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Adding a text box to a Microsoft Word document is an effective way to make certain sections of text stand out on the page; for example, the text for an image caption, flyout or a pull quote. You can add gray text boxes to a Microsoft Word document with the program’s “Text Box” and “Shape Styles” features.
Add a fill or effect. To add a fill or effect, click your shape, click Format, click the arrow next to Shape Fill or Shape Effects, and select a color, gradient, texture, or effect. Click the shape that you want to fill. To add the same fill to multiple shapes, click the first shape,. Choose the color you want under Theme Colors or Standard Colors. If you don't see the color you want, select More Colors, and then choose a color from the Colors box. To add a gradient, texture, pattern, or picture, select Fill Effects, and then go to Gradient, Texture, Pattern, or Picture and select an option.
Adding the Text Box
After opening the document to which you want to add the text box in Microsoft Word, click anywhere on the page. You can move the text box to your preferred page location after you’ve created and formatted the object with the gray color scheme. Click the “Insert” tab in the main program menu Ribbon. In the “Text” tools group, click “Text Box,” followed by “Draw Text Box.” Draw the text box to your preferred size by dragging the placeholders at the corners and sides of the box object. You can adjust the text box’s size later on if you need a larger or smaller box to fit the amount of text.
Creating the Text Box Text
Once you’ve added the text box to the document page, click inside the text box and type or paste the text that you want to include in the text box. Word includes many text-formatting features that you can access from the “Font” tools group from the “Home” tab. The tools allow you to change the font face, font size and font style for the text, including bold, underlined and italic styles. You can also change the text alignment and text color. For a gray text box, choose a color that will display clearly on a gray background. White text works well on a dark gray background and black text is clearly legible on a light gray background.
Styling the Text Box
Now that you’ve created the text box and formatted the text, you can style the text box with a gray fill color from the “Shape Styles” options in the “Drawing Tools” group under the “Format” tab. Select and highlight the text box, and then select your preferred shape style for the text box. To apply a gray fill color, click the “Shape Fill” button and click on your preferred shade of gray in the color-picker tool. You can also change the color of the text box outline by clicking “Shape Outline” and selecting your preferred outline color. Once you’re happy with the gray color scheme for the text box, save the Word document to store your changes.
Although gray text boxes can highlight key sections of text on each page, using too many text boxes can give a cluttered, unprofessional look to the document. Use gray text boxes sparingly, with perhaps just one or two boxes per page to give the document a clean look and to retain the impact of the text boxes. You might also vary the color scheme and assign different color text boxes to different types of text. Color-coding the document ensures consistency and can help readers find important information quickly.
About the Author
Adrian Grahams began writing professionally in 1989 after training as a newspaper reporter. His work has been published online and in various newspapers, including 'The Cornish Times' and 'The Sunday Independent.' Grahams specializes in technology and communications. He holds a Bachelor of Science, postgraduate diplomas in journalism and website design and is studying for an MBA.
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