Controlling Text Wrap in Word 2010

Controlling Text Wrap in Word 2010

When you insert a graphics object of any sort into a Word document—pictures, clip art, charts, SmartArt—it is inserted inline with the text on the text layer.  Word treats it as just another character of text.  Big.  Funny looking.  But just another character.  When you drag it to a new location within your text it acts just like a character on that line, within that paragraph.  This is not the behavior that most people are looking for when inserting graphics.  What most folks want is a graphic that the text flows around, book or magazine style, and often then have special needs to display the text in very specific patterns near or around the art work.  That is what text wrap (often called ‘word wrap’) is all about.

Word has both a text layer and a graphics layer.  As indicated above, when a graphic is first inserted into a document it is placed on the text layer as just another character inline with the rest of the characters.  Text cannot wrap around the graphic until it is moved to the graphics layer.  (In fact, there are two graphics layers, one above and one beneath the text, but forget about this complication for now).  Your graphic is moved to the graphics layer when you choose a text wrap option other than inline.  All of the other options make it a ‘floating’ graphic, rather than an inline graphic, which means it can be moved anywhere you wish.

To apply another text wrap option select the graphic, then on the Picture Tools tab select the option you wish from among six presets: Square, Tight, Through, Top and Bottom, Behind Text or In Front of Text.

Selecting Behind Text will place your graphic on the layer behind the document text.  This is not often needed.  Nor is the In Front of Text choice, so let’s forget these for now.

The other four vary a bit, and their names are descriptive of their function.  Square and Tight are the same, except that Square keeps text outside the actual rectangular borders of the graphic.  Tight allows text into any transparent background areas within the graphic’s borders.  (All graphics are rectangular in shape, of course, but the existence of a transparent layer within the graphic’s borders gives the illusion of irregular shapes.

Through is another odd choice, and is little used, and in truth varies little from Tight.  Top and Bottom is simply a variation on Square with one of the More Layout Options… chosen.

So what about those More Layout Options?

Selecting that menu choice brings up the following dialog.

The Wrap text and Distance from text options will only be available if you have already changed the Wrapping style from Inline to one of the other choices.

I have found the Left only and Right only choices useful when inserting an Excel chart, positioning it slightly to one side of a document, but not all the way to the margin, and flowing text down a single side of it.

I have only rarely used the Distance from text settings, favoring the other option that becomes available when a non-Inline option is chosen:  Edit Wrap Points.  Edit Wrap Points gives ultimate control to text wrap around a graphic.  Click it and a red border appears around your graphic.

Place your cursor anywhere on the red border and drag to control text wrap with precision.

If Wrap Points are drug inside the field of the graphic, text flows there.  If far outside, text stays away.  This is the ultimate in control.  Remember, it is only available once you have chosen one of the non-Inline wrapping options.

These options are also available on the graphic’s context menu too.  Simply right-click the graphic, move your cursor down to Wrap text, and a sub-menu with the same choices will appear.

Summary:  To gain control over text wrap in your document, select your graphic and choose a non-Inline layout style to move it to the graphics layer where it can float; drag the graphic approximately where you want it; use the Layout Options to control major text flow control; if you need very fine tuning edit the Wrap Points. Simple.

Controlling Text Wrap in Word 2010





Word 2010 Find and Replace Wildcard Reference

Search by using wildcards to find specific letters

You can use wildcards to search for text. For example, you can use the asterisk (*) wildcard to search for a string of characters (for example, “s*d” finds “sad” and “started”).

Use wildcards to find and replace text

  1. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click the arrow next to Find, and then click Advanced Find.

Find command in the Editing group

  1. Select the Use wildcards check box.

If you don’t see the Use wildcards check box, click More.

  1. Do one of the following:
  2. If you want to replace the item, click the Replace tab, and then type what you want to use as a replacement in the Replace with box.
  3. Click Find Next, Find All, Replace, or Replace All.

To cancel a search in progress, press ESC.

Wildcards for items you want to find and replace


  • When the Use wildcards check box is selected, Word finds only the exact text that you specify. Notice that the Match case and Find whole words only check boxes are unavailable (dimmed) to indicate that these options are automatically turned on. You can’t turn off these options.
  • To search for a character that’s defined as a wildcard, type a backslash (\) before the character. For example, type \? to find a question mark.
  • You can use parentheses to group the wildcard characters and text and to indicate the order of evaluation. For example, type <(pre)*(ed)> to find “presorted” and “prevented”.
  • You can use the \n wildcard to search for an expression and then replace it with the rearranged expression. For example, type (Ashton) (Chris) in the Find what box and \2 \1 in the Replace with box. Word will find Ashton Chris and replace it with Chris Ashton.
To find Type Example
Any single character ? s?t finds sat and set.
Any string of characters * s*d finds sad and started.
The beginning of a word < <(inter) finds interesting and intercept, but not splintered.
The end of a word > (in)> finds in and within, but not interesting.
One of the specified characters [ ] w[io]n finds win and won.
Any single character in this range [-] [r-t]ight finds right and sight. Ranges must be in ascending order.
Any single character except the characters in the range inside the brackets [!x-z] t[!a-m]ck finds tock and tuck, but not tack or tick.
Exactly n occurrences of the previous character or expression {n} fe{2}d finds feed but not fed.
At least n occurrences of the previous character or expression {n,} fe{1,}d finds fed and feed.
From n to m occurrences of the previous character or expression {n,m} 10{1,3} finds 10, 100, and 1000.
One or more occurrences of the previous character or expression @ lo@t finds lot and loot.

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Use codes to find letters, formatting, fields, or special characters

Use the following codes to find letters, formatting, fields, or special characters. Note that some codes work only if the Use wildcards option is turned on or off.

Codes that work in the Find what box or Replace with box

To find Type
Paragraph mark (Paragraph mark ) ^p (doesn’t work in the Find what box when the Use wildcards option is turned on), or ^13
Tab character (Tab character ) ^t or ^9
ASCII character ^nnn, where nnn is the character code.
ANSI character ^0nnn, where 0 is zero and nnn is the character code
Em dash ( — ) ^+
En dash ( – ) ^=
Caret character ^^
Manual line break (Manual line break ) ^l or ^11
Column break ^n or ^14
Page or section break ^12 (when replacing, inserts a page break)
Manual page break ^m (also finds or replaces section breaks when the Use wildcards option is turned on)
Nonbreaking space (Nonbreaking space ) ^s
Nonbreaking hyphen (Nonbreaking hyphen ) ^~
Optional hyphen (Optional hyphen ) ^-

Codes that work in the Find what box only (when Use wildcards is turned off)

To find Type
Any character ^?
Any digit ^#
Any letter ^$
Picture or graphic (inline only) ^g
Footnote mark ^f or ^2
Endnote mark ^e
Field (when field codes are visible) ^d or ^19 or ^21
Comment (when comments are inline) ^a or ^5
Section break ^b
White space ^w (any space or any combination of regular and nonbreaking spaces, and tab characters)