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: Disappearing Graphics Groups.

Disappearing Graphics Groups

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 29, 2012)

Word allows you to add graphics—of several different types—to your documents. In formatting your graphics, Word allows you to set different attributes, such as the size of your graphic and how text flows around it.

If you have a number of different graphics in your document, and you need to control the positioning of those graphics in relation to each other, you can use Word's grouping option, which allows a collection of graphics objects to be treated as a singular group. An easy way to do this is to select all the graphics you want in the group, right click on one of the objects, choose Grouping, and then choose Group. When you do this, however, don't be surprised if your graphics group displays some odd behavior—it may even disappear completely!

The reason for this is that Word has some decisions to make when it treats previously individual items as a group. It is very likely that the pictures in the group had different attributes applied to them. For instance, each picture may have used a different text wrapping setting. When Word groups the pictures together, it doesn't know which wrapping option to apply, so it "guesses" and applies whatever it feels is appropriate. This same "guessing" can happen with other object properties, as well.

The result is that the graphic group may not be formatted exactly as you expect. In fact, the group may now be even be anchored on a different page of your document, which would cause it to "jump" to that other page, instead of being displayed where you expected to see it.

The solution to this is to remember that once you group pictures, you need to change the formatting settings for the resulting group as a whole. One handy way to do this is to make sure you are in Print Layout view and choose a very small Zoom setting—perhaps something like 25% or 10%. Word displays all your pages, laid out side by side. You should be able to quickly see where your newly formed group disappeared. At that point you can select the graphic group and format it as desired (pay close attention to the text wrapping for the group). You can even click on the group and drag it to a new page, if necessary.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1576) 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: Disappearing Graphics Groups.

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

Shortcut for Full-Screen Mode

Want to get rid of almost everything on the screen except your document? Here's how to easily maximize what you see.

Discover More

Shortening Word's Font List

When you format the text in a document, you can use any of the fonts that Word makes available to you. If that font list gets ...

Discover More

Ordering Worksheets Based on a Cell Value

Need to sort your worksheets so that they appear in an order determined by the value of a cell on each worksheet? Using a ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Choosing an Insert Method for Pictures

The way that you choose to add pictures to your document can have an effect on the file size of those documents. It is best ...

Discover More

Permanent Watermarks in a Document

Need to add a graphic watermark to a document? It's not that hard to do, but making the watermark permanent can be a bit more ...

Discover More

Faster Picture Displaying

If you have a document with many graphics, you know that Word can sometimes be slow in displaying all those graphics. This ...

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 for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

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.

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.

Links and Sharing
Share