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: Selecting a Graphic that is Behind Text.

Selecting a Graphic that is Behind Text

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 25, 2016)

3

When you add graphics to your document, Word allows you to arrange the graphics so they are behind the text. In other words, the text appears in front of the graphic. If you later need to make changes to the graphic in some way, you may not know exactly how to select it when it is obscured by the text in your document.

If the graphic is not fully covered by text—perhaps there is a small corner of the graphic sticking out from behind the text—then you can select the graphic by simply clicking on the portion that is not covered by text. However, the easiest way to select a graphic—even if it is behind text—is to follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the Drawing toolbar is visible. (Click on the Drawing button on the Standard toolbar, or choose View | Toolbars | Drawing.)
  2. Click on the Select Objects tool on the Drawing toolbar. This tool looks like a mouse pointer that points up and to the left. It is normally the second tool from the left on the Drawing toolbar.
  3. Click on the graphic you want to select, without regard to any text that may be covering it.

When you are done working with your graphics, make sure you click on the Select Objects tools again (to turn it off), or press Esc. You must turn off the Select Objects tool, otherwise you won't be able to edit any of the text in your document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1679) 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: Selecting a Graphic that is Behind Text.

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

Applying Text Options in WordArt

WordArt is a great tool for adding color and variety to your documents. Here's how to apply different types of text-related ...

Discover More

Default Picture Location

When you insert pictures into a document, the first folder that Word opens up is normally the My Pictures folder. You can ...

Discover More

Linking Comments to Multiple Cells

In Excel, single comments are associated with single cells. If you want to have a comment be linked to multiple cells, you'll ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Absolutely Positioning a Graphic

Want a graphic to appear at a precise place on the page? It's easy to gain control by following the steps in this tip.

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

Cropping Graphics

Need your hide some of the outside edges of a graphic? You can instruct Word to crop (or hide) those outside edges by ...

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 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 4 + 1?

2017-04-19 19:03:30

KA

Extremely useful tip! I was so frustrated clicking endlessly trying to get the shape behind my table text.

In Word 2007, the 'Select Objects' is under the 'Home' tab, under the 'Editing' group that is at the right end. Select 'Select Objects' under the drop down menu 'Select.'


2017-03-04 06:19:54

J

OMG! Thank you! I've been using Word for 10 years and never knew of this tip! Thank you!


2017-02-21 17:56:34

Linda Ribinsky

followed your instruction but it would not select anything


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.