I am building a form in Word. There are several text boxes, all of which display "Click To Enter Text" before the users adds some content.

How can I change this to display something more meaningful? E.g. Enter Surname Here

4 Answers 4


The best way might be to make a VBA script (example here, choose the 4th arrow) and use the .TextFrame.TextRange property to set the text to whatever you like. You can assign a shortcut key combo to the macro and/or put it on the toolbar so you can access the custom textbox anytime.


Click on design mode on the developer tab and then click onto the text and you can change iit to whatever you want it to be

  • This doesn't work for me. IF you could elaborate on your answer. Jun 6, 2013 at 1:35

Go to "Options" > "Advanced." Unclick the "overwrite mode" checkboxes.

Also: If you make each field have a line of underscores "_____," and then underline them further by using the underline button, then when the user clicks "tab" to proceed to that field, and then begins typing, the underline will remain underneath of their typing.


if you are using Word 2010, I suppose you already made the Developer tab display via File --> Options --> Customize Ribbon and check "Developer" in the right list (Main Tabs).

Then after you select a form field, open the developer tab, and under "Controls" there, click "Design Mode". This lets you edit and format the placeholder text like any normal text.

Once you disable this mode by clicking the same button again, you can again only replace the placeholder text with actual field content or replace the field, depending on its properties.

Old post, but I suppose the answer will still help someone. It might apply to later Office version, too.

  • It seems someone is downvoting all my posts indiscriminately. Please give me some advice if there is actually anything I could do to make my posts better, thanks.
    – Douba
    Jul 7, 2020 at 11:19

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