Word 2011 for Mac: Linking Text Boxes in the Publishing Layout View

By Geetesh Bajaj, James Gordon

Text boxes work a little differently in Word 2011’s Publishing Layout view than in other Office 2011 for Mac views, where text boxes have tools to help you position them on a page. Switch to Publishing Layout view and then have a look at these tools.

Follow these steps to create two (or more) linked text boxes:

  1. Make sure you’re in Publishing Layout view.

    If you aren’t in Publishing Layout view, choose View→Publishing Layout.

  2. Make a text box.

    A Text Box button is available on the Standard toolbar in Publishing Layout view, and you can use this button to quickly insert a new text box.

  3. Click the Forward Link button on your text box.

    The cursor changes to a crosshair when you click the Forward Link button.

  4. Drag a new text box with this crosshair cursor.

    This action creates a new text box linked to the first text box.

  5. Type (or paste) enough text in the first text box so that it overflows into the second box.

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With this example, you can create text boxes that span from the second to the third, and the third to the fourth text box, and so on to create a story. Word helpfully shows you the sequence number of all text boxes in a story.

After you create a new text box, clicking the Previous Link and Forward Link handles takes you instantly to the neighboring link within the story’s chain. If you drag entire text boxes, guides appear to help you line up the boxes with each other.

To add more text boxes to a story, click a box’s Forward Link (to link to a lower number box) or Backward link button (to link to a higher number box), and then click on another text box.

If you decide to break a link in a story, the remaining links are retained and you will then have two stories. To break a link, select the text box that is to be the end of the first story. Click the Format tab in the Ribbon, and then in the Text Box group, click the Break Link button.