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: Anchoring Objects by Default.

Anchoring Objects by Default

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 18, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Cal has problems with text boxes and arrows wandering all over the page. He wonders if there is a way to have anchors locked as the default, rather than having to lock the anchor for each text box and drawing shape he adds?

The short answer is that there is no way. The reason is that it doesn't make much sense to lock an anchor when most people don't leave objects anchored at the first place they are placed in a document. For instance, while you may be able to judge placement of a text box properly (and therefore have it be anchored from the get-go), chances are good that your arrows will need to be moved and adjusted after they are added. It doesn't do much good to anchor them until after that movement and adjustment has occurred.

The next best thing you can do is to create a macro that will anchor or unanchor objects for you. The macro can then be added to a toolbar button or a shortcut key so that you can select an object and simply toggle whether it is anchored or not. This saves tremendous time when you have lots of objects, as you won't need to go through the hassle of displaying dialog boxes and changing the anchor setting.

Sub ToggleShapeAnchor()
    Dim newlockAnchorSetting As Boolean
    If Selection.Type = wdSelectionShape Then
        If (Selection.ShapeRange.Count >= 1) Then
            newlockAnchorSetting = Not Selection.ShapeRange(1).LockAnchor
        End If
        For Each Shape In Selection.ShapeRange
            Shape.LockAnchor = newlockAnchorSetting
        Next
    End If
End Sub

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7745) 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: Anchoring Objects by Default.

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. ...

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