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Link Text Boxes in MS Word

If you’ve ever used MS Publisher then you’ve probably have run across the “phenomena” of linked text boxes.

Not being a regular user of such things you probably don’t know what’s going on when you bump into such things…

Well, it’s just what it sounds like – the boxes are linked and when the first one fills up with text it will overflow into the second one. In essence they’re like having a single text box but they are separate objects that can be placed separately on the page.

Many people would say “So what?”

Well, it can be and advantage when you’re looking to have the information separated on the page… let’s say maybe around a picture or other object. And while text wrapping will do that, text boxes will allow the placement of the information just about anywhere.

Drag and drop it just about anywhere, including over a portion of the graphic.

Whatever use you can imagine if you don’t have Publisher than it all seems useless to you.

But wait, if you use MS Word then you too can take advantage of this feature too – so here’s what you need to know to link those text boxes and get busy creating.

First, you need to draw at least two text boxes.

Now you need to select the first text box (the one where the text will begin).

Click the Create Link button

In older versions of Word you’ll find it on the Text Box toolbar that opens automatically with the selection of the text box. (If you don’t see it use the View menu, Toolbars to display it.)


In Word 2007 you’ll need to located the Format tab of the Text Box Tools portion of the Ribbon.


The Create Link button is in the leftmost section.


For all versions, once the Create Link button is clicked the mouse pointer turns into a little measuring cup sort of picture – move it to the second box and click.


The text boxes are linked and the text will flow cleanly from the first to the second as the first one becomes full.

Looking to undo the linking?

Technically you’re looking to “break” the link.

Basically it works the same as the linking did.

Select the first text box and click the Break Link button (located right with the Create Link button).




(depending upon your versionof Word)

That’s it!

Link, break, link, break – whatever you need where text is concerned you can definitely get the exact layout you’re looking for with this handy tool.