How to Position Images in a Word Document

Use layout options to achieve the look you want

What to Know

  • Click and drag the image. To protect the text flow, select the image and go to Layout Options > Front of Text, Square, or Move With Text.
  • Precision-move an image: Press Ctrl and use the arrow keys. Group images: press Ctrl, click each image, right-click, and select Group.
  • Overlap images: Select an image and go to Layout Options > See more. Choose Allow overlap and select OK. Repeat as needed.

This article explains how to reposition an image after you insert it into a Microsoft Word document. For example, you may want to overlap photos or set a specific text-wrapping pattern. Instructions cover Word for Microsoft 365, Word Online, Word 2019, Word 2016, and Word 2013.

Use Layout Options in Word to Position Images

Positioning an image in Word usually requires only clicking it and dragging it where you want. That doesn't always work, however, because the text flow around the image may change in a way that doesn't look right for the document. If that happens, use the Layout Options to reposition the image.

  1. Select the image.

  2. Select Layout Options.

    An image in Word with the Layout Options icon highlighted
  3. Choose one of the text wrapping options. For example, if you want your picture to stay in a certain spot on the page in front of the text, select Front of Text and Fix position on page. If you want to wrap text around the image but have it move up and down on the page as needed, select Square and Move with text.

    An image in Word with the text wrapping options highlighted

Move an Image or Group of Images Precisely

To move an image a small amount to align it with another element in the document, select the image. Then, press and hold the Ctrl key while you press one of the arrow keys to move the picture in the direction you want it to go.

To move several images in this manner at once, first group the images. To do that, press and hold Ctrl while you click each image, then right-click and choose Group.

If you can't group the images, the images may be set to move inline with text. Go to the Layout Options and change the layout to any of the options in the With Text Wrapping section.

Overlap Images in Word

It's not immediately apparent how to overlay photos in Word. Here's how to do it:

  1. Select an image.

  2. Select Layout Options > See more.

    Layout Options in Word with the See More option highlighted
  3. Select the Allow overlap check box.

    Layout window in Word with the Allow Overlap option highlighted
  4. Select OK.

  5. Repeat this process for each picture you want to overlap.

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