Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Anchoring Objects by Default.

Anchoring Objects by Default

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 15, 2019)

3

Cal has problems with text boxes and arrows wandering all over the page. He wonders if there is a way to have anchors locked as the default, rather than having to lock the anchor for each text box and drawing shape he adds.

The short answer is that there is no way. The reason is that it doesn't make much sense to lock an anchor when most people don't leave objects anchored at the first place they are placed in a document. For instance, while you may be able to judge placement of a text box properly (and therefore have it be anchored from the get-go), chances are good that your arrows will need to be moved and adjusted after they are added. It doesn't do much good to anchor them until after that movement and adjustment has occurred.

The next best thing you can do is to create a macro that will anchor or un-anchor objects for you. The macro can then be added to the Quick Access Toolbar or a shortcut key so that you can select an object and simply toggle whether it is anchored or not. This saves tremendous time when you have lots of objects, as you won't need to go through the hassle of displaying dialog boxes and changing the anchor setting.

Sub ToggleShapeAnchor()
 If Selection.Type = wdSelectionShape Then
 For Each Shape In Selection.ShapeRange
  Shape.LockAnchor = Not Shape.LockAnchor
 Next
 End If
End Sub

Note that this is a true "toggle," meaning if the selected shape (or shapes) were previously anchored, running the macro will un-anchor them. If you want the macro to only anchor and not un-anchor, then use this macro, instead.

Sub AnchorShapes()
 If Selection.Type = wdSelectionShape Then
 For Each Shape In Selection.ShapeRange
  Shape.LockAnchor = True
 Next
 End If
End Sub

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7749) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Anchoring Objects by Default.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Understanding the At and Ln Indicators

Part of the helpful information that Word provides on the status bar is designated by the labels "At" and "Ln." Here's ...

Discover More

Checking for Either of Two Text Values

Using a formula to find information in a text value is easy. Using a formula to find either of two text values within a ...

Discover More

Changing the Maximum Undo Levels

Want to change the number of "undo" steps available when editing? You can't, because Word doesn't' really have a maximum. ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Absolutely Positioning a Graphic

Want a graphic to appear at a precise place on the page? It's easy to gain control by following the steps in this tip.

Discover More

Understanding "Through" Text Wrapping

Understanding how Word handles wrapping text around a graphic or other object is critical to getting the best page layout ...

Discover More

Keeping a Picture Title with the Picture

Pictures and their titles go together like peanut butter and jelly. (Wow, did I just say that?) Seriously, pictures and ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 0 + 4?

2018-07-28 07:58:16

Mickmmm

I just put this question to the MS community. But I think I read here that even running the macro takes just as much time as doing individual anchoring ...Not encouraging!


2015-05-12 17:31:28

kjh

I agree wit Ethan. I want my anchors for all objects on a page to be at the top of the page. Every time i move an object, the anchor oves to the bottom. Then when i type, the object moves. Leave my anchors alone. Let me move them when I need to. Miscosoft needs to get a clue.


2014-01-16 11:12:43

Ethan

I need to anchor each image as i put it in...Running the macro for each image takes as long as manually anchoring it...

I think there is a flaw in how the anchor is designed....the lock anchor option should only lock the anchor when you are dragging the image around...i should still be able to manually drag the anchor to another location even when locked...the only thing the lock anchor needs to do, it make it so the anchor doesn't move when the object is dragged

thoughts?


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.