Move a text box, WordArt, or shape

Occasionally you get a different result from the one you expected when moving a text box, shape, or other object. If the objects are stacked on top or covered by each other, it can be hard to select the one you want. Changing the order of the stack makes it easier to select the ones you want to move. Another trick is to select the border of the object and not the inside of the shape.

objects in stack
Stacked shapes showing overlap
  1. Click the border of the WordArt, text box, or shape that you want to move.

    To move multiple text boxes or shapes, press and hold Ctrl while you click the borders.

  2. When the cursor changes to the four headed arrow, drag it to the new location.

    Cursor resting on a text box border changed into a four headed arrow

    To move in small increments, press and hold Ctrl while pressing an arrow key. And to move the object horizontally or vertically only, press and hold Shift while you drag it.

Tip:  Depending on how far you’re moving the WordArt, shape, or text box, it might be easier to cut and paste it. Right-click the object, and then click Cut (or, press Ctrl+X). Press Ctrl+V to paste it. You can also cut and paste it into a different document, or between programs, such as from a PowerPoint slide to an Excel worksheet.

Move a text box, WordArt, or shape forward or backward

  1. Click the WordArt, shape, or text box that you want to move up or down in the stack.

  2. On the Drawing Tools Format tab, click either Bring Forward or Send Backward.

    Bring Forward an Send Backward options on the Drawing Tools Tab

    You’ll have the choice of moving the object up one layer (Bring Forward) or to the top of the stack (Bring to Front). Send Backward has similar options: down one layer (Send Backward) or to the bottom of the pile (Send to Back).

    Bring Forward and Bring to Front options on Bring Forward menu

    Tips:  If you have a lot of WordArt, shapes, text boxes, or other objects, it may be easier to use up and down arrows in the Selection Pane to move objects. The Selection Pane is not available in Project.

    The Selection Pane showing all shapes, text boxes, WordArt and other objects in the document.

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