Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 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: Disappearing Graphics Groups.

Disappearing Graphics Groups

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 23, 2019)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Word allows you to add graphics—of several different types—to your documents. In formatting your graphics, Word allows you to set different attributes, such as the size of your graphic and how text flows around it.

If you have a number of different graphics in your document, and you need to control the positioning of those graphics in relation to each other, you can use Word's grouping option, which allows a collection of graphics objects to be treated as a singular group. An easy way to do this is to select all the graphics you want in the group, right-click on one of the objects, choose Grouping, and then choose Group. When you do this, however, don't be surprised if your graphics group displays some odd behavior—it may even disappear completely!

The reason for this is that Word has some decisions to make when it treats previously individual items as a group. It is very likely that the pictures in the group had different attributes applied to them. For instance, each picture may have used a different text wrapping setting. When Word groups the pictures together, it doesn't know which wrapping option to apply, so it "guesses" and applies whatever it feels is appropriate. This same "guessing" can happen with other object properties, as well.

The result is that the graphic group may not be formatted exactly as you expect. In fact, the group may now even be anchored on a different page of your document, which would cause it to "jump" to that other page, instead of being displayed where you expected to see it.

The solution to this is to remember that once you group pictures, you need to change the formatting settings for the resulting group as a whole. One handy way to do this is to make sure you are in Print Layout view and choose a very small Zoom setting—perhaps something like 25% or 10%. Word displays all your pages, laid out side by side. You should be able to quickly see where your newly formed group disappeared to. At that point you can select the graphic group and format it as desired (pay close attention to the text wrapping for the group). You can even click on the group and drag it to a new page, if necessary.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8253) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Disappearing Graphics Groups.

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

Chopped Off Page Borders

Tired of your page borders not printing out as you expect? The problem could be due to any number of settings or ...

Discover More

Footnotes in Two Columns

When laying out how your printed pages will look, you might want to place your footnotes into more than one column. This ...

Discover More

Capitalizing after a Sentence Ending with a Number

Word tries its best to be helpful and correct what it thinks is wrong with your typing. One such correction is to ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Displaying Thumbnails and Full-Size Images

Sometimes images can be just too big to display in a document. Instead you may want to display a smaller, thumbnail-size ...

Discover More

Editing Wrap Points

If you have a graphic that has text wrapping around it, you might want a way to modify the wrapping path used by Word. ...

Discover More

Graphics and Line Height

If the in-line graphics in your document appear "chopped off," it could be directly related to the formatting within the ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 4 - 1?

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.

Videos
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.