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Personal website of Gregory K. Maxey, Commander USN (Retired)

Margin Text
(A Microsoft Word Help & Tip page by Gregory K. Maxey)

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The information, illustrations and code contained in my "Microsoft Word Tips" are provided free and without risk or obligation.

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The purpose of this Microsoft Word Tips & Microsoft Word Help page is to show you can place headings, notes, or other text in the page margins. MVP Suzanne Barnhill offers a comprehensive discussion on this topic in her tutorial Marginal Text. One of the methods that she proposes is a margin text style. This can be fiddly (Suzanne's own words) to set up.

I second Suzanne's assessment. I tried setting up a similar style (without her tutorial) and struggled considerably. After that I thought, why not use a macro to do the dirty work? Once a basic Margin Text style is set up it is a cinch to edit and refine to an individual user's taste. After all it is a style and all styles are easily modified.

Here is the code:

VBA Script:
Sub MarginTextStyle()
Dim styleName As String
Dim oStyle As Style

  styleName = "Margin Text"
  'Create/Setup the style
  For Each oStyle In ActiveDocument.Styles
    If oStyle.NameLocal = styleName Then GoTo Setup
  Next oStyle
  ActiveDocument.Styles.Add Name:=styleName, Type:=wdStyleTypeParagraph
Setup:
  With ActiveDocument.Styles(styleName)
    .AutomaticallyUpdate = False
    .BaseStyle = ""
    .NextParagraphStyle = "Normal"
  End With
  With ActiveDocument.Styles(styleName).Font
    .Size = 8
    .ColorIndex = wdAuto
  End With
  With ActiveDocument.Styles(styleName).ParagraphFormat
    .LineSpacingRule = wdLineSpaceSingle
    .WidowControl = False
    .KeepWithNext = True
    .KeepTogether = True
    .OutlineLevel = wdOutlineLevelBodyText
    .Shading.BackgroundPatternColor = wdColorLightYellow
    With .Borders
      .OutsideLineStyle = wdLineStyleSingle
      .OutsideLineWidth = wdLineWidth050pt
      .OutsideColor = wdColorAutomatic
      .DistanceFromTop = 1
      .DistanceFromLeft = 1
      .DistanceFromBottom = 1
      .DistanceFromRight = 1
      .Shadow = False
    End With
  End With
  With ActiveDocument.Styles(styleName).Frame   
    .TextWrap = True
    .WidthRule = wdFrameExact
    'Accomodate 1.25" margin.   Adjust to suit,
    .Width = 66
    .HeightRule = wdFrameAuto
    .RelativeHorizontalPosition = wdRelativeHorizontalPositionPage
    .RelativeVerticalPosition = wdRelativeVerticalPositionParagraph
    .HorizontalDistanceFromText = InchesToPoints(0.08)
    .VerticalDistanceFromText = InchesToPoints(0)
    .LockAnchor = False 
  End With
lbl_Exit:
  Exit Sub
End Sub

Site Note icon See: Installing Macros for instructions on how to set up and use the macros provided in this Microsoft Word Help & Microsoft Word Tips page.

After running the macro your template will contain a new style "Margin Text"

margin text 1

margin text 2

That's it! I hope you have found this tips page useful and informative.

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