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

Boxes in Boxes

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 22, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


1

Word allows you to place text boxes within text boxes, but even if you have the interior text box formatted so that text is supposed to flow around it, the text still doesn't wrap—it just goes right over the top of the text box or behind it. If your formatting needs call for text in the exterior to flow around the interior text box, you are out of luck in Word.

However, there is a workaround you could try: Instead of using two text boxes (one inside the other), use three (or more) text boxes that are butted up next to each other. One holds the position of the old interior text box or frame, and the others collectively make up the "wrap around" portion of the older exterior text box or frame. Then, the "wrap around" text boxes can be linked so the text flows from one to the other.

This workaround will obviously take some experimentation, and it may not work for every purpose. However, it may do the trick for some readers.

As a side note, if you are producing the final output yourself, then tips like this can be very helpful. However, if you are leaving the final production to someone else—perhaps a publisher—then you should check with them before going to this degree of formatting. Many publishers simply want the text, and then they take care of the formatting. A simple phone call on your part can save quite a bit of trouble.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13302) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Boxes in 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. ...

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What is 3 + 7?

2020-08-24 09:41:23

Janet

I deal with this issue using Word tables. I use a single-cell table for the outer text box, with another single-cell table as the interior box. Text within the first table wraps smoothly around the second table, similar to wrapping text around a table in the main text stream. I also use this technique to wrap text around a table/caption. Putting both my caption and table inside a single-cell table links them more effectively than using a text box for the caption.


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