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Always insert an image from a file on one of your drives rather than copying and pasting.

There are two ways that Word manages images in documents: as an in-line image, a bit like a large character sitting on the same line as a letter would. These can be identified as having black or filled handles and refusing to be dragged around, especially to a new position where there is no existing text or line entries. The other is a floating image which has clear handles and can be moved around anywhere on a page, including across margins and behind text or other floating images.

In-line images

Although awkward to move around – you usually have to cut and paste them to change location – they do tend to behave themselves better in Word. They sit on margins, never overlap and act like a large chunk of text. Put a return above to move them down or a return after to start a new line, or enter another one below.

Floating images

Although they sometimes have a habit of disappearing off the page completely and either landing up in a completely different part of a document or even, most disconcertingly, never being seen again, they are much easier to put where you want. They can just be dragged around – into margins, over text, under text and across columns.

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page updated by Andrew Hill, Dunstable College 24 July, 2006