Typing in Boxes

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 13, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


3

Word is acting strangely all of a sudden. Whenever Laurel creates a new document, a rectangular box appears at the top, every time. She can only type in that box and lines appear when she presses Enter to start a new paragraph. Thinking it was a problem with the Normal template, Laurel replaced it with a friend's, but that didn't work. She wonders what is causing this behavior.

Taking the step to try a new Normal template was good; that ruled out the problem being related to borders being turned on for the Normal style. The next most likely culprit is what Word refers to as Text Boundaries. This feature, if enabled, displays bothersome boxes around your text. Here is how you can control the feature:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or a later version, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Advanced at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Scroll through the options until you see the Show Document Content section. (You'll need to scroll down a ways.) (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Advanced options of the Word Options dialog box.

  5. Use the Show Text Boundaries check box to control whether Word uses text boundaries or not. Click on the check box to turn the feature on and off; a check in the box means it is enabled.
  6. Click on OK.

Once you turn off the Text Boundaries, the boxes should disappear entirely; they will not remain around anything you previously typed.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13833) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 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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What is two less than 2?

2022-11-11 11:23:30

Shade

This is very helpful. It worked for a client I was trying to help. Thank you


2021-03-15 12:00:44

Daniel

I'm having the same trouble.
My Normal blank document has a text box around the cursor.
I tried what is outlined above but it didn't help.


2021-03-15 08:45:31

Lorraine DeCesare

This is happening to me too - it puts the copied text in a text box. This did not fix it. Sometimes, you don’t see it is in a box unless the you pâté at a bottom of a page and the text stays in the box. If I paste as text, lose all formats, the box is gone but I have to reformat.


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