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Office challenge: How would you position text on top of a picture in Word?

In this week's Office challenge, test your Word skills and learn the solution to last week's Excel challenge.

Word lets you add captions to document images and the feature's somewhat versatile. You can position the caption above or below the image. What you can't do, using captions, is position text on top of the image, but it can be done. How would you do it?

Last week, we asked…

Come up with a formula that subtotals elapsed time by the day and you guys provided a number of efficient and creative formulas. First, as Oldbaritone mentions, if you store the date and time together, the problem of elapsed time completely disappears. However, most users don't want to be bothered—force them to enter the date more than once and they'll complain. In the defense of complaining users, while including the date in both the Start and End time is precise, inputting the date twice is a bit inefficient, especially if users are tracking several projects each day. Several of you offered formulas that are close cousins to my choice, which takes the following form:

=End-Start + (Start > End)

If Start is larger than End, you know that the period extends into the next day. The (Start > End) component adds 1, which eliminates the error. When both times fall within the same day, the added component is False, or 0. This formula does the same thing so many of you expressed, it's just a tad shorter, and for me, easy to remember.

In this respect, Kent Lion is absolutely correct--the example sheet is in error by allowing only one date. A real time-tracking spreadsheet would most likely be more complex and precise. Yet, I see this simple time-tracking technique frequently. If time periods never extend into a third day (over 48 hours), this simple setup is usually adequate.

Now, on to the running total formula; I like Joaquim's formula:

=IF(A2<>A3,SUMIF(A:A,A2,D:D),"")

This formula uses SUMIF() to specify criteria. If the dates in column A match, do nothing. If they don't match, sum those that do match. It's elegant and after testing, I can find no flaw in it and it's shorter than the formula I had in mind!

About

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.

22 comments
dallard49
dallard49

If you want text "on top" of the picture, I found that the best way to do this is to type the text and then insert the picture. Next, double click the picture to bring up the text wrapping options and then select "Behind Text" option. Next move the picture over the text and the text should appear on top of the picture. You can also move the text or the picture to accommodate any position that you desire.

DannyDont
DannyDont

I would Insert the Picture - Then add a Text Box with No Fill and either clear the box line or leave it in. Depending on the picture I would change the font color. It I want it to stand out more, I will not remove the Text Box You need to format the picture so that text flows through it and then move the picture to the back using the Order Command. I use this technique all the time. Very simple and straight forward if you use it a lot. This is NOT a real accurate description of how to do it but it answers the basic question.

?vatar
?vatar

Susan Spindel did exactly what I did. Add a text box with no fill and no lines.

macjog
macjog

Position your picture on the page and then make a text box with no lines or fillings and that has the layout 'on top of text'. Move the text box on top of the picture and type.

ESchlangen
ESchlangen

We commonly use WordArt in the header to create a watermark effect that can be seen on every page of a document. However, when there is a picture on a page the "watermark" ALWAYS falls behind the picture. Some of our old Word 2003 documents work the way that we want them to when they are converted to Word 2007, so I know that it is possible but so far no one here has discovered how to do this. Does anyone out there know what we're missing? Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. (PS I tried to correct the word 'document' in the first line but it doesn't appear incorrectly in the edit screen.)

iankovszky
iankovszky

Insert picture and then set "Text Wrapping" to "Behind text".

Kara-Vader
Kara-Vader

I would format the picture to line up with the text

StefanHeffley
StefanHeffley

This could be a solution Instead of a caption create a text box from the Insert menu , place the box where you want on the picture. Now you have a caption on the picture where you decide. Use the edit format settings to define the ?Fill Transparency? and ?Line Color?settings for the text box as you deem appropriate. One problem with this solution is that the picture and text box do not remain together when one of the objects is moved. The solution to this follows: Place the picture inside a text box, then place the caption text box where it fits best. Next select the two text boxes and group them together. Now the object is one and will move together.

johndoe4024
johndoe4024

Reading the posts so far reveals a different problem to be solved. How does one write an unambiguous problem statement? Responses so far clearly show there have been differing interpretations of 'on top of'.

jimking
jimking

Word Art is an easy way but changing the "Wrap Text" option of the photo to behind text is another way. The wrap text option allows all text on top of the photo and word art allows just that text to be on top.

kkeller
kkeller

Right click on picture, go to Format Picture, click on Layout tab, click on Tight. Then you can type text above the image, beside the image or below the image.

ibwiser
ibwiser

After inserting your picture and making your caption, use the "Page Layout" menu, "Arrange" "Text Wrapping", "Behind Text", or much more quickly, right click on the picture to access the same Text Wrapping option, Behind Text menus.

derwil
derwil

Insert picture in Word, change the text wrapping to behind text and type away. You should also ensure that 'Move object with text' is unticked.

Brydii
Brydii

I would watermark the picture itself and then group it to be sent backwards/sent behind text. Then you can just type straight over the picture :)

david.meermans
david.meermans

Open the picure in PowerPoint. Add the text as a text box. Select the picture and text and "save as picture" by right-clicking on the selected picture and text. Then in Word, insert the newly saved picture in the normal way.

dlarowe
dlarowe

I think the easiest way would be to create a text box. Text boxes can be easily positioned anywhere by going into the text box properties and changing the layout section to "in front of text."

pptmagic
pptmagic

This is because your watermark in a header is essentially a background image. Anything added to an individual page will always be on top. When you're converting to Office 2007 it is probably copying the watermark to every page when you do the conversion (which can also be problematic). The best solution is to place your watermark where it won't be unduly obscured by the page contents; the top, bottom, left or right margins. I usually place Draft watermarks at the top of the page and for a more permanent watermark I rotate the text and place it along the left margin.

besquared2
besquared2

"on top" or "above", that is my question too. If "above" is correct, I also would like to know if the text should have the ability to be cross-referenced like a caption would.

ScotlynHatt
ScotlynHatt

I am lazy and like to use styles when possible. I would just type the text I want, apply the Caption style to it, then start a new line and insert the image. That way, I can adjust that style for all image captions in a large document at once.

Joaquim Amado Lopes
Joaquim Amado Lopes

Insert a text box. Enter the text and format it. On "Format Picture - Fill", choose "Picture or texture fill" (Word 2010). Choose the picture from a file or clipart. Word 2003 has the same functionality.

ppg
ppg

On Word 2007 it is Format Text Box -> Color and Lines -> Fill Effects -> Picture. You then have to ensure you lock the aspect ratio or the picture gets distorted to fit the box.