Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Searching for Floating Graphics.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 2, 2016)
Word includes some commands and shortcuts that allow you to search for graphics in your documents. Unfortunately, those methods of searching are only good for finding inline graphics. If you want to find floating graphics, you are out of luck; since they are on the graphics layer and not in the actual document, Word pretty much ignores them.
There is a way you can find floating graphics using a macro, however. A macro can examine the floating graphics in your document and select each of them in turn. The following macro does just that:
Sub FindFigs() Dim varItem As Variable Dim bExists As Boolean Dim iShapeCount As Integer Dim iJumpTo As Integer ' ensure variable exists bExists = False For Each varItem In ActiveDocument.Variables If varItem.Name = "FigNum" Then bExists = True Exit For End If Next varItem ' initialize document variable if doesn't exist If Not bExists Then ActiveDocument.Variables.Add _ Name:="FigNum", Value:=0 End If ' figure to jump to iJumpTo = ActiveDocument.Variables("FigNum") + 1 ' get number of shapes iShapeCount = ActiveDocument.Shapes.Count If iJumpTo > iShapeCount Then iJumpTo = 1 If iShapeCount > 0 Then 'Display the shape ActiveDocument.Shapes(iJumpTo).Anchor.Select 'Select the shape ActiveDocument.Shapes(iJumpTo).Select End If 'Set the variable for next time ActiveDocument.Variables("FigNum") = iJumpTo End Sub
This macro uses a document variable to keep track of which graphic was last selected. If you need to search for floating graphics quite a bit, this means you can assign this macro to the Quick Access Toolbar or a shortcut key and search for each floating graphic in your document, in turn.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10442) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Searching for Floating Graphics.
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!
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