Using Text Boundaries view in Word – how and why

How to view Text Boundaries in Microsoft Word, why they can be useful and how the feature has changed over time.

Text Boundaries put a dotted line box around each text element on a Word page.

Turn on Text Boundaries to solve formatting problems.  For example, in the above example, it’s easy to see why there’s a gap between the picture and the neighboring text.  Change the ‘distance from text’ setting for the image to close the gap.

Text Boundaries include any Header, Footer, Footnotes etc.

Toggle Text Boundaries at File | Options | Advanced | Show document content | Show text boundaries.

On Word for Mac it’s at Preferences | View | Show in Document | Text Boundaries.

Different Text Boundaries, Word 2010 and before

In Word 2010 and before the same ‘Text Boundaries’ option looked quite different. The boundary lines were a little more subtle and like paragraphs shown together as a single block.

Microsoft’s change of Text Boundaries in Word 2013 wasn’t greeted with much enthusiasm, but we’re stuck with it to this day.
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