Why can’t I get my pictures to go where I want?

Aug 25, 2022 | Word Hints and Tips

When working with pictures in Microsoft Word many people have a lot of frustration.  When you try and move the pictures they just won’t go where you want them to go and they seem to have a mind of their own!!  There are a couple of key things to be aware of when working with pictures that will help you to get them positioned where you want them to be. 

Wrap Text 

In most cases wrap text will be the option that solves all your woes as it determines how the text goes round, under or over the picture. 

    1. On the Picture Format tab click on the drop down for Wrap Text 
Wrap Text Icon

2. This defaults to above and below text which means text will go above and below the picture but not to the left or right.  The picture can be moved around the document by dragging without any undue consequences. 
3. Be aware that this used to default to in line with text which caused all sorts of problems.  Note that documents created in the past may still have this option selected on many of the pictures.  Change it to any of the other options below to solve the issue. 
4. Other options available are: 

  • Square – text wraps tightly in a square round the picture 
  • Tight – this will often look the same as square but if the picture shape is not rectangular it will closely hug the image
  • Through – similar to tight but if the image has white space in the middle it can flow into this 
  • Behind text – the picture goes behind the text 
  • In front of Text – the picture goes in front of the text 
  • Edit Wrap points – the edit points can be adjusted so the text goes exactly where you want round the shape

5. You can also choose whether the picture moves with text or has a fixed position on the page 
6. If these options do not quite match what you require then More Layout Options allow the distance from text to be tweaked 
7. If you want to use the same option in most cases for pictures in the future then Set as Default can be chosen NOTE: These are also available from the Layout Options icon that floats to the right of the picture when it is selected. 

Layout options


The picture can be positioned on the page in any of the following positions: 

Position Icon
  • Top left 
  • Top centre 
  • Top right 
  • Middle Left 
  • Middle Centre
  • Middle Right 
  • Bottom Left 
  • Bottom Middle 
  • Bottom Right 

For each of these the text wraps the picture using the Square option. 

Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed reading about how to add and position pictures in Microsoft Word, there’s some other blogs below that you might find useful:

Want to learn more about Microsoft Word? Then email lara@laramellortraining.co.uk to discuss how I can help or have a look at the Microsoft Word Courses I run.