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Monday, August 19, 2019

Images in Microsoft Word

Can you make images in Word stay where you put them on the page? If you have ever inserted a picture or chart in a Word document and then continued to edit it, you have likely experienced your image, technically called an object in Word, jumping around. This occurs with any floating object.

Word has two types of objects: inline and floating. Inline objects stay where you put them, but you cannot flow text around them. They act like a single, big text character. They even change the line height of the line they are on. If you insert the object between two words on a line, the line will split there. If the object is narrower than the distance between the split point and the right margin, the rest of the line will be placed at the lower right corner of the object.

Floating objects are the ones that jump around. The reason they jump is because the paragraph to which they are anchored (attached to) moves to a different page. It may move to the previous page if text above the anchor paragraph is deleted. Or it may move to the next page if text was inserted above that paragraph. This "jumping" may occur even if you have the setting "Fix position on page" selected. Because that setting fixes the position on the page it is on, so if it jumps to the next or previous page, it will be at the same place on the new page.

So why do the objects move? Because the rule is that the object (picture, chart, SmartArt, shape, etc.) must be on the same page as the paragraph to which it is anchored. This rule cannot be changed. You can see which paragraph an object is anchored to by selecting the object: a small anchor symbol will be shown in the left margin. (If you do not see it, click the File tab on the ribbon, then select Options. In the Word Options dialog box, select Display from the left sidebar and click the checkbox beside "Object anchors" in the right pane.)

The anchor can be moved independently of the object by dragging and dropping the anchor on a different paragraph. Again, the paragraph must be on the same page as the object.

Here are two different strategies that minimize the chance of your object (e.g., a picture) moving.

  1. Write all the text of your document and then insert your pictures where you want them.

  2. Drag the picture to where you want it. Select the picture. Find its anchor. Drag the anchor to the first paragraph on the page so that if you add text or more pictures above that paragraph, it will have to move down the entire page before it flows to the next page and takes the picture with it.

Strategy #1 will definitely work since you will not be editing your text heavily after inserting your pictures. Strategy #2 will help, but the bottom line is that if you continue to edit your document after inserting the pictures, nothing will ensure that they will not move. But understanding that it's the picture being connected to a text paragraph that is causing the movement may help you minimize it.

BTW, I'm thinking about writing a complete tutorial about this. If you would be willing to pay $3.00 for such a tutorial, as an 8 to 10 page printed booklet, send me an email at the address below.

posted at: 12:04 | path: /windows | permanent link