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Microsoft Word/picture placement within a paragraph


Hello, Suzanne,

"Putting" pictures in Word (2007) isn't difficult.
"Placing" them correctly, however, can sometimes be a torture.

To place a picture between paragraphs—simple.
To place one within a paragraph—also simple; just use text wrapping.

To place a picture WITHIN a paragraph, however—when the picture occupies one whole page, from top margin to bottom margin—seems impossible. Just in case I haven't been clear there, let me put that another way. I want to have part of a paragraph on one page, a picture—and only a picture—occupying (all of) the next page, then to continue the remaining text, from the same paragraph, on the page after that.

No matter what form of text wrapping is used, Word insists on including one line of the paragraph on the page—whether: below the image, behind it, in front of it — or pushed downwards into the footer! It will even push that line off the bottom of the page—but not onto the next one; it at least seems so, that in the case of a full-page image, one line MUST be on the page.

I've tried everything: all the text wrapping options; putting an external border around the text box; putting a text box OVER the errant text line (and then using text wrapping on IT). Nothing works.

If there is a way to do this I can't find it. Can you help?

All the best,

You have correctly identified the problem. Word has two ways of inserting pictures: In Line With Text, in which case the picture behaves the same as a giant font character, and "wrapped" (previously called "floating"). Wrapped pictures must be anchored to a text paragraph. This means that Word does not allow you to wrap text around a full-page picture; the picture must be anchored to text on the same page.

The solution (really a workaround) is to simulate the wrapping. Don't even bother with this until editing is complete and you know that the text flow will not change. Insert the picture In Line With Text (between two paragraphs) to begin with and just ignore its placement until editing is complete and you are ready to do the final layout.

Move text as needed to fill the page that will precede the picture. At the bottom of the page, insert a manual page break (Ctrl+Enter). If you can insert the page break between paragraphs, this is ideal; otherwise, just insert it in the middle of a paragraph so that the last line of what's left is at the bottom of the page. Move the rest of the text to follow the picture. The picture will now be on a page by itself. Although it's not entirely necessary, I usually insert another page break between the picture and the following text. If the picture actually fills the entire page, you could get by with just paragraph breaks, but if you want some space around the picture, or a caption under it, use the page breaks.

If your paragraphs are not justified and don't have a first-line indent, you're done, but in a typeset book, you'll probably be dealing with both issues. You need to justify the last line of the paragraph on the preceding page and remove the first-line indent of the paragraph on the following page in order to create the appearance of a continuous paragraph.

To justify the last line, insert a line break (Shift+Enter). This will force the empty line (ending in a paragraph break) to the next page, but don't worry about that. Select just the paragraph mark (which you have displayed with Ctrl+*) and format it as 1 point. If even that doesn't do the trick, format it as Hidden (Ctrl+Shift+H).

To take care of the paragraph on the following page, just remove the indent. I prefer to do this by applying an unindented style (Body Text vs. Body Text First Indent, for example).
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Suzanne S. Barnhill


I've been using Word for Windows since version 2.0 (1992), and the more I learn about it, the more I realize how little I know. But I may know a few things that you don't, and I'll help if I can. I answer many questions every day in Microsoft's peer support forums and as a result have been awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) designation by Microsoft Corporation. You may be able to find the answer to your question at the Word MVPs' FAQ site or at my own Word FAQ site, so please check those first! Please, no questions about VBA (macros), Registry editing, networks, or complex merges, as I have no experience with these aspects of Word, nor do I have any experience with Word for Mac. Please indicate which version of Word you are using; if you are not sure, see "What version of Word do I have?".


I have a master's degree in classics (Latin), which is surprisingly helpful, though I no longer teach. The things I am proudest of: Having raised two children to maturity, both Merit Scholars, both college graduates (one a philosophy major!), one Phi Beta Kappa (from Harvard!); having been made a Paul Harris Fellow by my Rotary club; having been designated a Microsoft MVP.

Rotary Club of Fairhope, Friends of the Fairhope Public Library

B.A. (Latin), Agnes Scott College, 1966; M.A. (Classics), Emory University, 1972.

Awards and Honors
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award every year since 1999; many Rotary honors

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