Q: In Microsoft Word, I use text boxes quite a lot, but I always have to tell Word to omit the border around the box. Is there a way to save this setting somewhere?
A: What you’re actually asking is this: Is there a way to save settings as the default for controls such as text boxes? The answer is, yes, there is a way! For this discussion, I’ll refer to text boxes as the control.
You might spend a lot of time setting a text box so that it is just right for the document(s) you are currently editing. You can copy the text box to various places which will preserve your customization, but if you insert a new text box, Word will default to the unformatted box type again.
You can tell Word to remember your settings, as follows:
1. Insert the control (the text box in this example) and format it the way you want it to appear by default.
2. Right-click the control (the text box in this case).
3. Choose “Set As Default Text Box” from the resulting shortcut menu.
When you insert a new text box, Word will remember the new formats until you change them or close Word.
Well, that’s great, but what if you want Word to remember these settings from day to day or after you close and re-open Word?
You will need to open the Normal.dotm (using the Trusted Templates shortcut in the Open dialog’s Favorites bar). With Normal.dotm open, follow the instructions above to make your preferred settings to the control (in this case, the text box). Delete the formatted text box, save Normal.dotm, and then close it. All new text box controls in documents based on Normal.dotm will have your custom defaults as long as you use the Draw Text Box option.
You should find templates for Word 2003 in C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates. If you’re using Word 2013, you’ll find templates in C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates or C:\Users\username\Documents\Custom Office Templates.
You’ll find this functionality available with most controls, shapes, and objects in all of the Office applications, not just Word.