Troubleshoot graphics

Creating drawing objects

ShowThe lines in my drawing are jagged.

  • Curved lines — and straight lines that are not perfectly vertical or horizontal — will have some degree of jaggedness on the screen. When printed, the curves appear smooth.
  • You can use the Curve button Button image to draw precise curves. Using the Freeform button Button image will also give your drawing a smoother look than using the Scribble button Button image.
  • Try increasing the magnification in the Zoom box (Standard toolbar). It's easier to draw details at 200 percent.
  • Try setting your mouse to the slowest tracking speed available in the Microsoft Windows Control Panel. You have greater control when you draw at a slow speed.
  • You can adjust the shape of freeforms to make them look smoother. Select the shape, click Edit Points on the Draw menu to make the vertexes (vertex: The highest point of a curve, the point where a curve ends, or the point where two line segments meet in a polygon or freeform.) appear, and then drag any vertex. To make it easier to draw details, be sure to increase the magnification in the Zoom box to 200 percent.
  • You can smooth freeforms by removing individual vertexes. Select the shape, and then click Edit Points on the Draw menu to make the vertexes appear. Position the pointer over the vertex you want to delete, and then press CTRL as you click the vertex.

ShowFreehand drawing is hard to control.

  • Try increasing the magnification in the Zoom box (Standard toolbar). It's easier to draw details at 200 percent.
  • Use the Freeform button Button image instead of the Scribble button Button image.
  • Try setting your mouse to the slowest tracking speed available in the Microsoft Windows Control Panel. You have greater control when you draw at a slow speed.
  • You can adjust the shape of freeforms to make them look smoother.

ShowFreeforms I drew won't align evenly.

Instead of using the Align or Distribute command on the Draw menu, try aligning the objects by moving them. Try the following:

  • Hold down CTRL and press the arrow keys to nudge the freeform in 1-pixel increments.
  • If either the Snap objects to grid check box or the Snap objects to other objects check box is selected (Draw menu, Grid command), temporarily turn it off by pressing ALT as you drag a freeform.

ShowI can't rotate a graphic.

Only drawing objects can be flipped or rotated. If you can convert an object to a drawing object by ungrouping it and then grouping it again, you can flip or rotate it. You won't be able to convert a bitmap (bitmap: A picture made from a series of small dots, much like a piece of graph paper with certain squares filled in to form shapes and lines. When stored as files, bitmaps usually have the extension .bmp.) to a drawing object.

  • To convert an object, select it, click Ungroup on the Draw menu, and then click Group.
  • If you can't convert the object, open it in another drawing program, rotate it there, and then save it. When you reopen it in Microsoft Word, it appears rotated.

ShowColors within drawing objects aren't smooth.

  • Make sure the magnification in the Zoom box (Standard toolbar) is set to 100 percent. Shading patterns can appear distorted at reduced or enlarged views.
  • If your monitor is capable of showing only 16 colors, shading may not appear smooth. Shading shows up best on monitors that display 256 or more colors.

ShowGraphics aren't printed when I print my document.

ShowWhen I insert a graphic, only part of it appears.

The line spacing in your document may be set to an exact amount that is smaller than the height of the graphic. Select the graphic, click Paragraph on the Format menu, and then click the Indents and Spacing tab. In the Line spacing box, click Single. If you select Exactly in the Line spacing box, be sure to increase the measurement in the At box to the height of the graphic.

ShowI know I inserted a graphic, but I don't see it on the page.

Working with text and graphics

ShowWhen I select a text box and start typing, the text I type replaces the existing text.

To edit the text in a text box, you must click inside the text box before you start making your changes. When you select the text box, Microsoft Word automatically replaces the existing text with the new text you type.

ShowText doesn't fit inside the text box or AutoShape.

The text is too large to fit inside the text box or AutoShape.

ShowI can't move a text box or AutoShape.

Select the object by clicking its border, and then drag. Microsoft Word indicates you can move an object by changing the pointer to a four-headed arrow.

ShowI can't use drag-and-drop editing because selected text doesn't stay selected.

  • Make sure the pointer is over the selected text when you try to drag it.
  • The drag-and-drop feature might not be on. On the Tools menu, click Options, click the Edit tab, and then select the Drag-and-drop text editing check box.

ShowText won't flip or rotate with its text box or AutoShape.

To rotate the text in a text box or AutoShape, click the text, click Text Direction on the Format menu, and then click the orientation you want. Using the Rotate or Flip command (Draw menu on the Drawing toolbar) causes only the object, not the text it contains, to change its direction.

ShowI can't keep a drawing object on the same page as its accompanying text.

  • You can group the drawing object and the text box — a type of drawing object.
  • Make sure the anchor for the text box is next to the accompanying text.
  • If you're adding a caption to a drawing object, make sure you select the object before you click Caption (Insert menu, Reference submenu). Also make sure the anchor for the caption is associated with the same paragraph as the anchor for the drawing object.

ShowText isn't wrapping around my graphic.

  • If you want the text to wrap tightly and completely around the graphic, make sure that the correct wrapping style is selected. To check this, click the graphic, and then click the command on the Format menu for the type of object you selected — for example, AutoShape or Picture. On the Layout tab, make sure that Tight is selected under Wrapping style.
  • Drawings created with the Lines tool (Drawing toolbar, AutoShapes menu) sometimes appear jagged, which may result in text not wrapping tightly around the drawing. You can fix this by making the lines smoother.

Consider the following when selecting a tool from the Lines category to draw lines, curves, or shapes that combine both lines and curves. When you want a drawing object to look as if it was drawn with a pen, use the Scribble Button image tool. The resulting shape closely matches what you draw on the screen. Use the Freeform Button image tool when you want a more refined shape — one without jagged lines or drastic changes in direction. When you want to draw curves with greater control and accuracy, use the Curve Button image tool.

ShowI created a watermark that overshadows the main document text.

If the watermark interferes with the legibility of the text on the page, you can lighten the object you used to create the watermark.

  • If you are using a picture, make sure that the Washout check box is selected in the Printed Watermark dialog box.
  • If you are using text, select the Semitransparent box in the Printed Watermark dialog box, or select a lighter color, such as light gray, in the Color box.

ShowI can't select multiple graphics.

You can only select multiple graphics if they are all inline (inline object: A graphic or other object that is positioned directly in the text of a Microsoft Word document at the insertion point.) or are all floating (floating object: A graphic or other object that is inserted in the drawing layer so that you can position it precisely on the page or in front of or behind text or other objects.). To select multiple floating graphics, click a graphic, hold down CTRL, and then click another graphic. To select multiple inline graphics, click to one side of the graphic, and then drag as if you are selecting text. Then, hold down CTRL and drag over another graphic.

If you are trying to copy and paste multiple graphics, you can use the Microsoft Office Clipboard. As you copy each object (up to 12 objects), it is stored in the Clipboard task pane (task pane: A window within an Office program that provides commonly used commands. Its location and small size allow you to use these commands while still working on your files.), so that you can click to insert it.

Aligning and arranging graphics

ShowSome of the positioning or alignment commands aren't available.

Some commands are available depending on what you have selected and whether a drawing object or picture is on or off of the drawing canvas (drawing canvas: An area on which you can draw multiple shapes. Because the shapes are contained within the drawing canvas, they can be moved and resized as a unit.), or is floating (floating object: A graphic or other object that is inserted in the drawing layer so that you can position it precisely on the page or in front of or behind text or other objects.) or inline (inline object: A graphic or other object that is positioned directly in the text of a Microsoft Word document at the insertion point.).

  • Drawing objects can be moved behind or in front of text only when they are not on a drawing canvas. To move them off the drawing canvas, select and drag them off the canvas boundary.
  • You can align only floating objects to a grid. To change them from inline to floating, click the command on the Format menu for the type of object you selected — for example, AutoShape or Picture — and then click the Layout tab. Choose a wrapping style other than Inline with text.
  • You can align and distribute only floating objects. To distribute objects equal distances apart, you must select three or more objects, unless you align them relative to the drawing canvas or to the page.
  • You can change the text wrapping style for a floating drawing object that is not on a drawing canvas or for a drawing canvas. You cannot change the text wrapping style for an inline drawing object or an object that is on a drawing canvas.

ShowI can't move my paragraph without moving my graphic.

The anchor for the drawing object is locked to the paragraph you want to move. Select the drawing object, and then click the applicable command on the Format menu: AutoShape, Object, Picture, Text Box, or WordArt. Click the Layout tab, and then click Advanced. On the Picture Position tab, clear the Move object with text and Lock anchor check boxes.

ShowI aligned my drawing objects and they are stacked on top of each other.

Depending on the alignment option you click, drawing objects will move straight up, down, left, or right and might cover an object already there. You can undo the alignment and move the objects to new positions before you align them.

ShowWhen I use the Align or Distribute command, my drawing objects don't move where I want them.

Make sure the Relative to Page option on the Align or Distribute menu isn't checked. When this option is selected, drawing objects will move in relation to the page as well as to other objects.

ShowItems on the Align or Distribute menu are dimmed, and I can't select them.

Unless the Relative to Page or Relative to Canvas options on the Align or Distribute menu are checked, you must select at least two drawing objects to make the alignment options available and at least three objects to make the distribution options available.

ShowThe drawing object "jumps" when I try to align it.

You need to temporarily override settings for the grid (grid: A set of intersecting lines used to align objects.). To override the settings, press ALT as you drag or draw an object.

Importing graphics

ShowI don't have the correct graphics filter to import a graphic.

  • Make sure that you have installed the necessary graphics filter. On the Insert menu, point to Picture, click From File, and then check the list of filters in the Files of type box. If the filter you need is not listed, you may need to install it.
  • If the graphics filter you need to import a graphic is not shipped with Word, you need to open the file in a drawing program. Then you can select the graphic, copy it, and paste it to your document. The graphic becomes a Windows metafile (.wmf).
  • Open the file in another drawing program, and then save it in a format that can be imported into Word.

ShowThe text of the document was converted correctly, but the graphics disappeared.

  • Make sure that you have turned on the display of graphics. On the Tools menu, choose Options, and then click the View tab. Clear the Picture placeholders check box.
  • Make sure that you have installed the necessary graphics filter. On the Insert menu, point to Picture, click From File, and then check the list of filters in the Files of type box. If the filter you need is not listed, you might need to install it.

ShowI can't ungroup an imported picture.

ShowI edited an animated GIF, and now the animation is gone.

Certain types of edits, such as cropping or grouping, will cause an animated GIF picture to be saved as a new picture and lose its animation. To preserve the animation, make the changes in an animated GIF editing program, and then insert the file again.

 
 
Applies to:
Word 2003