h1

Word: Use keyboard to browse text boxes

October 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.

Scenario

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?

Solution

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.

Method 1

  1. 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 2003 text box -- not selected

      Word 2003 text box -- in text editing mode

    • Word 2007: The border has ‘handles’ on the outside of it.

      Word 2007 text box -- not selected

      Word 2007 text box -- in text editing mode

  2. Click ON the border to select the entire text box object:
    • Word 2003: The border becomes dotted if you’ve selected it correctly.

      Word 2003 text box -- selected

      Word 2003 text box -- selected

    • Word 2007: The border ‘handles’ sit on the border of the box.

      Word 2007 text box -- selected

      Word 2007 text box -- selected

  3. 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.

Method 2

  1. Add a new text box:
    • Word 2003: Insert > Text Box.
    • Word 2007: Insert tab > Text group > Text box.
  2. Follow steps 2 and 3 in Method 1 (above).
  3. Delete the new text box, if it isn’t required.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: