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How to group a picture and a shape/text box in Microsoft Word 2013? I have discovered that I can't group pictures as well. Does "Group" command concerned with grouping shapes only? Are there any workarounds to this problem?

14 Answers 14

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A solution (I don't know if it is the best) is to use Powerpoint 2013. Add your picture, add your shapes, group them, then select the picture and Copy and Paste into your Word document.

You will have to change the anchor options to 'in-line with text', but the shape should move and scale with the picture.

The important part of this method is that you can still make edits to the shapes if necessary.

EDIT: Note that others below have found a way to do this within Word.

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  • How in the world is this easier than copying the image into paint, doing your editing, and copying back into word? – Sean Allred Oct 22 '15 at 16:56
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    Because you can still edit and move the shapes if necessary.. The purpose is to have them move and size with the image. Maybe I should clarify and say editing the image is much quicker as long you are not intending on needing to make edits.. – T James Oct 23 '15 at 17:55
  • Ah, that's fair. =) – Sean Allred Oct 23 '15 at 18:11
  • This workaround does not work in Word/Powerpoint 2007. – Stevoisiak May 25 '17 at 0:32
  • This is not the best answer, see below for an answer that doesn't require you to go outside of Word. – Tomek May 8 '18 at 21:25
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Solution for 2007 (which may work in 2013)

It is a real shame that pictures and textboxes/shapes can't be grouped in more recent versions of word. I heard that if you add a textbox, click on properties, fill, and add the image as a fill picture of a textbox then one would be able to group with other textboxes, but I have not found this to be possible.

UNTIL I made sure that the textbox containing the image and the shapes and textboxes that I wanted to group it with had the same Text Wrapping setting (in front of text). Then I could group them, and change the text wrapping back to inline for the whole group. In earlier version of Word, the text wrapping was automatically unified to that of one or other grouped item but now this must be done manually in 2007. I hope that this works for 2013 too.

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  • You CAN GROUP! This answer explains how. – Dylan Cross Mar 1 '16 at 16:09
  • I'm not sure I understand this process. Images or a step-by-step list would make this easier to understand. – Stevoisiak May 25 '17 at 0:34
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    It's still the case for Word 2013/2016. Quote from this office support page: "To group pictures in Word, the Wrap Text option must be set to something other than In line with Text for every single picture you want to group." – Tymric Oct 9 '17 at 11:22
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Change the "Layout Options" of the picture to any of the six options in "With Text Wrapping", such as "Top to Bottom". Then, shapes and picture can be selected altogether and "Group".

Here are the screenshots of changing layout options:

changing layout options

and grouping shapes and picture:

grouping shapes and picture

This solution was originally provided by timtak but screenshot wasn't provided.

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    I don't know about newer versions, but this does not work in Word 2007. – Stevoisiak May 25 '17 at 0:28
  • I used Microsoft Word version 2013, @StevenVascellaro – Toat Sep 8 '17 at 1:35
  • Works in Word that comes with Office 365 subscription. Why is this not marked as the correct answer? It is a much better answer than the one currently marked as the correct one. – Tomek May 8 '18 at 21:23
  • Seems to work in Word 2010. One thing of note is that the layout change can cause your document text to then run underneath the image. However after you have grouped the items together you can switch the layout back again. – Vagnerr Feb 1 '19 at 15:38
  • timtak provided the same answer two years ago but without the screenshot. I guess it would be awesome if his answer is cited. – Franklin Yu Mar 1 '19 at 22:52
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Do you want something REALLY easy? move to the page where all your Pics, and shapes are located, press "Windows logo key"+s, this will shoot OneNote screen capture. Click and drag the pointer to select the area of the screen you want to capture (be sure to include all objects you want to group) When you release the mouse button, the image will appear in your notes. It will also be copied to the Windows Clipboard so you can paste (CTRL+V) the screen clipping on another page in your word document or into any other program or document as an image. Be sure Microsoft's OneNote is running or this won't work...

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You can try this: insert the image from the Insert tab (up top next to Home). Don't drag the image into Word (you can but you won't be able to group it with textbox/shape). Then edit wrap text to behind/in front. Control click on both image and shape/textbox and group.

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  • I don't understand who downvoted. The issue here as reported by the user is that dragging the image make it not groupable. – ceztko Mar 4 '18 at 9:27
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  1. Save your word document as "97/2003 word document"
  2. Now you can select your shape and picture together then group them.
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  • Welcome to Super User. Can you add a sentence to explain why/how this solves the problem? Thanks. – fixer1234 Mar 23 '18 at 2:28
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If your .docx Word file is in compatibility mode you can't group pictures with shapes. Turn off compatibility mode and then grouping pictures with shapes will work so long as one changes the word wrapping to something other then in line with text.

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I've organised some steps from other answers to make this easier to follow. This works in Word from Microsoft Office Standard 2016:

  1. Insert image
  2. Insert some shapes
  3. Change the image and text layout options to in front of text (thanks timtak)
  4. You may need to move the image back/forward and reposition the shapes. Ignore any document text that may be infront/behind
  5. Select the image and shapes using shift-click - you can now select them all together
  6. On the format menu, click Group
  7. Finally you may need to move or copy/paste your image to the correct location as it may have jumped elsewhere in the document during the process
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I found a way to create a new picture. This would not allow you to adjust afterward, because it makes a new picture, but it worked for my purposes.

Set up the picture and text box(es), shapes, whatever you want grouped together and press the "prt sc" button. Paste the screenshot into Word and right click on the screenshot to select crop. Crop the picture as needed and you have your object. When I did this, it came out smaller than the original, so I had to resize it, but I didn't have any trouble with the resolution.

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I stumbled across something interesting...

Right click on the picture and select "Wrap Text". If it is set to "In Line with Text" you cannot group it with a text box. However, if you set it to "Tight", you can now Group Pictures and Text Box. Now you can reset the Grouped item to "In Line with Text" if you want.

Odd, very odd

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I tried using the canvas under the Shapes tab. Copy and paste all your shapes and images that you want to group on the canvas, then group whilst on the canvas. After grouping Copy and paste off the canvas. This may work?

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  • This question has already been answered and the answer has been accepted. Please avoid posting unless you have something unique to add to the conversation. – music2myear Feb 13 '17 at 22:23
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I found that I can use a table for corralling graphics. I insert a one cell table and add all the graphics, text, etc. to this cell, and I can group or just leave them all individually positioned.

A couple of things you must do: format table for flow in the text; format the cell for vertical & horizontal center; change picture format to one that will stay within the table cell; create a style for the cell or modify the table cell so that the images have some sort of boundary (i.e. 4pt/2pt before and after paragraph spacing, center justify, etc.), if you adjust the table cell, you'll still want a style with center justify and 0pt before and after spacing.

Once you have this "illustration table" setup you can save it to the building block organizer for future use! (Found at Insert tab>text>Quick Parts). I found this to be a handy method for creating safety notes: WARNING Watch out... where WARNING is a graphic, and the other cell is text.

Hope this helps!

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It doesn't work in Word 2013 but it does in Excel 2013. You also have to take into account that a right mouse click also (de)selects when holding CTRL. Then simply copy paste the pictures with shapes as one picture to word. Once in word you can ungroup the shapes from the picture and group them again.

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To Group shapes and or pictures together, find the Select tool in the Home tab. Click the drop down to Select Objects and use the tool to select them.

All your objects will show with a border around them.

Then go to the Page Layout tab and click Group. The borders around the individual objects you selected will change to one border around the group you've just made.

Select & Group screen shot

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    This didn't work for me - I think the OP's point is that Word no longer supports this sort of grouping from 2013 onwards. – Steve Taylor Oct 14 '16 at 10:50
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    This works with shapes only. It does NOT work if one of the objects is a picture (confirmed on Word 2013) – I say Reinstate Monica Jan 14 '17 at 2:13

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