How Do I Lock a Photo in a Word Document So It Doesn't Move?

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Word's Layout Options tool gives you control over document image positions.
Image Credit: LENblR/iStock/GettyImages

Photos and graphics inserted in Microsoft Word documents automatically move with the text, shifting up or down as you add or delete new text to the page. Images that constantly slip out of position as you create, edit or format a document can cause havoc with your carefully crafted page layout. Overcome this problem in Microsoft Word 2013 documents by using the program's Layout Options feature, which locks images in a fixed position on the page and offers several text wrapping styles for flowing copy neatly around images.

Step 1: Print Layout Settings

Click the "View" tab on the main menu ribbon and then select the "Print Layout" button in the Views tool group. This first step is simply used to access the settings panel that makes it possible to lock pictures in Word documents. The ability to lock image settings is important for formatting and design in documents containing photos.

Step 2: Layout and Position

Click to select the image on the page. Click the "Layout Options" button that floats to the side of the selected image. The small button will expand into a menu with the layout controls specific to the image file on the page.

Step 3: Wrapping Text

Select your preferred text wrapping style in the With Text Wrapping section. Word offers several options including moving the image in front of text and behind text, or flowing text around the image with a square wrap, tight wrap or top and bottom wrap. Experiment with each setting until you're satisfied with the text and image layout on the page.

Step 4: Fix the Position

Click to select and enable the "Fix position on page" button. You must choose a text wrapping format from the With Text Wrapping section before enabling this option; the check box will stay grayed out if you select the In Line With Text setting in the Layout Options pane. Click the close button to exit the Layout Options pane.

Step 5: Test the Lock

Try editing or formatting the text on the page; the image should stay locked in position. However, the image might still jump to another page if you add large sections of text or other objects to the top of the current page. Word automatically anchors images and other objects to the text, so if you move the text with the anchor to the next page or a different part of the document, the image will move along with the anchor. Prevent images from jumping pages by moving the anchor to the top of the page each time you add a large block of text or other content.

The anchor is important however because it retains the formatting, spacing and placements. Always set the anchor first to ensure the layout and design remains intact while additional edits are made to the document.

Step 6: Drag the Anchor

Click to select the image and then click and drag the anchor to the first line of text on the page. Remember to move the anchor to the top of the page each time you add large passages of text or other objects.

Tip

If you can't select an image in the document, it is likely behind a passage of text or another object. Select the "Home" tab, click the "Select" button in the Editing tools group, choose "Selection Pane" from the drop-down menu and then click the picture in the Selection pane.

Apply your preferred text wrap style to all inserted images by setting it as the default option. Right-click the text wrap button in the Layout Options pane and then select "Set as Default."

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