Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Editing Wrap Points.

Editing Wrap Points

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 26, 2016)


When you insert a picture in Word, it defines a series of "wrap points" around the picture. By default there are four wrap points that surround the perimeter of the picture, forming a rectangle. When you wrap text around the picture, the wrap points define how close the text can come to the picture.

If you want, you can create custom wrapping of text by editing the wrap points so they more closely reflect exactly what you want. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Insert your picture as you normally would, and make sure it is selected.
  2. Make sure the Format tab of the ribbon is displayed. (This tab is visible only if the picture is selected.)
  3. Click on the Text Wrapping tool in the Arrange group. Word displays a list of wrapping options.
  4. Choose Edit Wrap Points option. Word displays the wrap points around the picture. They are small black boxes. Each of the wrap points is connected with a small dashed red line.
  5. Move existing wrap points by clicking and dragging them to a new position.
  6. Add new wrap points by holding down the Ctrl key as you click on the dashed red line at the position where you want a wrap point. You can then drag the new wrap point to the desired position.
  7. Remove an existing wrap point by holding down the Ctrl key as you click on the wrap point.
  8. When done adjusting wrap points, click anywhere outside the picture. The wrap points disappear, and your text follows the texture you defined when you edited the points.

You should note that you will only be able to edit the wrap points of an image if you've set the wrapping for the image to the Tight setting. If set to some other type of wrapping, the Edit Wrap Points option will be "grayed out."

Finally, remember that when you work on an image in this way (by adjusting its properties) that image is typically in the foreground, meaning that it is layered in front of text. This isn't a big deal if your image is rectangular and the wrap points reflect that—there will be no conflict between the image and the text that wraps around the image. If, however, you adjust the wrap points so they are toward the center of the image, then the reflowed text will occupy the same space as the image. This can cause visual problems, but you might be able to alleviate those problems if you simply move the image behind the text. This should cause the text to "overlay" the image, and it may give you the effect you seek.

How you change other wrapping and layering settings has been covered extensively in other issues of WordTips.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6065) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Editing Wrap Points.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is 1 + 8?

2017-07-07 18:14:52

warren cancilla

Thanks, you're awesome

2017-04-13 06:24:46

John Greenshields

This doesn't work, can you help bring this to the attention of MS please?

2017-03-13 08:34:39


Hello - the wrap points do not appear to work in 2016, the points move but the image remains un-edited.

2016-11-04 15:33:51

Paul Stregevsky

To use this tip in Word 2013, make the picture's background transparent, as directed in this Microsoft workaround:

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