How to Position Images in a Word Document

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After you insert an image into a Microsoft Word document, you can tell Word how to position the image in your document. You may want to overlap photos or set a specific text-wrapping pattern. An imported image in Word is assigned square text-wrapping by default, but there are other options you can use to position an image just where you want it to appear in relation to the text on the page.

Using Layout Options in Word

In Word 2016 and Word 2013, you bring an image into Word by clicking the Insert tab and selecting Pictures. Then, you locate the image on your computer and click Insert or Open depending on your version of Word.

Positioning an image on the page in Word usually requires only clicking on it and dragging it where you want it. That doesn't always work because the text flow around the image may change in a way that doesn't look right for the document. If that happens, you use the Layout Options to position the image and control how the text flows around it. Here's how:

  1. Click on the image.
  2. Click the Layout Options tab.
  3. Choose one of the text wrapping options by clicking on it.
  4. Click the radio button in front of Fix position on page. (If you prefer, you can select Move with text instead.)

While you are in the Layout Options tab, look at the other options that are available to you as well.

Moving an Image or Group of Images Precisely

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

You can also move several images in this manner at once by first grouping them:

  1. Click the first image.
  2. Press the Ctrl key and hold it down while you click the other images.
  3. Right-click any one of the selected objects and select Group. Click Group.

Now, all the images can be moved as a group.

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

Overlapping Images in Word

It is not immediately apparent how to overlay photos in Word. However, setting two images to overlap is simple once you know where to look for the option. 

  1. Click on one image.
  2. Click the Layout Options icon.
  3. Click See more.
  4. In the Options group on the Position tab, select the Allow overlap check box.
  5. Repeat this process for each picture that you want to be able to overlap.

You may want to group the overlapping photos after you overlap them to your satisfaction, so you can move the unit as a single element in the document.