How to Link Text Boxes in Microsoft Word

977961 How to Link Text Boxes in Microsoft Word

Text boxes in Word allow you to insert text anywhere in a document. You can use them for callouts, tips, warnings, instructions, stories, lists, and more.

While a single text box works great on its own, you can also link text boxes together in Word. Linking allows text to flow from one text box to the next, creating connected boxes that work like a story or instructions spanning multiple boxes.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to:

  • Insert text boxes in Word
  • Link text boxes together
  • Manage linked text boxes
  • Tips for working with linked text boxes

Inserting Text Boxes in Word

To start, you need to insert some text boxes. Here’s how:

  1. In your Word document, go to the Insert tab
  2. Click Text Box
  3. Choose a pre-formatted text box style or draw your own custom box

The pre-formatted text boxes make it quick and easy to insert a nicely formatted box. However, drawing your own box allows you to drag to size it right away.

Inserting a text box

Feel free to insert multiple text boxes, formatted however you like. Just make sure to leave one box empty, as we’ll link text to flow into this box next.

Linking Text Boxes in Word

Once you have an initial text box with content and an empty text box, you can link them:

  1. Click inside the text box with content
  2. Go to the Format tab > Create Link or the Shape Format tab > Create Link
  3. Click inside the empty text box you want to link to

That’s it! The text boxes are now linked. As you type text in the first box, it will flow into the second linked box.

You can repeat these steps to link additional boxes. Just make sure you always click the empty box last to link it to the previous box.

Unlinking Text Boxes

If you want to unlink text boxes, click inside the first linked box and:

  1. Go to the Shape Format tab
  2. Click Break Link

This will stop text flowing between those boxes.

Managing Linked Text Boxes

As you work with linked text boxes, keep these tips in mind:

  • Resize boxes: When you resize one linked box, any other linked boxes are resized automatically
  • Reorder boxes: You can drag and reorder linked boxes and the text order updates
  • Edit text: To add, edit, or delete text, click inside the first linked box and edit as usual
  • Add more boxes: Insert additional text boxes and link them to extend your text even further

Locking Text Boxes

When you finish formatting and linking text boxes, I recommend locking them to prevent accidental changes:

  1. Click a text box and go to the Format tab
  2. Expand the Lock section
  3. Check the box for Lock anchor to lock the text box in position on the page
  4. Check the box for Lock text to prevent editing of text within the shapes

Locking the boxes will maintain your perfect formatting while allowing you to still select and copy text.

Tips for Using Linked Text Boxes

Linked text boxes open up lots of possibilities for creating engaging documents:

  • Explain a process with steps that span across pages
  • Create storybooks with text and illustrations that flow through multiple boxes
  • Build interactive worksheets and lessons
  • Design visually appealing documents with callouts and text flowing around graphics
  • Make eye-catching brochures with linked columns
  • Insert informative callouts next to related objects
  • Provide definitions for key words that pop out on the page

The key is leveraging linked text boxes for extended text all connected as one unit. This allows you to insert text anywhere without worrying about page breaks interrupting your content.

Recap and Next Steps

You should now be comfortable with adding text boxes to Word, linking them together, managing linked boxes, and applying some best practices:

  • Insert text boxes and pre-format or draw custom boxes
  • Link boxes so text flows from one box to the next
  • Manage linked boxes including resizing, reordering, and locking
  • Use linked boxes for processes, stories, callouts and engaging documents

As next steps, test out linked text boxes for your specific needs. Some ideas:

  • Create a worksheet for students
  • Design a brochure for your business
  • Build an interactive instruction guide
  • Write an engaging storybook
  • Add informative callout boxes in reports

The possibilities are endless when it comes to leveraging linked text boxes in Word documents. Now get out there, be bold, and link some text boxes!

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