Skip to content

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.
Show Crop Marks Each Page in Word
Make your Twitter ‘message’ in Word or Powerpoint
How Headings and Outline Levels appear in parts of Word
Why does Word pronounce GIF two different ways?
Word’s Find can’t find all Unicode symbols and emoji

About this author

Office Watch is the independent source of Microsoft Office news, tips and help since 1996. Don't miss our famous free newsletter.