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: Anchoring Objects by Default.

Anchoring Objects by Default

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 6, 2013)

2

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 unanchor 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 unanchor them. If you want the macro to only anchor and not unanchor, 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

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, and 2016. 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

Creating a Sort Order

Excel is very flexible in how it can sort your data. You can even create your own custom sort order that is helpful when ...

Discover More

Adding a Macro to the Quick Access Toolbar

One of the easiest ways to quickly access a macro is to assign it to the Quick Access toolbar. Here's how you can make ...

Discover More

Resizing an Image in a Document

When you first insert an image in a document, Docs tries to guess the best size for that image. Chances are good that ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Pictures Move on their Own

Insert some pictures into a document and you may be in for a surprise—they don't necessarily stay where you put ...

Discover More

Rotate a Graphic Using the Keyboard

Rotating a graphic using the mouse is rather easy. Rotating a graphic using the keyboard is a bit trickier. This tip ...

Discover More

Rotating Fractions in a Text Box

Rotating graphics in Word is not always straight-forward, but it can be done. This tip examines a special need to ...

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 five less than 7?

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.