Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 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: Understanding the Drawing Canvas.

Understanding the Drawing Canvas

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 14, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2002 and 2003


1

Word, for quite some time, has allowed you to add graphics to your documents. If you are creating the graphics yourself, the normal way to add the graphics is through the use of the Drawing toolbar. All you need to do is click on the drawing tool you want to use, and then use the tool to create the item in your document.

Beginning in Word 2002, Microsoft made a change in how you create drawing objects. When you click on one of the drawing tools in Word 2002 or Word 2003, the program creates a "drawing canvas" in your document, at the location of the insertion point. This canvas has the words "Create Drawing Here" clearly visible within it.

The purpose of the drawing canvas is to help you organize your drawing objects. Essentially, it provides a container for the pieces and parts that make up your drawing. The drawing canvas is initially transparent and has no border around it, but you can change those settings using the same techniques that you use to change colors and borders on other drawing objects.

Remember that the drawing canvas is supposed to be an organizational aid. As such, it comes in very handy when you are creating a drawing that contains several individual drawing objects. For instance, you might combine different shapes to create a complex drawing. If those shapes are contained within the drawing canvas, then they are easier to manage as a whole.

If you simply add one or two independent drawing objects to your document, then the drawing canvas is of little value. For instance, you don't need the drawing canvas if you are simply adding an arrow, line, or a circle to your document. If you know you won't need the drawing canvas, you can dispense with it right after it appears by pressing Ctrl+Z, Backspace, Esc, or Del right away. This gets rid of the drawing canvas, but does not turn off the drawing tool you selected. You can continue to place the drawing object in your document, as desired.

There is one benefit to using the drawing canvas that you should be aware of—it allows you to use connectors between shapes. Connectors are lines that stay "connected" to set points on a shape. If you move the shapes that are connected by a connector line, then the line expands, contracts, or moves as necessary to keep the connection in place. Connector lines are available only within a drawing canvas.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3781) applies to Microsoft Word 2002 and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Understanding the Drawing Canvas.

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

Using Manual Line Breaks with Justified Paragraphs

If you use justified paragraphs, you know that if you press Shift+Enter, it can lead to some odd spacing between words ...

Discover More

Converting Numbers to Text

Got some numbers you need spelled out? Here's a handy macro that can convert numbers like "123" to words like "one ...

Discover More

Moving Rows and Columns with the Mouse

Like to use the mouse to help you with your document editing? You can move table rows and column with the mouse by using ...

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)

Grouping Drawing Objects

Drawing objects are easily added to a document. You can group these objects so they are easier to manage by following the ...

Discover More

Keeping Callouts Positioned

Using graphics to add callouts to your graphics is a common occurrence in Word. Here's how to stop all those graphics ...

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
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 seven minus 7?

2023-11-28 11:26:06

Ian Warburton

I had thec"Drawing Canvas" Problem when I wanted to copy & Paste .
I found a way around this by clicking on "Insert" and then clicking in "Link" in the bar below this opens a box forText or an address link where you can paste what ever


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.