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Using the Drawing Grid

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Using the Drawing Grid.

When you are working with Word's drawing tools, you might find it difficult to align objects. Fortunately there is a drawing feature that you can use to assist you in doing this. You can use the drawing grid to provide a temporary, nonprinting straight edge. In this way you can easily align other objects in your drawing. The value of the drawing grid depends on the version of Word you are using. If you are using Word 97, the drawing grid is not visible on the screen, but it remains there, acting as a "behind the scenes" force in helping to draw straight lines. If you are using a later version of Word, the grid is quite a bit more flexible, and can actually be displayed on the screen. If you are using a later version of Word, follow these steps to make sure the drawing grid is turned on:
  1. Make sure the Drawing toolbar is displayed.
  2. Click on the Draw tool on the toolbar. Word displays the Draw menu.
  3. Select the Grid option from the Draw menu. If you are using Word 97, the Snap to Grid dialog box is displayed. If you are using Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003 the Drawing Grid dialog box is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Drawing Grid dialog box.

  5. Use the controls in the dialog box to set the specifics of the grid. You can use the controls to specify the horizontal and vertical spacing used in the grid. You should also make sure the Snap to Grid option is selected.
  6. If you are using Word 2000 or Word 2002, make sure the Display Gridlines On Screen check box is selected.
  7. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1917) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Using the Drawing Grid.

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