Set defaults for new text boxes in all Publisher publications

By Brian Kvalheim, Microsoft MVP, and co-creator of Publisher MVP Web site

Applies to
Microsoft® Office Publisher 2003
Microsoft Publisher 2002

Have you ever wanted to open a publication in Publisher, add a text box, and just start typing in a font other than Times New Roman, a color other than black, and with wider-than-usual or narrower-than-usual margins? I see Publisher customers request this feature time and time again, almost on a weekly basis.

If you're one of the Publisher customers who creates newsletters, professional letters, brochures, or other publications from scratch, you want the ability to set default text box specifications. Avoiding the hassle of going through the entire text box formatting process at startup can save you time and money. These savings are now available to you through two different options:

Use this option when:

  • You want to set up text box formatting defaults for Publisher in the quickest and easiest way.
  • You want to set defaults for font, character, paragraph, bullets and numbering, tabs, and horizontal rules, but not for fill, line, border, and shadow style and color.

Use this option when:

  • You want the flexibility to apply the text box formatting defaults on a publication-by-publication basis.
  • You want the most complete control over what text box formatting defaults you can set. For example, you want to set fill, line, border, and shadow style and color defaults in addition to font, character, paragraph, bullets and numbering, tabs, and horizontal rule defaults.

Normal.pub

You can create a Publisher file called Normal.pub where you set up the text formatting defaults that you want. When you save Normal.pub to the appropriate location on your computer, Publisher will automatically use the text formatting defaults from that file when you create new text boxes in a blank publication.

For step-by-step instructions for creating and saving Normal.pub, see my Web site.

Default Text Box Add-in

By downloading and installing the Default Text Box Add-in, you can:

  • Copy text box settings from an existing text box; such settings include font type, style, size, and color; fill, line, border, and shadow style and color; and text alignment and layout.
  • Create new text boxes in the current publication by using the settings that you just copied.

Note    In Publisher, you can use the Apply settings to new text boxes check box to create new text boxes in the current publication with the same fill color, line weight and color, text wrapping options, text box margins, alignment, and column settings as a selected text box. Only with the Default Text Box Add-in, however, can you create new text boxes that have the same font, text color, and other text-related settings as a selected text box. To learn more about the Apply settings to new text boxes check box, click the Set defaults link in the See Also box.

  • Save the settings as defaults for use in new publications that you create in the future.

What you get with the add-in

Installing the Text Box Default Add-in gives you an additional toolbar. The following picture shows how the toolbar looks, and the bullets following the picture describe the functions of each button, starting with the first button on the left.

Default Text Box toolbar

 Note   When you first install the toolbar, button titles are included along with the buttons, which makes the toolbar larger. You can customize the toolbar so that it resembles the preceding picture; this is described in the next section.

  • Click Set Text Box DefaultsSet Text Box Defaults button, Default Text Box toolbar to copy the text format settings from a selected text box in an open publication. These settings are temporarily stored in your computer's memory and are applied to all future text boxes that you create in the open publication.

Note    To save the text format settings for use in future publications, click the Save Settings button described later in this section.

  • Click New Default Text BoxNew Default Text Box button, Default Text Box toolbar to create a new text box with the text format settings that you set by using the Set Text Box Defaults button or saved by using the Save Settings button. Each new text box is created in the upper-left corner of the active page of a publication.
  • Click Save SettingsSave Settings button, Default Text Box toolbar to save the text format settings to the Windows® Registry for use in future publications.
  • Click Load Settings Load Settings button, Default Text Box toolbar after you open a new publication to load the text format settings into the publication file.

Install the Default Text Box Add-in

You can install the Default Text Box Add-in with either the 2003 or 2002 version of Publisher. Here's how:

  1. Click the installation link in the See Also box to go to the Microsoft Office Marketplace Web site and read a description of the add-in. Click the link to go to Brian Kvalheim's Web site.
  2. Click Download Default Text Box Add-in Zipped. In the File Download dialog box, click Save. In the Save As dialog box, choose a location where you want to save the zipped file, and then click Save.

When the download is complete, click Close. A file called Default Text Box.zip is saved to your computer in the location that you chose.

  1. You need to extract the file into the folder C:\Documents and Settings\<User Name>\Application Data\Microsoft\AddIns so that Publisher will be able to find it. To extract the file, right-click the .zip file, and then do one of the following on the shortcut menu:
    • If you have a program such as WinZip, point to that program's name on the shortcut menu, and then click a command to extract the file.
    • If you don't have WinZip, click Extract All on the shortcut menu. Follow the instructions in the Extraction Wizard to extract the file.

Tip    If you don't see the C:\Documents and Settings\<User Name>\Application Data\Microsoft\AddIns folder, click Start on the taskbar, and then click My Computer. On the Tools menu, click Folder Options. On the View tab, under Advanced settings, find a folder called Hidden files and folders. Click Show hidden files and folders, and then click OK.

  1. In Publisher, on the Tools menu, click Add-ins. In the COM Add-in dialog box, click Add. In the Add Add-in dialog box, select DTB.dll, and then click OK. In the COM Add-ins dialog box, click OK.
  2. To see the Default Text Box toolbar, on the View menu, point to Toolbars, and then click Default Text Box.

Tips

  • If you don't see Default Text Box in the list of toolbars, your security settings may be set to High, which prevents the add-in from loading. To change your security settings, on the Tools menu, click Options. Click the Security tab. Click Macro Security. On the Security Level tab, click Medium, and then click OK twice. On the Tools menu, click Add-ins. In the COM Add-ins dialog box, make sure that the Default Text Box Add-in has a check mark beside it. Click OK. Click Enable Macros. The Default Text Box toolbar should open.
  • By default, the toolbar has button names and images on it. To show only the images, right-click the toolbar where there aren't any buttons, and then click Customize on the shortcut menu. Click a button on the Default Text Box toolbar. On the Commands tab in the Customize dialog box, click Modify Selection, and then click Default Style. Repeat for each button on that toolbar.
  • To remove the add-in from Publisher, on the Tools menu, click Add-ins. In the COM Add-ins dialog box, select the Default Text Box add-in, and then click Remove. To remove the add-in from your computer, delete the DTB.dll file from the folder that you extracted it to.

Use the Default Text Box toolbar

  1. Start Publisher and open a blank publication. On the Objects Toolbar, click Text Box Button image, and then draw a text box in the publication.
  2. Right-click the new text box, and then click Format Text Box on the shortcut menu. Apply the following formatting:
    • Fill and line color and style, by selecting options on the Colors and Lines tab.
    • Margins, alignment, and columns, by selecting options on the Text Box tab.
  3. On the Format menu, click Font. In the Font dialog box, choose the font, font color, and font style you want.
  4. On the Default Text Box toolbar, click Set Text Box Defaults Set Text Box Defaults button, Default Text Box toolbar to set your text format settings.

Note    If you don't see the Default Text Box toolbar, on the View menu, point to Toolbars, and then click Default Text Box.

  1. To save the settings so that you can use them in future publications, click Save Settings Save Settings button, Default Text Box toolbar on the Default Text Box toolbar.
  2. Close the publication without saving it. Open a new publication. On the Default Text Box toolbar, click Load Settings Load Settings button, Default Text Box toolbar to load the text format settings into the current publication file.
  3. To create a new text box that uses the default settings, click New Default Text Box New Default Text Box button, Default Text Box toolbar on the Default Text Box toolbar.

Notes

  • If you use the Text Box button on the Objects toolbar (which looks just like the New Default Text Box button on the Default Text Box toolbar) to create a new text box, the default text format settings that you created won't be applied to the text box. To apply the defaults, you have to create new text boxes by clicking New Default Text Box New Default Text Box button, Default Text Box toolbar on the Default Text Box toolbar.
  • In a new publication, if you click New Default Text Box New Default Text Box button, Default Text Box toolbar by mistake before you click Load Settings Load Settings button, Default Text Box toolbar, you'll get an error message, and then you won't be able to load settings or add a new default text box. To reset the toolbar, on the Tools menu, click Add-in. In the COM Add-ins dialog box, select the Default Text Box add-in, and then click Remove. Click OK. On the Tools menu, click Add-ins. In the COM Add-ins dialog box, click Add. In the Add Add-ins dialog box, locate and select DTB.dll, and then click OK. In the COM Add-ins dialog box, click OK.

 Note   Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

About the Author

Brian Kvalheim lives in Wisconsin with his wife and four-year-old son. He has been a Publisher MVP for five years. Visit the popular Web site Brian maintains with another Publisher MVP for more advice about using Publisher.

 
 
Applies to:
Publisher 2003