Formatting Text Boxes in Word 2007 - dummies

By Doug Lowe

After you place a text box in a Word 2007 document, you probably want to format it. You can format the text by highlighting it and using the text formatting controls on the Home tab. You can also format the text box itself by using any of the controls on the Text Box Tools Format tab, which appears whenever the text box is selected.

If you want to change the margins between the text and the text box border, select the text box and go to the Text Box Tools Format tab on the Ribbon. In the Text Box Styles group, click the small button in the lower-right corner. In the resulting Format Text Box dialog box, click the Text Box tab. Here you can set each of the margins. While you’re there, you can also change the vertical alignment of the text, and you can set the following two options:


  • Word Wrap Text in AutoShape: You almost always want to leave this option turned on. If you turn it off and the text box isn’t wide enough, text might get cut off.

  • Resize AutoShape to Fit Text: This option automatically adjusts the size of the text box to fit the text you add. You usually leave this option turned off because you can always resize the text box manually by dragging any of the corner handles.

Unfortunately, you can’t freely rotate the text inside a text box. There is hope, however. Word provides a somewhat helpful Text Direction command that can rotate the text left or right 90 degrees. It doesn’t let you rotate text to any arbitrary angle, but it’s better than nothing.

To use the Text Direction command, select a text box and click the Text Box Tools Format tab on the Ribbon. The Text Direction button is near the left edge of this tab. Each time you click this button, the text rotates 90 degrees.


You can still edit text after you rotate it, but seeing letters crawl up or down the screen as you type can be disconcerting. Always remember to enter the text before you rotate the text box.