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How to move pictures in Microsoft Word

You can insert an image in a Microsoft Word document. In fact, you can insert, edit, and format as many images as you want. The app has plenty of tools for formatting the document but you will find that images often create problems. When you move an image around, it generally upsets the format and placement of everything else in the document.

move pictures in Microsoft Word

Move pictures in Microsoft Word

Moving pictures in Microsoft Word is tricky. If you do not know what layout has been applied to the image, you will not be able to move it without disrupting the format of the rest of the document.

Picture layouts in Microsoft Word

The layout of a picture determines how the picture will appear relative to text. The different layouts for a picture are:

In line with text: The image will appear on its own line next to text. If the image is large i.e., its height exceeds the line height, it will push the next line down to accommodate itself. 

With text wrapping – Move with text: The image will appear in the middle of text i.e., text will adjust around the image instead of giving it its own line. If the image height exceeds the line height, the next line will appear next to it and the image will not push the next line down to accommodate its own height. If it’s set to Move with text, the image will automatically adjust its position when you add or remove text e.g. if you add a new line before the image, it will move down. 

With text wrapping – Fix position on the page: The image will appear in the middle of text. If the image height exceeds the line height, the text will appear around it instead of being pushed down to the next line to accommodate the image. If you set the image to a fixed position on the page, adding or removing the text will not push the image up or down. Instead, it will remain where you placed it and only the text will move.

Text wrapping options

There are additional text wrapping options that you can access. They allow you to choose how text appears around an image that it is set to wrap around.

  1. Select an image in the document.
  2. Click the wrapping tool.
  3. Click See more.
  4. In the window that opens, go to the Text Wrapping tab.
  5. For the Square, Tight, Through wrapping options, you can choose which side of the image the text will appear.
  6. For the Behind text option, the text will ‘write over’ the image.
  7. For the In front of text option, the text will write ‘behind’ the image.

How to move pictures in Microsoft Word

Pictures in Microsoft Word can be moved by dragging and dropping. The key is to set the correct layout for it. To change the layout, and then move an image, follow these steps.

  1. Open a Microsoft Word document.
  2. Click on the line you want to add an image to.
  3. Go to Insert>Picture.
  4. Select an image and add it to the document.
  5. Resize/crop/edit the image.
  6. Click the image so that it is selected.
  7. Click the layout icon or go to Picture Format tab on the ribbon.
  8. Select a layout or wrap text option.
  9. Click the image, and drag and drop it where you want it to appear.
  10. The image will be moved. Text will adjust around it.


If, when you move an image, it disrupts the formatting of everything else in a document then the layout for the image has been set to In line with text. To prevent the image from disrupting the format, choose the Wrap around text layout. You will then be able to move the image around without upsetting the other elements of the document. You may still have problems with tables since the table height will change to accommodate the image but to work around that, you should change the table’s properties. 

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