Senior Computer Tutor Don Edrington
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Placing Text and a Picture
Inside an MSWord Text Box

Al Nuwer called to ask how to insert a "text box" containing both text and an image into an MSWord document. First it's helpful to understand the function of a Word Text Box.

An image can be inserted into a Word file by clicking where you want the graphic to appear, and then by clicking Insert>Picture>From File, followed by browsing to the target picture. 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. The picture can NOT be moved manually, nor can text be made to flow around it.

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

In MSWord (version 2000 and earlier) when you click Insert>Text Box your cursor will change to a small cross, with which you can draw a rectangle of approximately the size and shape of the graphic which will be placed inside it. The exact shape and location of the Text Box is unimportant, since it can later be reshaped and/or moved at any time.

In WordXP (and later versions) clicking Insert>Text Box will create a large "canvas" that says, "Create your drawing here."

Well, how to draw on this canvas will be explained at another time. For now, clicking outside of the canvas will remove it and cause a small, square Text Box to take its place.

Once you have a Text Box, you can click inside it and then go to Insert>Picture. When the picture appears inside the Text Box, it may or may not fit properly. However, both the Text Box and the picture can be resized by grabbing any edge or corner and adjusting as needed.

Well, Al had gotten this far without a problem, but said he could find no way to type anything into the Text Box that would go around the picture. This can be done by clicking the picture, and then clicking the Center button on the Word Toolbar. With the Picture horizontally centered inside the Text Box, your cursor can be placed ahead of its upper left corner or beyond its lower right corner, whereupon you can begin typing (or pasting in previously prepared type).

Any typing begun at the upper left will push the image to the right and down as far as needed to make room for the text. To type under the picture, click the lower right, press Enter and start typing. To make typing flow around the picture, click it and then click Format>Picture>Layout. Or — you could click the Text Layout button on the Format Picture Toolbar that appears.

An even easier way to flow text around a picture is to do the typing in the Text Box before using the Insert>Picture steps. Then place your cursor anywhere in the body of the text and insert the image. Also, clicking the box and doing Format>Text Box will give many more layout options.

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