How to Remove a Text Box From a Word Document

By Nick Peers

Discover how you can delete all types of text boxes from Word documents with or without their contents.

You can delete any type of text box -- including all types of quotes and sidebars -- from any page in your Microsoft Word document, as long as the document is not protected. You can recover deleted text boxes by undoing the changes -- press Ctrl-Z to undo. However, recovery may be impossible if you save and overwrite the document and then close Word.


Save the Word document periodically to ensure you don't lose your work if the program freezes or the operating system crashes. Microsoft Office programs automatically save your documents every 10 minutes by default, but you can change the save frequency.

Step 1

Open the document in Word and locate the text boxes. Some text boxes are outlined by default, while others contain various graphic elements that make them stand out from the rest of the text.


To detect a text box in Word, click a word. If an outline appears when you click the word, you just found a text box.

Step 2

Selecting the text in a text box and copying it to the clipboard.

Optionally, if you want to keep the text, click inside the text box, press Ctrl-A to select everything and then press Ctrl-C to copy the data to the clipboard. Press Ctrl-V to paste the data elsewhere, after you delete the text box.

Step 3

Selecting several different types of text boxes in Word.

Click inside the text box you want to delete to display its outline and then click the outline to select the entire box.

Select more boxes by holding Ctrl and clicking each of their borders.


Don't click inside the text box if you want to select it, otherwise you will delete the text instead of the box. The mouse pointer must be on the outline of the box when you click.

Step 4

Press Delete to delete the selected text boxes. If you decide you still need them, press Ctrl-Z to undo the changes.


  • You can cut the selected text boxes to the clipboard by pressing Ctrl-X and then paste them somewhere else by pressing Ctrl-V.
  • Save the changes to the document by pressing Ctrl-S.
  • To remove the outline from the text box, right-click the outline, select Format Shape, click Line and then click the No Line radio button.