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 4, 2018)

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 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

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, 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

Identifying Merged Cells

Merging cells is a common task when creating worksheets. Merged cells can play havoc with the normal functioning of some ...

Discover More

Resizing a Text Box in a Macro

Text boxes are easy to add to a document and manually resize, as needed. If you want to resize the text box in a macro, ...

Discover More

Selecting to the Next Punctuation Mark

Writing macros often involves selecting different parts of your document so that some sort of processing can be ...

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)

Scaling Graphics in a Macro

If you need to make sure that the graphics in a document are all scaled similarly, you'll love the macros presented in ...

Discover More

Disappearing Graphics Groups

Grouping graphics together can be a great way to manage them easier. Doing the grouping, however, could have unintended ...

Discover More

Selecting a Graphic that is Behind Text

Position a graphic so that it is "behind" your text, and it may seem like you can no longer select the graphic. Here's ...

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 9 - 6?

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.