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I copied an image from MSPaint and pasted it into a Word document I'm working on. For some reason the image hides behind the text even with the default "in line with text" setting. Trying other settings don't work as expected either.

It does the same when I insert a picture from a file.

Can anyone shed any light what would be causing this and how to fix it - I am guessing some formatting issue in the existing document?

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Since the image is inline the problem might be that the paragraph line spacing is set to "Exactly". When this happens the image is cut off to fit inside the paragraph.

You can check if exact line spacing is used by looking under paragraph properties. To do this right click the paragraph the image belongs to and choose Paragraph. If Line Spacing is set to Exactly then change it to something else, for example Auto.

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This worked for me too. Note that I didn't have an "auto" option to select, but I went from "exactly 14px" to "at least 14px" and the problem was resolved. – Duncan Feb 24 '14 at 9:36
Great! You made my day, after two years :) – mok Jan 3 '15 at 9:02
@mok, Glad to hear it :) Happy new years. – Adam Jan 3 '15 at 9:24
Thanks. Happy new year ;) – mok Jan 3 '15 at 12:19
+1 for being right. -1 to Microsoft, after all these years I still have to fight with Word for the most basic of tasks. Change the header font anyone? Start an Appendix with appropriate heading numbering? :-( – SharpC Jan 30 '15 at 13:59

My initial thoughts on this led me to three possibilities.

Firstly, I suspect that images objects are (for some reason) set to automatically go behind the text. However, you state that this is not the problem as you have covered this when you mentioned having tried "other settings".

Secondly, I suspected that the opposite happened: your text is (for some reason) set to be in front of all other objects.

Finally, your default Word settings may set all pictures with an anchor which 'holds' it in place, behind all text.

Whichever it is, I would like to suggest the following:

  • Select the image with your cursor (single-click). If you cannot reach the image, Select the Home tab, then from the far right of the menu / ribbon, select 'Select' and select 'Select Objects'. Now, you may click on the image even if it is behind text and select it without any difficulties.
  • Cut (Ctrl + X)
  • Alt Gr + V or Home tab on ribbon, collapse Paste menu and Paste Special...
  • Select Picture (JPEG)
  • OK

If this fails to work, attempt it with the other picture formats. The reason I suggest JPEG is because it retains the most pixel information over all other formats and makes for the best-quality of image possible.

Another thought as to why this has happened could be linked to the program you pasted from (MS Paint). If you did a straight Copy / Cut & Paste, then it may have pasted some horrible formatting code along with it which hasn't been decoded properly by Word.

Give this a go and let me know what happens.


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