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: Nudging a Graphic.

Nudging a Graphic

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 15, 2014)


You already know that you can insert graphics within a Word document, and that you can position those graphics using the mouse. Sometimes using the mouse doesn't give the greatest amount of control over the placement of an object. For this reason, you may want to only use the mouse to handle the "rough placement" of a graphic. You can then nudge the graphic into its final location.

To nudge a graphic, simply make sure it is selected, and then use the arrow keys. Pressing an arrow key moves the graphic in the direction indicated. If you want even finer control, hold down the Ctrl key as you press an arrow key. The result is a nudge of a single pixel in the placement of the object. (Thus, if you want to nudge a graphic one pixel to the right, simply hold down the Ctrl key as you press the Right Arrow key.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (691) 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: Nudging a Graphic.

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. ...


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What is four less than 8?

2017-04-17 14:36:52


doesn't work anymore for new version of Word...

2015-10-16 14:28:57

Word Hater

This tip does not work for Word 10 Starter. Nudging with the arrow keys does nothing at all. It used to work just fine in previous versions of Word, but not in this one. The ONLY way to move a graphic is with the mouse. Stupid Microsoft! And in addition, it is no longer possible to "rubber band" or "lasoo" several graphic items and move them together. That highly useful feature has been removed from this version of Word. You now have to Ctrl-click or shift-click on each of the items in turn, which is useless when you have dozens of items you need to select, or when some of them are hidden "behind" others...
Word gets worse with each new release. I really wish there was an alternative that worked!

2015-09-14 15:40:09

Teresa F

Okay, I purchase a new fast computer, new software. Now it takes over an hour to research how to find ANYTHING!!! MS 2013 is extremely difficult to use. I spend hours looking for things then they vanish into thin air. I can hardly see what I am writing the ribbon is so cumbersome. A classic case of more is clutter! What happened to the easy to use buttons. I have to read volumes to find a stupid "nudge" button. I still can not find it! Horrible.

2015-02-21 01:27:03


MS Word 2013 is the most incomprehensible version of Word yet. Took me more than an hour simply to figure out how to insert a graphic, then using the arrow keys to move it? Forget it! It won't budge either with the mouse or arrow keys. MS seems to always change things up so much in its software upgrades that one needs to learn it all over again.

2014-09-25 17:37:31

John Doe

I've inserted a picture in a table. When I try to nudge it in any direction, lets say up for example, it also moves to the left. I can't nudge it just up, down, left, or right. Each time I press the arrow key the image moves in two directions at the same time. What gives?

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