Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Automatically Formatting Graphics and AutoShapes.

Automatically Formatting Graphics and Shapes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 31, 2013)

When creating a document that includes graphics and/or shapes, you can spend quite a bit of time formatting. Getting graphics and their surrounding text to appear "just right" can be very time consuming. After a couple of formatting sessions, you may long for a way to set some sort of defaults that Word will automatically apply to all your graphics and shapes.

When it comes to graphics in general, there is no way to set any formatting defaults, with one exception—you can set the default wrapping style 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 Word 2013 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the dialog box click Advanced.
  3. Scroll through the options until you see the Cut, Copy, and Paste section. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The advanced options of the Word Options dialog box.

  5. Use the Insert/Paste Pictures As drop-down list to set your desired insertion style.
  6. Click OK.

Beyond this you can record a macro that applies your common graphic formatting options. This macro could then be used to format other graphics after you insert them in your document.

You have more options when it comes to shapes. Word allows you to define default formatting settings for shapes by following these general steps:

  1. Insert a shape that you typically use.
  2. Format the shape as you normally would.
  3. Right-click the shape. Word displays a Context menu.
  4. Select Set AutoShape Defaults. (An AutoShape is the old name for what Word now calls, simply, shapes.)

These steps set defaults for the current document. If you want to set the defaults for all documents based on a particular template, load the template itself and perform the steps. Similarly, if you want to set the defaults for all documents, load the Normal template and perform the steps.

You should realize that setting the shape defaults in this manner does not affect all formatting settings for subsequent shapes. In general, these steps set the defaults that appear on the ribbon and the Layout tab of the Format AutoShape dialog box. Settings on other tabs, such as size, aspect ratio, and rotation, are not affected and must be set on a shape-by-shape basis.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8062) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Automatically Formatting Graphics and AutoShapes.

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

Adding Page Numbers

Ever want to add page numbers to your document? Word allows you to control many aspects of page numbering. Here's how to add ...

Discover More

Saving in Document Format from a Macro

Saving a document in a different format is easy if you are manually using the Save As command. Saving a document in an ...

Discover More

Changing the Type of Page Numbers Used in Headers or Footers

Like to have your page numbers displayed using different types of numbers? Here's how you can choose from the several ...

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)

Selecting a Graphic Behind a Text Box

How to select a graphic that is obscured by a text box can be perplexing. Here's an overview of the different ways you can ...

Discover More

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Nothing beats a screen shot when you are trying to convey information about using the computer. With just a couple of easy ...

Discover More

Problems Pasting Large Pictures

If you insert a large picture in your document and your text jumps all around and the picture seems to disappear, don't ...

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 8Mpixels. 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 7 - 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.