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Entire Word Document seems to have become a Text Box

Karl_mark asked
I'm not sure how this happened as I was nowhere the developer toolbar and had no intention of adding any objects to this particular word document. It's a straight forward functional specification document and I was inserting a caption to a screenshot. For some reason, when I was typing the caption, it jumped to the end of the document. I thought that the cursor must have skipped for some reason, so I went back to the screenshot only to find that I could not edit anything.
In fact, I was unable to edit anything in the entire document. After much digging around, I tried to use Document Inspector. This informed me that the document was secured. After a bit more digging around I discovered that thee entire document now seems to be part of a Text Field on a form.
The problem is that I cannot seem to stop it from being a text field on a form! I've searched around, but to no avail. I do have an earlier version of the document, but I have made many revisions since then, and the document has been saved in the new format so I cannot go back to the previous iteration without losing a lot of work. I've looked at the document in outline mode and can see the characters which seem to indicate the form field, but I cannot seem to delete them.
Anyone have any ideas how to do this?

 Start of Document in Outline View
 End of document in outline view
Watch Question

Was the caption you inserted in square brackets like this:  [Figure1] ?

If so, then press the Alt and F9 Keys to show the Field Codes of your caption.

By the look of the opening square bracket in your top screenshot and the closing square bracket in the lower screenshot, these are part of your caption which is created as a label within a field code, and somehow it has been split over multiple lines.  Field codes are inside curly brackets and the code can be toggled on and off using Alt + F9.  It would be interesting to firstly see if this is the case or not.

Select the text that should no longer be inside the field.
Pressing CTRL+SHIFT+F9 will convert the field back to text.

Dawn Bleuel
Word MVP


One of those options seems to have solved most of the problem, thank you.
The square bracket at the end of the document has disappeared and I can now edit like a normal document instead of getting text box properties!
However, the square bracket at the start remains, and the final page is still displaying incorrectly. Tthe new screenshot shows what I mean: It is somehow offset to the left with vertical black lines to the right of it.

 Screenshot of final page
I've tried adding a new page and moving the contents, but the final page still displays as shown.
You have a table that has moved off the page.

See if you can utilize this to help you.  http://pubs.logicalexpressions.com/Pub0009/LPMArticle.asp?ID=536

Dawn Bleuel


Thanks dlc1106161, but on further investigation, it seems a little more serious. I hadn't noticed before, but there are several pages missing, and they all seem to be represented by the black vertical lines you can see in the screenshot. Interestingly, if I go to the last visible page and delete the page break, 5 more pages at the end of the document are absorbed into the black lines!
Alright. Here's what I would do.

1. Place your cursor at the start of the problem.
2. Select your Table (You didn't mention which version of Word you are using.)
3. Find your Distribute Columns command. This command will make all your columns an equal width.
4. Change your page orientation (temporarily) to Landscape
5. Change your page size (temporarily) to Legal or as large as you can.
6. Set your AutoFit command to AutoFit Contents - which will force your columns onto the paper so you can manipulate as needed.

Good Luck.
Dawn Bleuel
Word MVP

I hope you are working with a COPY of the document that you originally found to be messed up.  If you are working with the original, then I suggest you close it, make a copy and name it with a suitable name, then open that copy and work with it.

Does the document contain sensitive information that you would be hesitant to allow experts here to see?  If so, forget I asked.

Attachments in Experts-Exchange questions can be accessed by others googling for answers, but if there are no great privacy issues it would be good if we could see it.  You could always zip it up and password protect the zip file using a word from this page or whatever.

This is just a thought.  No pressure intended.


Hi BillDL,
Apologies for leaving this open for a while; Christmas and a busy period got in the way! Anyway, there is nothing particularly sensitive on the document, but I will password protect it anyway and place it on here.
I can't follow dlc11061's suggestion as there is no table to select where the problem exists. The last thing I am able to select in the document is a caption for a diagram.

Anyway, file is attached, password is Vertical.
Hi Karl_mark

I'm really sorry, but I don't recall seeing an email notification of your last comment where you attached the document, or else I would have revisited your question.

I have attached a revision of the document minus the opening [ bracket and closing ] bracket that were causing the problems.  Password is the opposite of the one for your attached version, ie. behins with H, ends with L, and contains a Z ;-) IndiaDocument2.docx Some of the formatting may be a little different because I used MS Word 2003 with the Office 2007 compatibility add-on, but it should now be fully editable without those pesky little symbols.

There was an image 1114 pixels tall by 101 pixels wide placed in the header area, although it actually showed inside a text box above the header area at the right of the page as only the bottom couple of little yellow horizontal dashes of the full image.  I just noticed one tiny yellow dot at the top right of the page and wondered what it was.

The original size of the image had been 1827 pixels tall by 168 pixels wide, so someone had obviously resized it to fit.  By the look of it this logo was intended to sit lengthwise down the left or right of the page, and I assume it must have been for the left side of the page because the "Alt Text" property was "Kantar LH logo".  It looked as though the text orientation of the logo in the text box may have been wrong, but I can't be sure if this was to do with the compatibility view of the docx conversion in Word 2003 or not.

I have attached a saved out image as two PNG image files at these dimensions and also pasted them as separate images inside another attached Word document so that you might re-use them and insert them so they show as intended.