Converting text boxes in Word 2003

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Is it possible to delete a text box without deleting the text it contains?

An interesting question this week Doug J about converting text boxes into ‘ordinary’ text. He asks if it’s possible to delete text boxes without deleting the text.

Not as far as we can see. Given the ‘Convert table to text’ option in Word it is understandable to expect some equivalent for text boxes – but there isn’t that we can find.

You have to select the text in each text box and copy it to a new location before deleting the text box.

In recent versions of Word there is a clipboard Task Pane view – this could be useful in situations like this. Select each text box and use Cut (not Delete) to move the text box to the clipboard (the Task Pane view reassures that you have a copy of the cut items). Later you can paste all the accumulated text boxes into one location (in the same or another document).

Text boxes are more like picture elements than tables. That’s demonstrated by the appearance of the Drawing toolbar in conjunction with a text box.

Originally text boxes were introduced to give Word documents better formatting options for ‘inset’ boxes of text. However in many straight forward situations (for example a box of text on the right or centre with text wrapped around it) you might want to consider a single cell table instead.

The table gives you many of the same border and formatting options plus has some options to convert the table to text at some later time.

Text Boxes, especially in more recent versions of Word have some fancy formatting options.

Only goes to show that in Word, as in life, there is often more than one way to a solution.

CONVERTING TEXT BOXES REDUX

I’m obliged to some Office Watch readers who had similar suggestions for converting Word text boxes into normal text.

One surprising fact about text boxes is that they don’t show up in Word’s Normal view, which is enough for some people to steer clear. The alternative is ‘Frames’ which show up in all screen views.

You can convert a text box to a frame. Right-click on the edge of a text box and choose ‘Format Text Box’. Under the Text Box tab choose ‘Convert to Frame’.

It is a good alternative but may not be what you need. The option of just copying the text out of the box then deleting the empty text box might be enough.

 

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