Word: Use keyboard to browse text boxesOctober 4, 2009
Text boxes are used by some people to control layout in a Word document; others use them to group objects together. Personally, I avoid them where I can. One of the issues that can arise with them is ‘seeing’ all the ones you have.
You’ve added a text box and removed the default border line. You haven’t added any text or an object yet, and you haven’t formatted it with a background color. You click away from the text box to do something else. A short time later you decide to fill in the text box you created a little while ago — but now you can’t see it!! There are no visual clues that it exists. So how do you find it?
What you do depends on whether you have other text boxes in the document that you *can* see. If so, use Method 1. If you can’t identify any text boxes, use Method 2.
- Click inside an existing text box. What you see depends on whether you’re using Word 2003 or Word 2007:
- Word 2003: The border has slanted lines around it.
- Word 2007: The border has ‘handles’ on the outside of it.
- Click ON the border to select the entire text box object:
- Word 2003: The border becomes dotted if you’ve selected it correctly.
- Word 2007: The border ‘handles’ sit on the border of the box.
- Press the TAB key — each press takes you to the next text box, even the hidden ones. When you’ve found the one you want, click in it and complete your task, or click on it and delete it if you don’t want it any more.
- Add a new text box:
- Word 2003: Insert > Text Box.
- Word 2007: Insert tab > Text group > Text box.
- Follow steps 2 and 3 in Method 1 (above).
- Delete the new text box, if it isn’t required.