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: Stop Graphics and Text from Jumping Around.

Stopping Text from Jumping Around

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 22, 2016)

Deborah had some problems with an AutoShape (a block arrow) placed behind the text of a table with rows of fixed width. When Deborah would try to nudge the arrow into position, the text would jump around, even after setting the Wrapping Style for the AutoShape to Behind Text.

The first thing to check, of course, is that the wrapping style didn't somehow get inadvertently changed. Select the block arrow, then choose Format | AutoShape | Layout | Behind Text. If this is the setting that was already made, then the next thing to check is where the AutoShape is anchored. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the View tab is selected.
  3. Select the Object Anchors check box.
  4. Click on OK.
  5. In Print Layout view, select the AutoShape (the block arrow). The object anchor for the AutoShape should appear—it looks like an anchor.
  6. Click on the object anchor—not the actual block arrow—and move the anchor until it is located to the left of a paragraph that will remain constant in the document. A good choice would be to place it to the left of the paragraph just before the table or just after the table, depending on which one will be on the same page as the table.
  7. Choose the AutoShape option from the Format menu. Word displays the Format AutoShape dialog box.
  8. Make sure the Position tab is selected. If there is no Position tab in your version of Word, display the Layout tab, and then click on Advanced. Word displays the Advanced Layout dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  9. Figure 1. The Advanced Layout dialog box.

  10. Make sure the Move Object With Text check box is selected.
  11. Make sure the Lock Anchor check box is selected.
  12. Make sure the Allow Overlap check box is selected.
  13. If you are working in the Advanced Layout dialog box, click on OK to dismiss it.
  14. Click on OK to close the Format AutoShape dialog box.

At this point you should still see the object anchor, but a little padlock appears next to it to indicate that it is locked. Now you should be able to adjust the positioning of the block arrow itself without your text jumping around.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1649) 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: Stop Graphics and Text from Jumping Around.

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

Differences in Behavior of Links

Got some active links in your document? Do you want to have them activated when you click on them, or do you want to require ...

Discover More

Understanding Background Saving

Word has the capability to save your work, in the background, while you continue to edit your documents. This tip explains ...

Discover More

Dragging to Clear Cells

If you want to get rid of the contents of a range of cells, a quick way to do it is with the Fill handle. Yes, you can use ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Understanding Page Border Art

Add some artwork around the border of your printed page, and you may not know where that artwork comes from. You may also ...

Discover More

Converting Tables to Charts

Put numeric information in a table and you can then convert that information to a graphical chart using Microsoft Graph ...

Discover More

Counting All Graphics

Need to know how many graphics a document contains? Getting at the true number may take a little more work than it first ...

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:

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. 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 seven minus 6?

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


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.

Links and Sharing
Share