-24 08:33:52

Ken Endacott

In converting textboxes to text the issue is where to put the text. A textbox is a floating shape and may be placed anywhere on the page offset from its anchor. The macro below will delete each textbox in a selection and place the text from the textbox on a new line at the anchor point indented the same as the textbox. It is then up to the user to integrate the text into the body text. Select a single textbox or a group of textboxes before executing the macro. To convert all textboxes in the document body use CRTRL + A to select all. For textboxes in a header or footer, for example a watermark, select the textbox in the header or footer.It will also convert text in an autoshape .Sub ConvertTextboxes()' Select a single shape or a range of shapes before executingDim aShape As ShapeDim aRange As RangeDim AnchorRange As RangeDim k As LongDim leftPos As Single If Selection.ShapeRange.Count = 1 Then Set aShape = Selection.ShapeRange(1) aShape.Select Set aRange = aShape.Anchor Else Set aRange = Selection.Range End If k = 0 For Each aShape In aRange.ShapeRange If aShape.Type = msoAutoShape Or aShape.Type = msoTextBox Then If aShape.TextFrame.HasText Then aShape.TextFrame.TextRange.Select If Len(Selection.Range.Text) > 1 Then Selection.Copy Set AnchorRange = aShape.Anchor AnchorRange.Collapse leftPos = aShape.Left aShape.Delete AnchorRange.Select Selection.PasteAndFormat (wdFormatOriginalFormatting) AnchorRange.End = Selection.End - 1 AnchorRange.Select Selection.ParagraphFormat.LeftIndent = leftPos k = k + 1 End If End If End If Next aShape DoEvents DoEvents ' --- need two DoEvents --- MsgBox k & " Shapes with text converted"End Sub


2022-08-22 09:27:28

Beej

I opened this tip thinking, "Oh, surely there's a better way of doing this than what I'm doing currently!" I mean, I'm pretty good with Word but there are absolute experts out there...

I'm both happy and disappointed to report that yeah, I'm doing exactly what is detailed above.


2022-08-20 12:56:51

Richard

This technique of changing text within boxes to outside of boxes does work well for individual items...

However consider the scenario of a conversion of an Acrobat PDF document into a MS Word document (the 'save as other' utility). The times I've done this my document has been truly littered with text boxes - so much so that it is unusable.

Can you describe a technique to basically take all the text in a document and turn it into flowing text where it is 'visually located'?

Most often in this scenario I'm not interested in retaining the format of the originating document. I basically want a text document that I can manipulate - unfortunately Acrobat does not have a 'save as text' option (occasionally cut/past will work but not always).

Thanks


2022-08-20 09:50:50

Robert Wolfe

Getting Rid of a Text Box, but Not the Text

Any way to do this for an entire document at once? Often needed when importing doc from PDF to Word.


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