Turning Off Overlapping, by Default

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 18, 2019)

Len routinely places all of his figures within text boxes. He formats the text boxes so they do not overlap with each other. (He displays the Layout dialog box and, on the Position tab, clears the Allow Overlap check box.) Len would like this setting to be cleared by default, but it always seems to default to allow overlapping. He wonders if there is a way to turn it off entirely.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to turn it off entirely—Word just defaults to allow overlapping. You can, however, create a couple of macros that may be helpful. The first sets the overlap setting for a selected text box:

Sub AllowOverlapFalse()
    Selection.ShapeRange.WrapFormat.AllowOverlap = False
End Sub

All you need to do is to create your text box, select it, and then run the macro. You might even want to assign it to a shortcut key so that you can do the task quickly and easily.

The other approach is akin to this first one, but it works on all the text boxes in the document. Thus, you could create all the text boxes you want and then run this macro.

Sub FixTextBoxOverlap()
    Dim s As Shape

    For Each s In ActiveDocument.Shapes
        If s.Type = msoTextBox Then
            s.WrapFormat.AllowOverlap = False
        End If
    Next
End Sub

As you can tell from these macros, text boxes are treated like shapes in the VBA world. This macro makes sure, in stepping through all the defined shapes, that it only affects those that are actually text boxes.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13631) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365.

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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