Writer in LibreOffice 4.3 can have two kind of shapes: drawinglayer ones or
Writer TextFrames. (Let’s ignore OLE objects and Writer pictures for now.)
Drawinglayer shapes can be triangles (non-rectangular), rectangles can have
rounded corners and so on, but shape text is handled by editeng — the same
engine that is used for Impress shapes or Calc cells. OTOH a Writer TextFrame
can contain anything that is supported by Writer (Writer fields, styles,
tables, etc.), but its drawing capabilities are quite limited: no triangle,
rounded corners, etc. Together with CloudOn, we
thought the best would be to be able to have both, and started to use the
"shape with TextBox" term for this feature.
A user can already sort of to do this by creating a drawinglayer shape, then a
Writer TextFrame, and by setting the properties of the Writer TextFrame
(position, size, etc) to appear as if the TextFrame would be the shape text of
the drawinglayer shape. The idea is to tie these two objects together, so the
(UI and API) user sees them as a single object.