Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Using Object Anchors.

Using Object Anchors

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 2, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


When you insert a picture or other object in your Word document, and that object is set to float over text, Word maintains an internal "anchor" to indicate the paragraph with which the object is associated. Normally, the anchors aren't visible. You can make them visible, however, by following these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and later versions, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left of the dialog box click Display. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Display options of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Object Anchors check box is selected. (You don't need to select the check box if the Show All Formatting Marks check box is selected.)
  5. Click on OK.

Now, whenever you select an object that is floating over your text, Word displays an image of an anchor in the margin to the left of the paragraph with which the selected graphic is associated. If you want to change the association, drag the anchor to a different paragraph.

You should note that you can only work with object anchors if you are viewing your document in Print Layout (Page Layout) view.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6096) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Using Object Anchors.

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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