MS Word columns-text box help

chas045August 31, 2011

I help lay out a previously designed church newsletter in ms word 2003. The first page has 2 drawings (banners) at the top and below are currently two unlinked (I am just learning about linking) text boxes. Currently these boxes are outlined. The left one almost never changes and the wider right one begins the monthly news text. The second and following pages are two column wide text pages that naturally flow into each other.

My problem is that I can't easily get text to flow from the text box on the first page onto the second page. I currently find the needed break and paste exactly the text I need and begin the second page with the next text in line. This is annoying and in addition, additional editing messes everything up.

I was first planning to remove the 1st page text box and replace it with a column or remove both boxes and do uneven columns, but the boxed text would fall onto the second page or turn the second page into single columns or the two columns would flow upward onto the first page or whatever.

I did find that multiple linked text boxes seemed to be the answer to most of my problems because I could keep a wide outlined box on the first page flowing into two unboxed columns on the second. However I couldn't seem to find out how to continue this on down for undetermined additional pages. It appeared that I have to manually create, manually shape (width and height and evenness and then link each box to the next needed box on each needed page. While I probably could have done all this painfully by hand in the time it has taken to type and think about this, it seems to be most un-computer like. I must be missing a basic method or two about copying text boxes or using frames (which did an impressive amount of distruction that couldn't be undone) or using columns. Obviously, I don't know anything about frames.

So, can one of you Word experts point me in the right direction?

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Does the text which doesn't continue in the text boxes on the second page appear somewhere else in the document or simply not appear anywhere? I use publisher for the newsletter I edit but I find that if the text that should flow into the next linked box doesn't but flows into a text box later in the document there's some hidden character in the text box and I have to delete it before text will flow into the text box. I put my cursor in the upper left corner of the text box, hold down the left mouse button and run it down to the lower right hand corner and delete anything that is highlighted.
If the text just disappears does word ask you where you want it to go?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 1:41PM
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Bob. I guess I wasn't clear enough. IF I use 'text boxes' everything flows perfectly (although I am not an expert on linking either and have had some problems figguring out the rules for getting each box linked to its predessor). But that is not my question. I was hoping to learn how to easily (rapidly?) create multiple, equal 'text boxes' to allow this flow.

OR how to get regular columns, even on the first page to behave something like 'text boxes'. On the second and following pages, they do infact respond that way, with text flowing naturally from column to column. But on the first page which does have some carridge returns to keep banners and icons in place (and could indeed induce strange text effects as you suggest, although I don't think that is actually what is happening) the two column formatting from the second page will incroach into the bottom of the first page; or the outlined box on the first page moves down to the second page. In other words, some of the formatting on each page moves up or down as text is added or removed.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 8:30AM
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I had all kinds of trouble with things moving around in word. That's why I bit the bullet and bought an oem version of MS Office Professional so I would have Publisher. Back to your problem. Can you insert text boxes into the columns on the first page? If so maybe they would hold the formatting in place and you could link to text boxes in the rest of the publication.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 9:59AM
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Bob, that is exactly what I said. I can do that exactly. A text box was already there in the first place. AGAIN, text boxes work fine, but they are hard to set up EASILY and I suspect that I am missing the easy way to handle text boxes.

On the other hand, columns set up easily but they don't seem to work well keeping formats on the correct pages and I may be missing a step there.

I don't care which method. By the way, I have Publisher and know nothing about it. Glad you mentioned it. Perhaps I could use it too, but I am sending my finished file to someone else to destribute. I wonder if it would be a loser because the church might not have Publisher.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 5:28PM
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I publish my newsletter as a pdf file. It is emailed to most members. It is printed and mailed to some members and left out for others to pick up. Publisher is not needed to print it and pdf is convenient for anyone receiving it by email.
A big advantage of publisher for me is that when you put a graphic someplace it stays there unless you move it intentionally.
There may be a little adjustment to using publisher but many things are just like in word.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 7:25PM
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