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: Moving Captions with Pictures.

Moving Captions with Pictures

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 20, 2019)


Pet uses pictures and associated captions in his Word documents. The problem he is having is when he wants to move the picture the caption stays behind. Pete wonders how he can move a picture and caption at the same time.

How you should format your pictures and captions depends, largely, on how you are inserting your pictures and how you are positioning your captions. Are your pictures inserted inline or with text wrapping? Are your captions before or after your pictures? These are important questions.

Let's assume for a moment that you are inserting your pictures inline, instead of activating text wrapping. In this case, it doesn't matter if your captions are before or after your picture. All you need to do is make sure that you define a style for the paragraph in which the picture is inserted and make sure that you adjust the style for the caption's paragraph. If your caption is before your picture's paragraph, make sure that it is formatted to "keep with next." That way Word will always make sure that the caption and picture are on the same page. The same applies if the caption follows the picture; just make sure that the paragraph style you set up for your picture paragraph is formatted for "keep with next."

If your pictures have text wrapping turned on, things get a bit trickier. It generally doesn't work to have text wrapping on and your caption in the body of your document. In those cases it is essentially impossible to pair the two, and you will always be struggling with the caption (itself) wrapping around the picture.

Instead, insert a text box or a table, and use this device to help keep your figure and caption together. If using a text box, you can place the image within the text box with the caption either before or after the image, but also within the text box. If you choose to use a table, then you can use a two-cell table—one for the picture and the other for the caption. It is easy to then wrap the body text around the containing text box or table, and the two will always stay together.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9381) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Moving Captions with Pictures.

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. ...


Changing the Attached Template

Templates, when attached to a document, can greatly affect how that document looks. You can change from one template to ...

Discover More

Changing the Footnote Continuation Notice

When a footnote needs to span two printed pages, Word prints a continuation notice at the end of the footnote being ...

Discover More

Setting Vertical Alignment

Excel allows you to adjust not only the horizontal alignment of values in a cell, but also the vertical alignment. This ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Wrapping Text Around a Graphic

Place a graphic in your document, and you may want to make sure that your document text "wraps" around the edges of the ...

Discover More

Changing Compression Print Resolution

The resolution at which Word compresses graphics in a document may be bothersome. If it is, your options are very ...

Discover More

Changing the Size of a Drawing Object

Documents are often made up of more than just text. If you have drawing objects in your document, you will doubtless need ...

Discover More

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

View most recent newsletter.


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 4 + 7?

2019-08-20 16:29:20


Steve, et al,
I have tried the SHIFT+CLICK and CTL+CLK to active 2 different jpg images--worked fine. Group is grayed out in both Page Layout and Format . I have also made sure the images do not use In Line With Text position.
Thoughts anyone?

2019-08-20 09:36:29

Steven J. Van Steenhuyse

I have always used SHIFT-CLICK to select both the picture and the caption, then grouped them using the "Group" tool in the "Arrange" section of the Picture Tools tab. Word then treats them as a single picture object and you can move them together as desired. The text wrapping capabilities of pictures are a lot easier to use than the positioning options for tables, and creating and re-sizing text boxes seems more complicated than simply grouping the objects together.

2019-07-22 03:28:40


thank you very useful!!

2019-02-13 14:54:53


If all you want to do is copy/paste an image with it's caption use the Snipping Tool. Once inserted, move as desired.

2019-02-12 15:43:43


I appreciate this information. This problem has been bugging for a while. What is really frustrating, however, is that this seems to be a regression in Word features. In older versions of Word, if you selected an image and assigned a caption to it - the caption would always move with the image. It seems we are having to do extra work just to achieve the same (obviously wanted) result that Word used to do automatically.

2018-11-14 20:58:47


This saved me so much time! Thanks for the tip :)

2017-07-31 12:17:44


This seems like something a VBA Macro would be useful for.

Does anyone know of such a macro that would associate existing images and their captions together, placing them into a table or other type of "group"?

2016-07-18 13:05:38


On Ken's last point, I'm using a textboxes to float my rather large tables. I also lost automatic numbering on my captions but I've just realised word picks up the numbering again if you maintain the caption numbering of the table within the textbox. Maybe the same idea could work for canvases.

2016-06-25 07:20:20

Ken Endacott

If the image is floating (not an in line picture) then place the caption in a border less textbox and either group the image and textbox or place them both in a canvas. The group or canvas can then be given the desired wrapping style.
The group or canvas can be moved and both the image and caption will stay in the same relationship.
The disadvantage of this method is that automatic numbering of captions does not work.

2016-06-24 13:21:36


if you put the picture together in a text but it will not print you see it on screen but it blanks out on paper so this no longer works. any ideas on how to keep the pic and caption together if you are text wrapping? word 2010 will not let you group a pic with a text box

looks like tables it is but it is just not as clean and harder to float

2016-04-19 21:24:36

Ted Duke

I cannot explain why I did not see or hunt for this tip quite some time ago. The Text Box works quite nicely and can contain both image and caption, if it is sized larger than needed, then adjusted. I will also try the two-cell table option some time. I've only used a picture+text box once, so far, but I have more than a dozen documents in which I had struggled to achieve keeping photo and caption in place. Thanks for the tip.

2015-11-08 22:46:17



I am using Word 2007 for my PhD thesis. I have 250 pages of text and nearly 50 pages of full page figures.

Suppose full figure page (no text, except caption) is to be on page 5. I would like to know how to format in such a situation so that text from Page 4 continues on to page 6 without displacing the figure from page 5, or changing its page number.

I can't even imagine having to do all this manually. I'm sure there must be a solution. Do help.

2015-10-30 11:45:39

Word 2013 user

I am surprised to see that when I generate a caption as part of a picture (right click, Insert Caption), that even that does not stay with the picture if I change layout options to anything other than Inline. What up?

2015-06-29 09:11:07

Paul Stregevsky (formerly Maryland, USA)

"If you choose to use a table, then you can use a two-cell table—one for the picture and the other for the caption. It is easy to then wrap the body text around the containing text box or table, and the two will always stay together."

This works only if the two cells are side-by-side: 1 row, 2 columns. If your table is 2 rows, 1 column, the table can break between rows. Some Wordsmiths anchor the image in Row 1, using a "keep with next" style. But that won't work if your company, like mine, places the caption below a picture but above a table. So for tables and figures alike, I make the top row a header row. Yes, I'm saying that the figure lives in a header row.

2015-06-28 05:33:43

Ken Endacott

It sounds as though your pictures are a mixture of in-line pictures and floating (anchored). One (or more) of the pictures is in-line and when you move it is pushing the other pictures out of its way.

Right click on each picture and select Wrap Text then More Layout Options. In the Text Wrapping tab you will see highlighted the current Wrapping style.

What it doesn't tell you is that there are two different types of layout: In-line and all the others.

Make sure that all the pictures are anchored and have Tight wrapping. Then you can drag them without changing others provided that they don't overlap. You can also put text around the pictures but be aware that adding paragraphs above the anchor paragraph will push down the shapes below.

2015-06-28 01:31:34


hi help :)
i am using word 2010 - want to put many small images in rows (touching the pic before and after, above and under - i am so mad - i did it perfect for maybe ten rows and now one pic keeps jumping all over or rather makes all the other pics get out of the order i put them in - i read about anchors and dont really get it but the anchor for a lot of pics is one certain pic and when i try to put something next to the anchor pic is when trouble comes - this is making me so mad - i just want the pics to sit where i put them - i did square formatting on all pics and they are all 1.5 inches tall - please help me. There is NO TEXT on the document at all - just images/pics

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

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.