Making Resize to Fit Text the Default

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 17, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Steve routinely adds a good number of text boxes to his documents. Every time he does, he needs to display the Format Shape pane and choose the Resize Shape to Fit Text check box. Steve wonders if there is a way to make this setting the default. He can't imagine why anyone would not want to have text boxes automatically resize to fit whatever text they contain.

An easy way to handle this is to change how you actually create your text box. If you create an empty text box, Word automatically clears the Resize Shape to Fit Text check box and you will need to change it. (This is what Steve is seeing.) Instead, follow these simple steps:

  1. Type the text you want in your text box.
  2. Select the text you just typed.
  3. Display the Insert tab of the ribbon.
  4. Click the Text Box tool. Word displays a few options.
  5. Choose the Draw Text Box option.

Since you had text selected (step 2), Word places a text box around the selected text and, in the Format Shape pane, you'll note that the Resize Shape to Fit Text check box is selected. Thus, even if you edit the text in the text box, the text box will resize to fit whatever text it contains.

This presents an interesting variation—if you don't know, immediately, what text you want in the text box, you could (in step 1) type a single word or even a single character. Then, when you decide what you want in the text box, you can edit the contents and, since the Resize Shape to Fit Text check box is selected, the text box resizes to accommodate your text.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13883) 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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