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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 8, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


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

Removing All Comments

Need to get rid of all the comments in your document? You can do so by using the regular Find and Replace feature of Word.

Discover More

Pixels in a Text String

Determining the length of a text string is easy, but figuring out how many pixels are represented by those characters is ...

Discover More

Moving Footnote References Using Find and Replace

When you are editing a document, you may need to modify where the author placed footnotes relative to surrounding ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Merging Graphics from Access

An Access database can store all types of data, including graphic images. Merging most data from Access into Word is ...

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. ...

Discover More

Problems Pasting Large Pictures

If you insert a large picture in your document and your text jumps all around and the picture seems to disappear, don't ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 four minus 0?

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.

Videos
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.