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)

4

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

Converting Lists to Text

If you have a numbered list in a document, you might want to convert it to regular, non-dynamic text and not lose the ...

Discover More

Locating a Single-Occurrence Value in a Column

Given a range of cells containing values, you may have a need to find the first value in the range that is unique. This ...

Discover More

Limiting Spell Checking

Spell check a document, and Word normally checks several different dictionaries. Here's how to limit the dictionary ...

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)

Nudging a Graphic

If you need to move a graphic just a little bit in one direction or another, you can do so by using the techniques in ...

Discover More

Understanding Graphic Linking

Word provides a couple of different ways that graphics can be linked to your document. How you control the method used ...

Discover More

Rotating Fractions in a Text Box

Rotating graphics in Word is not always straight-forward, but it can be done. The tools on the Drawing toolbar allow you ...

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 - 0?

2018-04-20 13:35:46

LL

I was still unable to select the image using the procedure above. Instead, I:

1) Highlighted the area with the image, to include the surrounding text. This way the image frame appeared and was highlighted.
2) Clicked on Select Objects.
3) Right clicked the image


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.