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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
© Copyright 1996-2021 by Barry MacDonnell. All Rights Reserved.

Page updated Nov 27, 2018

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Using boxes to cover up dividing lines between columns in newsletters or similar document styles in WordPerfect 8+.

This tip can also be used to span columns with text or an image; cover up text, parts of a table, clip art; etc.
A WordPerfect user in a Corel newsgroup asked:
"I want to put a text box [Insert, Text Box] that spreads across two columns [Format, Columns].

I have a line between columns. I cannot get the line between the columns to go behind the text box ... Any ideas?"
The answer, taken from the Corel Knowledge Base:

"To force the center column border line to stop at the borders of a graphic box:

1. Right-click the [de-selected] image [or text box] and choose "Wrap".

2. Make sure the wrap is set to "Square" and click "OK".

3. Right-click the image and choose "Border/Fill".

4. Click on the "Fill" tab and choose the solid black option (100% Fill) from the Available Fill Styles.

5. Set the Foreground and Background colors to White and click "OK".
Details: Changing the background from transparent to a 100% white fill will force the border line to stop at the graphic box edges."

Editor note: The line will still show through any graphic image caption that might span the line.
Tip: If you want to attach the text box to a Character rather than the program's default of Paragraph (or even Page), it will require a somewhat different method. See Footnote 1 below.

Notes and tips

¤  Since this is a textbox it can act as a "container" for other things besides covering up underlying material. You can use this technique to place text in the box (such as a "pull quote" in a different font) to span columns or even a graphic image -- with or without additional text adjacent to the image.

    [Sample with text]     [Sample with picture]

Note that adding automatically numbered captions to images and then pasting the image into a text box results in the captions being omitted. An alternative is to just use a regular picture plus some text (as in the second sample above), plus an optional counter.

¤  You may want to try different combinations of box border, fill pattern, foreground and background colors, etc. Also, the Advanced tab in the Box Border/Fill dialog allows you to set the inside and outside spacing for the text box, rounded corners, drop shadows, etc. Spacing will enhance appearance by adjusting white space around the text inside and outside the text box border.

¤  If everything looks okay onscreen but the column line still shows through the graphic box when printed, the problem may be with the printer (as it was with my HP Laserjet 4P). If you select File, Print, Details (or Advanced), then check the "Print text as graphics" box, the text box will cover the column line -- assuming you followed the 5 steps above first. It may also help to set the printer resolution to maximum.

Alternative "cover-up" (only) method

In WordPerfect 8 (c.1997) and later versions you may be able to use a graphic box (rectangle, rounded rectangle, etc.) to do the same thing as the text box method above:

1. Click Insert, Shapes, Basic, then choose the shape you want. Click OK.

2. Your cursor has changed to a cross. Drag it to create a box.

3. On the property bar you can set the Fill Style (100% solid), Foreground Color (White), Background Color (White), and Line Pattern (None).

4. Drag the box over the area you wish to be hidden and resize the box as needed. You may also want to set the text Wrap, too.

Footnote 1

Using a text box attached to a Character to cover (occlude) other material at that location

[Continued from the method section above; note that WordPerfect's "Wrap" feature is not used in the method below (and might even be counterproductive):]

Create a text box with Insert, Text Box.

Then -

[1.] Enter the desired text into the text box. Resize the box if desired with the small square “drag buttons” around the edges of the box.

[2.]  Click anywhere outside the box to de-select it.

[3.]  Right-click directly on the box and choose “Position” from the context menu that appears. In the Box Position dialog that appears you can attach the box to either the “Paragraph” (the program default), “Page,” or a “Character”.

Assuming “Attach box to: Character” is chosen:

Several radio buttons allow specific placement on the line or page – 7 vertical positions and 2 horizontal ones. Choose the vertical position you want to use, such as “Bottom on baseline”.

Un-tick the checkbox at the bottom of the dialog,, “Box changes text line height” to disable that option. Click OK.

[4.]  Right-click on the box again and choose “Border/Fill”. In the Box Border/Fill dialog choose the Fill tab at the top of the dialog, click the solid black Fill style (100% fill), and then click the Foreground button and set the color to white. Click OK.

Optional: You can set the box’s inside and outside spacing. Just right-click on the box again and use the “Border/Fill” choice’d Advanced tab. Similarly you can change or remove the border using the Border tab.

[5.]  If the box is not currently selected, right-click on the box and choose “Select Box”. Then  drag the box by its perimeter (use the 4-headed arrow cursor that appears in the border area) into the desired position on the document page. Click outside the box to de-select it.