by Tony Rushin
Fifteen years ago, I was leading the sales efforts for The Sente Group, a local company with an outstanding offering to help Global 1000 companies more effectively manage their test equipment assets. I created numerous documents – proposals, assessments, reports – for clients that had numerous graphs, tables and images inserted into them. It was my first opportunity to accelerate my knowledge of Microsoft Word and the features it has for assembling and formatting complex documents.
I’m sure our law firm attorneys and staff – who work with documents every day – already know these tips. However, over the last 15 years I’ve probably had 20+ colleagues ask me some variation of this question: “how do you manipulate a picture in Word and have it do what you want it to do?”, so I’m guessing these tips will be helpful to some of you.
“Insert” or “Copy/Paste”
If the image already exists in my computer as a separate file – for instance, a photo I’ve taken or a JPEG or GIF file I’ve copied and saved into a folder – I start from the Word document, click on the “Insert” tab then select Picture. That’s what I did to insert the image below.
If I find the image online (for instance, on Google Images), I right-click on the image and select “Copy Image”.
Then I go back to the Word document, put my cursor where I want the image to be, click on the little arrow underneath “Paste” and select “Keep Source Formatting” (note: dependingon how you like to paste things, you may see other options. Of the other options, I’ve found that pasting as a “bitmap” or “image” work best.
This is how I inserted the image at the top of this article.
Format Image so it Does What You Want it To
Now that the image is in the document, you need to format it so it behaves like you want it to. First, find the image (sometimes Word doesn’t put the image where your cursor was – don’t ask me why – so you may have to peruse document until to find it). Then, right click on the image, select “Wrap Text.” Roughly 90% of the time I select “Tight” and 10% of the time I select “Top and Bottom”.
I have found that “Tight” behaves the best, from a formatting standpoint, and allows me to wrap text around the image like the image at the top of this article and my photo below. I can also easily drag and move the image or simply select the image and move it with the arrow keys. I can also easily resize it proportionally by grabbing a corner of the image.
About 10% of the time I select “Top and Bottom” as my format. The only image in this article that I formatted this way is the “paste options” image above that’s off to the right.
By the way, if you found yourself wondering how I captured the screen shots for this article, it’s really easy and will only take you 10 minutes to read and practice. You’ll find what you need in 2 previous Tuesday Tips: my tip on the Snipping Tool (used to snip images from your screen) and Richard’s tip on the Screenshot Captor tool (used for snipping drop-down menus).
Do you have any tips you can share for formatting images in a Word document? We’d love to see your comments.