Word 2013: Align text boxes one after another without overlapping

mbwjk used Ask the Experts™
I have a very complicated org Chart in Word 2013. I need to align several (many!) text boxes one after another, so that they don't overlap. I tried Format / Align / Align Top. Unfortunately the text boxes all align at the very top, not one after another. Any idea?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
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Have you considered using Orgchart that you can use with Word?

Rob HensonFinance Analyst
You might be able to use Align > Distriute

Assuming you're going from top to bottom on the page, select the text box you want at the top and position it correctly. Then select the one you'd expect at the bottom and position it.

Now select all the text boxes and choose Align > Distribute vertically. This will then space the text boxes at even intervals with no overlap assuming they are not all too big to fit in the space.
For creating something like an Org chart, you can make your life a lot easier if you turn on or adjust some of the Format > Align settings first.
  • Align > Grid settings... lets you turn on and adjust grid options to help get consistently-sized objects. The grid can be toggled on or off, but you can also have objects snap to the grid even if visibility is turned off. If boxes tend to snap together when they are close, turn off the "Snap objects to other objects" checkbox.
  • Alignment Guides can be turned on to display automatic guidelines to help position objects relative to one another or parts of the page.
  • When you move an object with alignment guides turned on, press the Shift key to constrain the objects to the page, margin or paragraph guides — and pressing Alt will constrain to the gridlines.
  • When you have gridlines turned on, pressing Alt as you draw will constrain an object's shape to fit to the gridlines.
Rob HensonFinance Analyst

Eric - I think you are referring to features of MS PowerPoint. The author is using MS Word.

Having said that PPT would be much better for this.
Perhaps that is the case for older versions Rob, but all of the features I described are definitely included in recent versions of Word.

Here's a screenshot showing the Grids and Guide settings dialog in Word for Office 365 (v1809 build 10827.20150) I currently have running on my system.Grid and Guides dialog for current version of Word
Rob HensonFinance Analyst

Apologies, I hadn't realised that those features had been introduced in MS Word.


Thanks a lot, Eric, Rob and John,

sorry for my late reply. Your solutions would have been suitable in our case if the org chart structure in the existing word document wasn't that compressed. The text boxes had to be placed exactly one underneath another.

Finally I used a little word macro which saves the settings of the first selected textbox and accordingly changes width and position of the following ones.

Sub TextboxenAusrichten()
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    With Selection.ShapeRange(1)
    .RelativeVerticalPosition = wdRelativeVerticalPositionPage
    Links = .Left
   Breite = .Width
    Oben = .Top
    End With
    For x = 2 To Selection.ShapeRange.Count
        With Selection.ShapeRange(x)
            .RelativeVerticalPosition = wdRelativeVerticalPositionPage
            .Left = Links
            .Width = Breite
            .Top = Oben + Selection.ShapeRange(x - 1).Height
        Oben = .Top
        End With
    Next x
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
    MsgBox "Done"

End Sub

Thanks a lot and best regards!
Thanks Chris — and interesting solution with the macro!

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