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MS Word -- Forcing a Picture to the Top of a Page:

Another request for MS Word help (with many thanks again to those who had responded to early requests): I need to insert some pictures into my document. Usually, pictures in Word go to a fixed place within the document, for instance between two paragraphs. Unfortunately, if the picture takes up, say, 2/3 of a page, then if it starts 1/3 of the way down a page or later, Word skips the rest of the page, so it can the picture at the start of the next page.

I'd like to do what one often sees in printed books -- a picture is forced to the top of a page, and the text wraps around it. That means the picture is no longer sure to be in between a couple of paragraphs, but that's fine; I can just refer to the picture by its figure number (if I include such a caption), or some other way. The important thing is that I don't get all that unnecessary white space just because the picture can't fit in one particular place in the middle of a page and therefore has to be moved to the top of the next page.

Any suggestions? Please post them to the comments. Many thanks!

kimsch (mail) (www):
insert your picture, then click on the picture to bring up the picture toolbar. (you can also right-click on a toolbar to get the list of available toolbars and choose picture toolbar from there). On the picture tool bar there is an icon (little dog on striped box) for text wrapping. Choose through. This will allow you to place the picture anywhere on the page that you wish. Then, to keep it where you put it, click on the format picture icon (just to the right of the text wrapping icon) choose the layout tab, click the advanced button, and on the picture position tab at the bottom click the lock anchor check box. Hope this helps.
5.4.2005 6:54pm
Chris C. (mail):
when the picture is inserted, right click on it and go to format picture->layout->Advanced options. Uncheck "Move with Text" and check "Lock anchor". Then it'll stay wherever you drag it. On the word wrap tab, you can select how the text conforms to the picture.
5.4.2005 7:01pm
Chris C. (mail):
Hmm, apparently I need to type much faster :P
5.4.2005 7:03pm
Nathan_M (mail):
Another, possibly easier, way is to right click on the picture, select "format picture", then go to the "layout" tab, select "advanced", and then under vertical alignment align the picture at the top of the page.
5.4.2005 7:20pm
The Editors (mail) (www):
I find Word behaves better if you insert a one-cell table, then put the picture into that.

Then do Table Properties > Text wrapping > Around
5.4.2005 7:48pm
Joe Slater (mail):
You can control the picture's placement directly by clicking on the picture to select it, then select Format/Picture from the menu at the top of the screen. One of the tabs says "Layout". Select that. There's a button on the bottom of the box which says "Advanced". Click on that. You now have the "Advanced Layout" dialogue box.

This box has two tabs: "Text Wrapping" and "Picture Position."
"Text Wrapping" lets you choose how the text flows around, under, or over the picture. The default is "in line with text" which means that the picture gets inserted wherever your cursor happened to be when you inserted the picture, and it moves as you add or remove text from before it. This is generally not what you want.

"Picture Position" lets you define exactly where you want the picture to appear. You can only alter it if you have selected anything other than "In line with text". You can then change the horizontal and vertical alignments separately, or even specify that the picture should appear at a precise location relative to the page, the margin, or a particular piece of text. Since you just want the picture at the top of the page you probably want to select "Vertical Alignment", "Top", "Relative to Margin". If you select "Relative to page" then it will appear outside the margins, which is probably not what you want.

Feel free to email me if your name is Eugene Volokh and you can't get this to work.
5.4.2005 10:17pm
Shivering Timbers (mail) (www):
Let me be the first to post with the utterly useless comment that if you need this kind of layout control, you probably shouldn't be using Word. Word is not a layout program. It is a fine word processor, but terrible at doing page layouts.

I used to struggle with exactly this kind of problem in Word all the time, putting together newsletters and reports. Then I started using a real layout program (Adobe InDesign) and all my problems went away.

This is an utterly useless comment beause you almost certainly won't switch software for three reasons: (a) the learning curve for something like InDesign is too steep for casual use (in my case, I was producing a book); (b) layout software typically costs $600 or more--though Apple has a new one which is supposed to be decent for casual use and not too expensive; and (c) whomever you're sending the document to probably requires Word format.
5.5.2005 12:10am
Anonymous Law Student:
We do our Law Review in Word, and it looks mighty pretty when we get done with it.

Of course, we also have a position dedicated to doing exactly that, rather than just dumping text into the body like so many other Reviews do.
5.5.2005 12:45am
pr (mail):
Another way is to insert a text box, and then insert the picture into that. Sometimes test boxes are easier to manipulate.
5.5.2005 5:38pm
Dean in Des Moines:
I second the text box method. It's the *only* way I'll use Word for graphics anymore.
5.6.2005 6:39pm