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Microsoft Word 2010 : Creating and Formatting Text Boxes (part 3) - Formatting Text in a Text Box, Linking Text Boxes

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12/16/2014 8:15:20 PM

Formatting Text in a Text Box

Text in a text box is basically the same as text in a document; it just fits in a smaller space. A text box can hold multiple paragraphs, including numbered and bulleted lists. You can format a text box’s text in just about all the same ways you format a document’s body text. Select the text in the box; then apply formats from the Font and Paragraph groups of the Home tab. Text in a text box can be formatted with styles, too.

You can also do a couple of neat tricks with a text box’s text:

  • Change text direction: By default, text is aligned horizontally in a text box. You can set text to run vertically, reading either from top to bottom (rotated 90 degrees) or from bottom to top (rotated 270 degrees). Figure 6 shows an example of how rotated text can be used to create a cool effect and make use of limited page space. To change text direction, click the text box to activate the Format tab, click Text Direction, and then choose an option from the drop-down menu.

    Figure 6. In the text box along the right-hand edge of this newsletter, the text is rotated 90 degrees.

  • Change text alignment: You can vertically align text at the top, center, or bottom of a text box. To set the alignment, go to the Format tab, click Align Text, and then choose an option from the drop-down menu.

Linking Text Boxes

You can use multiple text boxes to create fancy or complicated-looking layouts. For example, if you’re designing a multicolumn document but don’t want to mess with columns, you can use text boxes instead. Or if you want to create a boxed “sidebar” that spans two pages of a document, you can use two text boxes (one on each page) to hold the sidebar’s content.

The key to tricks like this is linking. When you link two or more text boxes, Word treats them as though they are a single box. When you fill the first box with text, just keep typing; the text jumps to the next box and continues there.

Creating Linked Text Boxes

To make the linking process easy, start by creating all the text boxes you’re going to need. Here’s a simple example:

1.
Create two text boxes. Figure 7 shows two empty text boxes; the first is at the bottom of one page, and the second is at the top of the following page.

Figure 7. Two text boxes, ready for linking.

2.
Click the first text box. The Format tab appears on the ribbon.

3.
Click Create Link. The mouse pointer changes to the shape of a pitcher.

4.
Point to the second text box, and notice that the pitcher is tilted to look like its contents are pouring into the second text box, as shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8. Linking the second text box to the first one.

5.
Click the second text box. It is now linked to the first text box.

The linking process goes a little differently if you need to link three or more boxes. Suppose you have four boxes; in this case, you would start by linking box 3 to box 4, then link box 2 to box 3, and finally link box 1 to box 2. Sounds crazy, but it works.

 
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