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: Positioning Graphics Evenly.

Positioning Graphics Evenly

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 28, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


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Sometimes you may need to position graphics evenly within a document. For instance, you may have four small graphics that will appear next to each other. You may want to make sure that the graphics are an equal distance from each other. To do this easily, follow these steps:

  1. Using the mouse, roughly position the graphics where you want them to appear. You should make sure that the left-most graphic is where you want it, as is the right-most graphic.
  2. Select all four graphics.
  3. Display the Format tab of the ribbon.
  4. Click the Align tool in the Arrange group.
  5. Choose Distribute Horizontally from the resulting submenu. Word positions the two inside graphics so that all four graphics are an equal distance from each other.

There is one caveat to keep in mind: Not all graphic objects can be aligned in this manner. The reason for this is not entirely clear; one would think that it would be relatively easy to adjust the distribution of graphic elements regardless of their type. But if the objects are not "alignable," the Distribute Horizontally option is grayed out. And, to make matters more circular, the only way to discover if an object is alignable is to try it and see if the option is grayed out.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11815) 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: Positioning Graphics Evenly.

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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What is 3 + 7?

2023-02-28 13:11:11

Janet

OR use a four-cell, single row table. Place the graphics in individual cells formatted to be inline with text. Use paragraph and cell format options to align the figures properly.


2021-03-22 11:34:19

Emi Stuemke

I think I finally figured out why the "distribute" options are grayed out sometimes. You have to select your images and choose "align to page" or "align to margin" first. If you can't distribute them, they're aligned to other objects rather than to page elements.


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