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: Vertical Alignment of an Inline Graphic.

Vertical Alignment of an Inline Graphic

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 27, 2021)


Robert notes that when he places an inline graphic in his document that is taller than a single line of text, the text defaults to being aligned with the bottom of the graphic. He wonders if it is possible to change that so the text is either center- or top-aligned with the graphic.

The effect that Robert is noticing is the default behavior for inline graphics, although the cause he cites is backwards—it is actually the graphic that defaults to bottom alignment with the text, not the text with the graphic. So the solution involves adjusting the vertical positioning of the graphic.

Word treats inline graphics as a single character. You can change the vertical alignment of an inline graphic by treating it as you would any other single character with a vertical position you'd want to adjust. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the inline graphic by clicking on it once.
  2. Display the Font dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Character Spacing tab is displayed. (In Word 2010 and Word 2013, Character Spacing is found in the Advanced tab.) (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Character Spacing tab of the Font dialog box.

  5. Using the Position drop-down list, choose Lowered.
  6. Enter a value in the By box, to the right of the Position control, that represents the number of points by which you want to lower the graphic.
  7. Click OK.

You may need to play with the value entered in the By box (step 5) to get just the look you want. The value you use will depend on the size of the graphic whose position you are adjusting and the characteristics of the font used in the paragraph.

If Word won't display the Font dialog box (step 2), then there are two possible reasons. First, your graphic may not really be inline. In order to follow the rest of the steps, you'll need to convert it to an inline graphic, as described in other WordTips. The other possible cause is that some graphics cannot, for whatever reason, be positioned as described here. If that is the case, you'll need to change to one of the non-inline graphics options, set the wrapping, and adjust the vertical position manually. If you need to do this, you may find it easier to insert the graphic into a text box before doing your positioning.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9827) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Vertical Alignment of an Inline Graphic.

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. ...


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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 3 - 3?

2021-07-09 16:13:31


Two users in this forum mentioned a keyboard shortcut to get the Font dialogue box. One is CTRL+SHIFT+F and one is CTRL+D and indeed, both work. However, if you have an image selected and use CTRL+D, it actually duplicates the image. The only way that shortcut works is if your cursor is flashing (no image selected). HTH

2020-10-07 16:08:31

Dávid Laczkó

Tip: one doesn't need to play with the right value for Position, if one wants to line the top of the image with the top of the text - it is coming from the height of the image. Right-click on the image and choose Size & position, and copy the height value. Even if the unit of measure (UOM) is different here from the one at Position, paste it there and after saving, if you re-check the value it is converted. I don't know if one can change with any setting the UOM at Position, but it is better to have pt as the font is usually also in pt. This makes it easier the next step: as now the top of the image is lined up with the bottom of the text, one needs to adjust the value at Position: subtract the font size of the paragraph and save again.

2020-09-29 02:10:44


This was genuinely helpful. Thank you

2020-09-08 09:47:55

Vincent Hradil

I find it amazing and unconscionable that this was written in 2016 and it is still the solution. Why can I not just format an inline image to align its top with the line of text? If I have several small images, why do I have to adjust each one by hand and re-adjust until it looks right? Sure, I can just anchor them to a position on the page, but I want them to flow inline with the text. It just shouldn't be this hard.

2020-07-13 16:52:25

Jake Jones

A friend just sent me this article. I used to own Allen Wyatt International. My late partner's middle name was Allen and mine is Wyatt. My grandmother's maiden name was Wyatt. I currently own Ann Wyatt International. Ann is my wife's middle name. :)

2020-05-29 14:29:32

Nina Panzica

Perfect. As with so many of your tips for finding these hidden features, this still works in later versions of Word, including 365.

2020-01-23 17:26:48


Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!

2020-01-11 17:45:19


Very helpful, thanks

2019-11-27 00:36:15


That, my friend, was superb. You are the best of all.

2019-10-23 08:49:47


@ Allan: many thanks yet again for making my life easier - this time in Word.

@Mike: In Word (or an Outlook message in Word format) Ctrl-D should bring up the Font dialogue shown above.
Alternatively, left click the small arrow at lower right of the Font section of the ribbon - circled in red in the figure (see Figure 1 below) .

P.S. This is my third attempt to add an image to my comment; I have not been prompted for a file to upload (W10, Firefox). This time I copied the characters from below, pasted them into my comment and made sure that there was a space on either side. It seems to have worked. My apologies for the duplication of the comment.

Figure 1. 

2019-09-23 03:59:56

Alin Catană

On MAC doesn't apply. The font dialog box isn't available when you select the inline (In Line With Text) image. Any advice?

2019-03-13 17:52:28


...and how do you display the Font dialog box? Microsoft keeps changing things and moving things around, there is no obvious button to click for opening a Font dialog box.

2018-07-30 05:11:02


This is fantastic. I've been looking for a solution for this for ages :D

2017-10-25 10:49:36


I've been trying to figure this out forever. Thanks!!

2017-03-26 15:25:47


Thank you!

2017-02-10 11:53:58

Jim Casey

Excellent. Exactly what I needed. Thank you.

2016-12-05 23:26:30


Thank you so much!!! This worked perfectly.

2016-11-08 19:08:27

Tom Kenyon

This worked perfectly. When I chose Lower from the Postion Drop Down List, it auto-defaulted to 3 which was just the right alignment with the text in my Word doc. Thanks.

2016-09-13 10:28:13


Whilst this does achieve the desired look I find it hard to believe there isn't a proper way rather than guessing the amount to lower an image by...

It's akin to horizontally aligning with spaces instead of tab indents!

2016-08-10 16:20:24

Vladimir Ramos

Finally I find someone else with this doubt, I've been trying to align the text to the center of the Inline Graphic, but I couldn't :(

Until one day it just happened, by itself. I don't know how but it has nothing to do with the Character spacing, the text aligned exactly to the center of the graphic, I changed the size of the graphic the text kept aligned to the center. Please someone help me...

2016-05-13 08:53:46


A small but time-saving improvement on Dave's tip: hitting "ctrl-shift-f" after selecting the image will get you the font dialog without the workaround of having to add spaces.

2016-05-11 08:15:09

Vladimir Turnsek

You, Mister, rock!

2016-03-17 08:47:05


With many inline graphics, Word refuses to display the font dialog if you've selected ONLY the graphic. But if you select both the graphic AND some adjacent text - just a space will do - then it plays ball and allows to to adjust the positioning as you describe.

You can then delete the bit of text or reset its positioning to normal, and the graphic stays lowered.

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