Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 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: Stopping Text from Jumping Around.

Stop Graphics and Text from Jumping Around

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 24, 2020)

13

Deborah had some problems with a drawing object (a block arrow) placed behind the text of a table with rows of fixed width. When Deborah would try to nudge the arrow into position, the text would jump around, even after setting the Wrapping Style for the object to Behind Text.

The first thing to check, of course, is that the wrapping style didn't somehow get inadvertently changed. Select the block arrow, display the Shape Format tab of the ribbon, click the down-arrow at the right of the Send Backward tool (in the Arrange group), then choose Send Behind Text. If this is the setting that was already made, then the next thing to check is where the object is anchored. Follow these steps if you are using Word 2010 or a later version:

  1. Display the File tab of the ribbon, then click Options. Word displays the Word Options dialog box.
  2. Click Display at the left side of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Display options of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. Select the Object Anchors check box.
  5. Click on OK.
  6. In Print Layout view, select the shape (the block arrow). The object anchor for the shape should appear—it looks like an anchor.
  7. Click on the object anchor—not the actual block arrow—and move the anchor until it is located to the left of a paragraph that will remain constant in the document. A good choice would be to place it to the left of the paragraph just before the table or just after the table, depending on which one will be on the same page as the table.
  8. Right-click the object (the block arrow) and choose More Layout Options from the resulting Context menu. Word displays the Layout dialog box.
  9. Make sure the Position tab is selected. (See Figure 2.)
  10. Figure 2. The Position tab of the Layout dialog box.

  11. Make sure the Move Object With Text check box is selected.
  12. Make sure the Lock Anchor check box is selected.
  13. Make sure the Allow Overlap check box is selected.
  14. Click on OK to close the Layout dialog box.

If you are using Word 2007, the steps are slightly different:

  1. Click the Office button and then click Word Options. Word displays the Word Options dialog box.
  2. Click Display at the left side of the dialog box. (See Figure 3.)
  3. Figure 3. The Display options of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. Select the Object Anchors check box.
  5. Click on OK.
  6. In Print Layout view, select the shape (the block arrow). The object anchor for the shape should appear—it looks like an anchor.
  7. Click on the object anchor—not the actual block arrow—and move the anchor until it is located to the left of a paragraph that will remain constant in the document. A good choice would be to place it to the left of the paragraph just before the table or just after the table, depending on which one will be on the same page as the table.
  8. Right-click the object (the block arrow) and choose Format AutoShape from the resulting Context menu. Word displays the Format AutoShape dialog box.
  9. Make sure the Layout tab is selected. (See Figure 4.)
  10. Figure 4. The Layout tab of the Format AutoShape dialog box.

  11. Click Advanced. Word displays the Advanced Layout dialog box. (See Figure 5.)
  12. Figure 5. The Advanced Layout dialog box.

  13. Make sure the Move Object With Text check box is selected.
  14. Make sure the Lock Anchor check box is selected.
  15. Make sure the Allow Overlap check box is selected.
  16. Click OK to dismiss the Advanced Layout dialog box.
  17. Click on OK to close the Format AutoShape dialog box.

At this point you should still see the object anchor, but a little padlock appears next to it to indicate that it is locked. Now you should be able to adjust the positioning of the block arrow itself without your text jumping around.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10075) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Stopping Text from Jumping Around.

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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Comments

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What is 2 + 8?

2020-11-14 15:08:29

David Faubion

Thank you Tips.net c/o Allen Wyatt for your site work.

I have some documents with a text box running the length of nearly all of the pages (on the far right side of the page). How do I prevent Word 2016 from moving the text boxes from one page to the next and from moving text from one box to the box on the next page? I have the HORIZONTAL POSITION set to PAGE and the VERTICAL POSITION set to PARAGRAPH. What is the correct setting to prevent movement? (I'd rather not use 'trial and error', due to the time it will take.)

David Faubion


2020-10-19 08:23:25

Jennifer Thomas

I write instruction handouts and use a lot of graphics, so I wanted to share some macros I use to make this easier - Allen has instructions on how to get this into your copy of Word, so look it up if needed. I actually embedded these in the VBA of the template I use and assigned them to a custom toolbar for that template, which is even faster than using the Developer tab, so if you know to work with templates then I recommend that.

1. Click in the paragraph you want as the anchor, paste your image, select it, then run this - it sets the wrapping to square and locks the anchor to the paragraph.

Sub Graphic_SquareLocked()
Dim myShape As Shape

If Selection.InlineShapes.Count > 0 Then
Set myShape = Selection.InlineShapes(1).ConvertToShape
ElseIf Selection.ShapeRange.Count > 0 Then
Set myShape = Selection.ShapeRange(1)
Else
MsgBox "Please select a picture first."
Exit Sub
End If

With myShape
.WrapFormat.Type = wdWrapSquare
.WrapFormat.DistanceLeft = InchesToPoints(0.03)
.LockAnchor = True
End With
End Sub

2. In case you get a graphic anchored to the wrong paragraph, select it and then use this to unlock the anchor (then drag the anchor to the desired paragraph and run this again to lock it).

Sub Graphic_ToggleShapeAnchor()
If Selection.Type = wdSelectionShape Then
For Each Shape In Selection.ShapeRange
Shape.LockAnchor = Not Shape.LockAnchor
Next
End If
End Sub

3. If you like your pictures consistently sized, aligned right (to the margin), locked to the paragraph and bordered, you could use something like this - change the image size in different copies of this to allow for small or larger images based on your space & the image itself:

Sub Graphic_2()
Dim myShape As Shape

If Selection.InlineShapes.Count > 0 Then
Set myShape = Selection.InlineShapes(1).ConvertToShape
ElseIf Selection.ShapeRange.Count > 0 Then
Set myShape = Selection.ShapeRange(1)
Else
MsgBox "Please select a picture first."
Exit Sub
End If

With myShape
.WrapFormat.Type = wdWrapSquare
.WrapFormat.DistanceLeft = InchesToPoints(0.03)
.LockAnchor = True
.LockAspectRatio = True
.Width = InchesToPoints(2)
.RelativeHorizontalPosition = wdRelativeHorizontalPositionColumn
.Left = wdShapeRight
.Line.Weight = 1
End With
End Sub

This saves me hours of time - I hope you find it useful!


2019-01-01 17:07:30

nunya

I think I have an even newer version of Word so none of this is working can anyone help me out?


2018-09-20 09:24:41

grayg ralphsnyder

Allen - Thank you - perfect - got me back to work in 10-seconds getting things done. Those guys at microsoft can't give a straight answer to save their lives.


2018-02-08 12:31:45

mzk1

Similarly, in section B, step 8 (the same item) the wrong boxes are checked.

P.S. Would it help to also click on "set as default ..."?


2018-02-08 12:23:39

mzk1

You need to modify the sreenshot in section A, step 9, to check Move Object with Text as in the text.


2017-09-21 08:23:10

Alison

Thanks so much - this really helped. I didn't know I could lock my anchor and move my object. Jumping text is a problem I have had with a number of my tables. Thanks.


2015-09-15 11:19:17

Armando Brons

Sorry (I am 84 years old) I could not find in my Word 2010 Doc in the Print Layout View, neither the (block arrow) nor the object anchor...

When I click "tabs" in any part of the doc, the cursor jumps to the end of the doc...


2015-09-08 13:53:53

Connie Goss

John Beckett, I checked again and you are right, Figure 4 is fine. Sorry for my incorrect comment. I did still have to go though "Wrap Text" to get to "More Layout Options" in Word 10. Anyway, I am just happy to have found this tip. It has saved my sanity.


2015-09-04 06:18:37

John Beckett

When I've made a useful template (for my regular requirements) [EG: template for Avery Labels L7160] how can I get it to save as a W.2013 template and join the pages of NEW on-line DOCUMENT TEMPLATES which are displayed on offer?


2015-09-04 06:05:58

John Beckett

I agree with Connie Goss. I've saved all the Word Tips in a special folder and used most of them, however, my copy of Word 2013 shows exactly what Fig.4 shows!


2015-09-03 09:56:11

Paul Stregevsky

Can someone explain the purpose of "Allow overlap"? I've always kept that checkbox clear. When you select it, doesn't that make the figure or table overlap with your body text--a feature we seldom want?


2015-09-02 17:18:40

Connie Goss

Thank you, this is very helpful. However I think you have the wrong picture for Figure 4, and there is one more step for Word 10 users - from the context menu you have to select "Wrap Text" before you can get to "More Layout Options..."

That being said - your website has been an absolute godsend to me! You would not believe how many problems you've help me solve. Thank you for all your great work.


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