What you are dealing with is called the Drawing Canvas. You can find more on
using it effectively in Word Help.
If you prefer *not* using it, go to Tools>Options>General & remove the check
to Automatically create Drawing Canvas...
> In Office 97 and before, the drawing objects did not have the large box
> around them. You could just draw. I am having problems with my studnets in
> 2003 as when we select a shape and draw it, then try to place other shapes on
> top, they disappear and we are fighting with that outer drawing box. I liked
> it much better before. Is there a way to remove that box and not lose the
> objects and or layering?
> Frustrated with (IMPROVEMENTS)