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Easily Insert Graphics in Microsoft Word: Control How Text Wraps Around Your Media

The first thing to do is open the toolbars that give you control over the graphic functions. Click View, Toolbars and select Drawing, Picture and WordArt from the menu. The Picture toolbar is free-floating. To keep it anchored in one spot, click and drag it to the Drawing toolbar at the bottom of your page.

Insert Image

Using the Drawing toolbar allows one-click access to inserting WordArt, organizational charts, clip art or pictures in your documents.

Click the Clip Art icon, search for, select and insert a piece of clip art. Don’t worry about where it appears in the document for the moment. To make the graphic work well with your text you have to select how the two will work together.

Right-click on the graphic and select Format picture. In the Format Picture dialogue box, select Layout. The “dog” pictures illustrate the various options available. Click Tight, then OK. This option allows the text to wrap around the exact shape of the graphic. Now you can move the graphic anywhere you want in the document.

Add a Caption

Click the Text Box icon on the Drawing toolbar. Type your text in the box that appears. Don’t worry about the shape of the box until all the text is filled in. Reduce or enlarge the size of box by clicking one of the corner drag handles (these appear as small circles). Once the shape of the box fits your text, click the box and drag it below the graphic.


Grouping Keeps Graphic Elements Together

With your text box still selected, hold the Shift key and click the graphic. You will see the drag handles for both the graphic and the text box appear. Right-click on the graphic, select Grouping, then Group from the pop-up menu. You’ll notice you can Ungroup and Regroup items if you need to make changes to the text or graphic later on. Now Right-click again and Format the Object. Select the Tight option and click OK. Your text will wrap in the shape of both the graphic and the text box and you have the ability to move the group anywhere you want in the document.

That’s it; nice and easy. No more frustration with graphics seeming to have a mind of their own when you insert them in Word.


Menus and steps outlined here are done in Word 2003. Most versions of Word should use the same steps outlined. Use Help in your version to find any menus or dialog boxes that differ from the ones depicted.


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