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: Automatically Formatting Graphics and Shapes.

Automatically Formatting Graphics and AutoShapes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 27, 2010)

1

When creating a document that includes graphics and/or AutoShapes, you can spend quite a bit of time formatting. Getting graphics and their surrounding text to appear "just right" can be very time consuming. After a couple of formatting sessions, you may long for a way to set some sort of defaults that Word will automatically apply to all your graphics and AutoShapes.

When it comes to graphics in general, there is no way to set any formatting defaults. The one exception is that if you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003 you can set the default wrapping style by following these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Edit tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Edit tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Use the Insert/Paste Pictures As drop-down list to set your desired insertion style.
  5. Click OK.

Beyond this (or if you are using earlier versions of Word) you can record a macro that applies your common graphic formatting options. This macro could then be used to format other graphics after you insert them in your document.

You have more options when it comes to AutoShapes. Word allows you to define default formatting settings for AutoShapes by following these steps:

  1. Insert an AutoShape that you typically use.
  2. Format the AutoShape as you normally would.
  3. Select the AutoShape by clicking on it once.
  4. On the Drawing toolbar, choose Set AutoShape Defaults from the Draw menu.

These steps set defaults for the current document. If you want to set the defaults for all documents based on a particular template, load the template itself and perform the steps. Similarly, if you want to set the defaults for all documents, load the Normal.dot template and perform the steps.

You should realize that setting the AutoShape defaults in this manner does not affect all formatting settings for subsequent AutoShapes. In general, these steps set the defaults that appear on the Colors and Lines tab and the Layout tab of the Format AutoShape dialog box. Settings on other tabs, such as size, aspect ratio, and rotation, are not affected and must be set on a shape-by-shape basis.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (74) 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: Automatically Formatting Graphics and Shapes.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Condensing Figure Caption References

Word can automatically add captions to your figures. You can then reference those captions from within your document. If you ...

Discover More

Locating a Single-Occurrence Value in a Column

Given a range of cells containing values, you may have a need to find the first value in the range that is unique. This tip ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Hidden Text in Many Files

Hidden text is a great boon if you want to make sure something doesn't show up on the screen or on a printout. If you want to ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Changing the Size of a Drawing Object

Documents are often made up of more than just text. If you have drawing objects in your document, you will doubtless need to ...

Discover More

Rotating a Drawing Object

You can add all sorts of drawing objects to a document. Once placed, you can then rotate them to your heart's content. This ...

Discover More

Placing Many Graphics in a Document

Word documents can contain more than just text. You can even create documents that contain almost no text at all. This would ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight minus 3?

2013-11-10 06:28:47

Edward

GREAT job because this is unexplored territory


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.