Emphasize a picture in a Word doc by changing its shape

Square is square. However, you can change a square picture in a Word doc to any number of shapes in just a few quick steps.

An ordinary square picture plopped into a corner is a rather boring. One way to emphasize a picture is to change its shape and Word makes it easy.

The first step is to insert the picture by clicking the Insert tab and clicking Picture in the Illustrations group. Locate the picture and click Insert. It doesn't matter where you insert it because you can easily move it.

With the picture in your Word document, you're ready to change its shape using the Crop Shape option as follows:

  1. Select the picture.
  2. On the contextual tab, click the Crop drop down in the Size group.
  3. Choose Crop To Share and then click a shape to apply to the picture.

To position the picture within the text, you'll need to change a few properties-which properties depend on the results you want. To achieve the results shown below, do the following:

With the picture selected, choose Through from the Wrap Text dropdown in the Arrange group. Then, select In Front Of Text from the same option. Next, simply move the picture to the right margin of the bulleted list. Make sure the picture doesn't block any text.

This is a simple example; its focus is changing a picture's shape. Good composition and balance in a complex document are also important-what changes would you make to improve this simple document's composition and balance?

In Word 2003, you start with the shape you want - an AutoShape - and then use the shape's Fill property to insert a picture.

Editor's note: An example word document is provided as an aide to understanding this technique.

About Susan Harkins

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

Editor's Picks