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What does this anchor symbol mean in MS word enter image description here? It comes up to the left of some images when 'show hidden formatting' is on.

I think it might be restricting group selection of an image (text boxes and images), can anyone clarify?

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1 Answer 1

The anchor symbol will be next to whatever the graphic is anchored to

When you've got your graphic in position, you might want to modify its position after you've seen it in place with the text. Now it would be useful to see what the graphic is positioned relative to.

Behind the scenes, when you position a floating graphic, Word is "anchoring" the graphic relative to whatever you've positioned the graphic by (paragraph, page, and so on). For example, if you've positioned the graphic relative to a paragraph, the anchor appears at the start of the paragraph. Even if you've positioned the graphic by dragging it where you wanted, it still has an anchor.

You can move an anchor by dragging it to a different position in the document. This will only move the anchor — not the graphic. So in the newsletter example, if you split the paragraph that the picture is anchored to into two paragraphs, the anchor is then attached to the second paragraph. You want the graphic to be positioned relative to the first paragraph, so you could drag the anchor without moving the picture. Now you can add many new paragraphs, but the graphic remains in position anchored to the first paragraph.

Tip The graphic and the anchor must be on the same page. If you add or remove text and the anchor moves to another page, the graphic will join it. So you always want to position the anchor on the page that you want the graphic to appear on.

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If you want to remove it

If you really want to remove the anchor, you do it by selecting the object and deleting it from the document. If you just don't want to see the anchor symbol (but you do want to keep the object), click File > Options > Display and uncheck the box for "object anchors".

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