Smart Tags and Guides in Word 2013

This month we’re going to take a look at some new tools in Microsoft Word 2013 that make it easier and more intuitive to position a graphic object (a picture or piece of clip art) relative to the text in a document: Smart Tags and Guides.

Let’s start with a document that just had a picture inserted into it.

The picture itself is inserted as a new paragraph in the document, so the existing text paragraphs are forced to move to accommodate the inserted image. This default behavior is called positioning “In-Line” with the text. However, this usually doesn’t look very good, as the picture is aligned on the left margin of the document, leaving lots of white space to the right of the image. Centering the paragraph that contains the picture might make it look a little better, but there would still be lots of white space on either side of the picture.

What if the goal is to “embed” the image in a way that the text flows around the image? The quickest way to do this is to click the Smart Tag that appears just to the right of the inserted image.

The menu displayed when the Smart Tag is clicked provides a variety of options that alter the spacing and position of the text relative to the inserted image. The example below shows the result of one of these choices. Also notice when you make a choice of alignment options in the Smart Tag menu, the Option “Move with Text” is automatically selected.

What if none of the choices presented by the Smart Tag gives you the desired text/image alignment?  Since the option “Move with Text” is now engaged, you can start dragging the image around your document and let the Guides help you position the image exactly where you desire. The next few screen shots illustrate what the Guides look like and how to use them.

In the illustration above, the image has been dragged down and to the right from its previous position. The Guides are the green lines that appear as the image is being dragged. These Guides will show when the image is exactly aligned with either the margins of the document and/or the top or bottom of the nearest paragraph of text. In the illustration above, the Guides show the image being aligned on the right margin and even with the top of a paragraph of text.

What if you want to place the image directly into the middle of a page? Simply drag the image into the center of the page and wait until you see the Guides forming a cross in the middle of the page as illustrated below.

Then, when you see the guides in the proper position, simply let go of your mouse and the image will be centered directly in the middle of the page with the existing text flowing around it as illustrated below.

That’s all there is to it!

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