How to Insert Word Bubbles in Microsoft Word

By Filonia LeChat

Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but graphics can also hold a thousand words – or just a few. The iconic word bubble, used to represent a person’s thoughts or commentary on the page, is a simple way to add design to your Microsoft Word documents. Word calls these graphic touches “callouts,” and offers quick insertion options and unlimited formatting for using word bubbles in Word files.

Step 1

Click the “Insert” tab in the ribbon, then click the “Shapes” button and move to the Callouts section.

Step 2

Click one of the word bubbles, such as Rectangular Callout or Rounded Rectangular Callout. Note that the cursor will change to a plus symbol once selected.

Step 3

Position the cursor on the Word document and press and hold down the left mouse button. Drag until the word bubble is your preferred size, then release. The bubble appears on the page.

Step 4

Click a corner or border of the bubble and drag it into your preferred place, such as directly over the top of a person’s head in an image on the page.

Step 5

Click the bubble to open the Drawing Tools tab at the top of the screen. By default, the word bubble is a medium blue with a dark blue border.

Step 6

Click the “Shape Fill” menu on the Drawing Tools tab’s ribbon. Click “No Fill” to clear the medium blue for a more traditional white-background.

Step 7

Click the “Shape Outline” menu and select a different color for the bubble’s border, if desired.

Step 8

Add text to the bubble by clicking the “Draw Text Box” button on the Drawing Tools tab’s ribbon. Click and drag the mouse inside the word bubble to create a text area, and then release the button when the desired field appears in the document. Start typing to insert text in the word bubble. You can also format the fill and border of the text box as per the previous steps.

Step 9

Save the Word document if finished or continue to add additional word bubbles as desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you already have a graphic of a word bubble you’d prefer to use, insert it through Word’s pictures option. Click the “Insert” tab, then click the “Pictures” button. Browse to the word bubble picture file and double-click it. Once you insert it onto the page, click it once to enable the pink Picture Tools tab, which operates similarly to the Drawing Tools tab. Click the “Position” button on the Picture Tools tab’s ribbon, and choose any option from the menu. This then enables you to drag the word bubble into place on the image.
  • These instructions are written for Microsoft Word 2013 users. You may find several differences in menus, buttons, features, and operations if you use them with earlier or later versions of the software.