Friday, April 18, 2008

Working with photos in Word - easyish

It ought to be very simple to drop a photo in a Word document and move it around wherever you want. Right? But it is not. In fact it can be a terribly frustrating task. Here is one little trick that makes the process somewhat simpler.

When you add a photo to Word through the 'insert' menu or by dragging and dropping, it defaults to an 'inline layout'. That means that the picture is stuck in place on the document just like the text you type. It moves as you press return and/or type text above it but you can't drag it around on the page. You can resize it (remember to only use the corners or hold down 'shift' so you won't change the proportions).

Here is what you do to fix the 'stuck photo' problem. You need to open up the 'format pictures' menu. You can do this either by double clicking on the picture or highlighting the picture and going to the 'format' (top of the screen) and 'picture' commands. That opens up a menu that varies according to the version of Word you are using. You need to find the 'layout' window (the little blue doggie) and then select 'tight'. This command magically frees up your photo and allows you to drag it all around.

Watch out!
However, Word still has its quirks and sometimes you think you have everything set and then pictures start sliding around all by themselves. I don't know how to deal with this and that is why I use a Mac!

Get a Mac

Here is the best suggestion I can give - buy a Mac, install iWork, and use Pages. It is a FABULOUS program for page layout. I love its simplicity and style. It is almost worth buying a Mac just to use Pages if you want to work with text and photos and don't want the expense or steep learning curve of Photoshop and InDesign.

If you are using a mac and want some help, I have started a new blog with a mac friend called Granny Macs. It is in process but will be fun as we add more. Take a look!

1 comment:

Jean said...

Thanks! That tip helped me understand what "tight" does in formating photos. Want you to know your are appreciated. I finally switched to Pages program because Word was so painfully slow and unstable working with more than a few photos. Pages is so much easier.