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Placing Text & a Picture Inside
a Microsoft Word "Text Box"

A reader called to ask how to insert a "Text Box" containing both text and an image into a Microsoft Word document.

Well, an image can be inserted into a Word document by clicking where you want the graphic to appear, and then by clicking Insert>Picture, followed by browsing to the target graphic. The image will then be treated just like any other alpha/numeric character, moving left or right with the deletion or addition of characters on either side.

In pre-2007/2010 versions of Word the picture can NOT be moved manually, nor can text be made to flow around it unless it's contained in a "Text Box."

To accomplish these tasks, a "Text Box" is needed, which can be moved at will. Any text or image inside the Box will move with it.

In Word 2007/2010, clicking on Layout will display options for aligning the picture to the left, right or center of a page, along with choices for flowing text around the picture. Beyond these options, you can mouse-grab the picture and fine-tune move it around on a page. You can even resize a picture by grabbing any corner and adjusting to your liking.

Click on any picture to see a "handle" at its top that can be used for rotating it to any angle you like. Clicking on "Compress" will reduce the file size of a picture, which will make the size of your Word file smaller -- but which may noticeably diminish the quality of the picture.

In pre-2007/2010 versions of Word, the above options work better if the picture is first enclosed in a "Text Box." Start by choosing an insertion point and clicking on Insert>Text Box.

In Word 2000 or earlier, when you click Insert>Text Box, your cursor will change to a small cross with which you can draw a rectangle of the approximate size and shape of the graphic to be inserted. The exact shape is unimportant, since the box can be reshaped and/or moved at will.

In Word 2002/2003, clicking Insert>Text Box will create a large "canvas" that says, "Create your drawing here." Well, drawing on this canvas would be the subject for another article. For now, clicking outside of the "canvas" will remove it and replace it with a Text Box.

Click inside it, choose Insert>Picture and get the image. When the picture appears inside the Text Box, it may or may not fit properly. However, both the box and its picture can be resized by grabbing any edge or corner and adjusting accordingly.

If you want to type a caption inside the box, it can be done by clicking the picture, and then clicking the "Center Alignment" button on the Word Toolbar. With the picture centered, your cursor can be placed to its upper left corner or to its lower right corner, whereupon you can begin typing.

Typing in the upper left will push the image to the right and downward to make room for the caption. To type below the picture, click its lower right, press Enter and begin typing.

To flow text around an enclosed picture, it's best to do the typing in the box first, followed by using the Insert>Picture steps described above.

When using a Text Box, its border appears as a thin black line around the picture. The line can be modified by clicking on it and choosing Format>Text Box>Colors & Lines. To make the border invisible, choose "No Line."

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