Tim Huffam

Dotting the I and crossing the T of I.T.

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For some reason, sometimes you cannot select images within a Microsoft Word document.
 
This has baffled me on an off for some time - and I still do not know the reason why it behaves like this.
 
Today I stumbled across a very simple (and maybe obvious to some) solution... right-click on the image (instead of trying to left-click to select it).  This causes the image to be selected and pop's up the context (right-click) menu.  Just press the Esc (escape) key to close the context menu, and the image remains selected.
Simple huh.
Tim
posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 4:42 AM

Feedback

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 3/12/2008 11:33 PM Freddie
Tried this, but it hasn't worked - the image does not get selected despite right-clicking.

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 5/4/2008 3:11 AM Mark
Same issue driving me crazy

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 8/21/2008 12:12 PM .
View header/footer
- click on "show/hide doc text" icon
- click on the offending watermark image, hit delete.
- if you can't click on the offending watermark, insert blank lines into the header until its frame overlaps the watermark image and click on the image inside the geader frame and delete it. Then delete the extra blank lines form the header to restore it ot its previous size.
- Click show/hide icon once more to restore text


# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 9/7/2008 3:59 AM kristan
Tried the header/footer thing, but it didn't work. The image is there, but there are no watermarks for it. It's not behind any other text boxes or images...right click, left click, nothing works. Any more advice?

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 9/15/2008 12:17 PM Gordon
This is becoming endemic. Posts are mounting all over the Internet that Word users can not select either pictures or text.

Microsoft better respond soon. I have missed my deadline and I do not have another Word processor so I am - you know what - This is costing me big time
Come on Microsoft Get On It!

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 10/21/2008 4:08 PM Shannon Sellers
Same problem. workaround, on the home ribbon, click the Select dropdown and click select object, this it allowed me to select the image and move it around.


# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 12/9/2008 10:09 AM Jason Meyer
I seem to have this problem when the text wrapping is set to tight, behind, or in front. In these modes Word wants to select the text rather than the picture. I found if you click on the border of the pictures (or where you think the border would be since you cant actually see the border) instead of clicking the center it will usually select the picture. Hope this helps.

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 12/29/2008 5:13 AM Hooman Shams
home> select > select objects ( Click on the pic )

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 2/3/2009 2:09 PM Nick Steele
Just show the drawing toolbar, then click the select tool (the arrow), and click on any image in the document, it's that easy!

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 3/11/2009 2:35 AM Ryan
unbelievable! Yeah, that makes much more sense to have it on the "home" "ribbon" rather than on a "menu". Heck, with Microsoft's intuition, it won't be long until letters are replaced wtih symbols that represent the way they sound...so a cookie replaces an "M" because it makes you think "mmmm...yummy!"

Anyway, enough of my ranting, thanks to Shannon and Hooman for the solution for Word 2007.

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 4/16/2009 9:57 AM myhomeloanhelper
Nick Steel, If I had any money I would send it to you. I was pulling whats left of my hair out. Thanks

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 5/7/2009 2:52 AM Scott
The HOME - SELECT - SELECT OBJECT worked perfectly!

Thanks so much!

(I had this problem when doing CD labels using an avery template. I put the background pic behind the text, disk 1 of whatever)

Thanks again!

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 7/1/2009 5:19 AM Suresh
Thank you mate, same problem select object worked perfectly thanks a lot

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 8/20/2009 11:13 AM klibber
If anyone out there is still listening, I have this exact same problem in MS Word 2003. In my case I'm automating word and trying to remove all textboxes in a document. When I try to access shapes that are configured as describe in this thread I get a permission denied exception. When I view the WordML for this document I see a vml element in the shape that says <o:lock v:ext="edit" selection="t"/>. Near as I can tell, there is no way to affect this setting in MS Word, or via Word automation. I may relegate myself to opening the document as .xml, use xpath to find the offending shapes and remove them that way. Though I really don't want to head down that road, 'cause performance is already becoming an issue in this feature of my application.

Thanks all in advance.

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 10/5/2009 6:45 AM Spiral
Bah, this is just the tip of the iceberg with this problem...

I have a master sheet with text boxes, and images that are behind text. Because the images are behind the text boxes, they cannot be selected at all. Any attempt to select the image selects the text box instead.

So you try moving the text boxes... but when any text box is moved all the images on the page reposition themselves, screwing up the layout.

(As if this wasn't bad enough, everything was properly aligned when I first laid out the master sheet. I then loaded the document on a different computer using the same version of word - all the images had moved about 5 inches to the right).

Why is it that each successive iteration of Microsoft Office makes changes but not improvements? I don't know about anyone else, but all the ribbon has done is force me to relearn where everything is. Meanwhile, bugs that have been in Word for 3-4 versions are still not fixed.

Right now, it's looking like it's impossible for me to complete this DTP job using Word. I'm not sure what to do other than look for a new package.

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 10/5/2009 6:50 AM Spiral
Okay, I have a workaround for anyone else with this problem.

1. Home, Editing, Select Objects
2. Draw a box around the area with the image in. The text box in front will also be selected.
3. Hold Ctrl and click on the text box. It will be deselected.
4. You will now have just the image selected, and can move it around as required.

Hope this helps someone else in the future before they tear their hair out...

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 11/16/2009 3:36 PM Tezrah
MOST VERY Helpful!!! Thank you all!

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 5/31/2010 2:17 AM Abhay
Thanks Spiral for the valuable information....

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 7/7/2010 7:47 PM David Hamilton
Thank you Shannon Sellers. You helped me greatly.

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 9/23/2010 4:41 AM kattekliek
"The HOME - SELECT - SELECT OBJECT worked perfectly!

Thanks so much!"

Same here, thanks a lot! :)

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 9/27/2010 6:50 AM H Millard
Tried all of the above and still can't select images or text boxes after they are in the document.

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 10/27/2010 5:50 PM bob
with microsoft 2007 click the select button all the way on the the left of the home tab. then you can click select objects and this allows you to click an object

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 1/23/2011 6:31 PM NKothary
Nick Steele,

Thanks so much! Will definitely remember that tip. Was going crazy.

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 2/10/2011 1:49 PM Caroline
If you click control A everything on the page is selected and then click on the image
I cannot find the arrow that used to be in the drawing toolbar in Word 2003 which ws used to select images

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 2/23/2011 5:33 PM Mavi
Thanks so much for the help, I am spreading the word!

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 3/28/2011 1:05 PM Metalhaid
@ Hooman Shams Dude that was a LIFESAVER, thanks for sharing. 2 years later using this !@#$ program still trying to figure this !@#$ out.
Thanks again,
Metalhaid
check out our band site at: www.delacrank.com

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 4/14/2011 9:04 AM Kelly
Nick Steele, a million billion thanks.

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 6/15/2011 4:56 PM Alex
Nice Thanks

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 8/4/2011 1:06 AM Mark
Simple Solution (IN WORD 2003): View > "Print Layout"

Worked for me

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 8/24/2011 12:49 AM D
The "HOME - SELECT - SELECT OBJECT" worked perfectly!

Brilliant - worked well. Thanks
Microsoft must have an IQ test when interviewing employees, if you fail, you get hired. Using MS for over 15 years now and still amazed at the lack of ease of use.

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 12/5/2011 11:02 AM Julian
Just hold the control button and select the object
1

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 12/7/2011 8:44 AM jersery gurl
So glad I did a search and found this site, I was going crazy over one tiny text box I couldn't get to. Thank you!!!

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 12/12/2011 8:53 PM Pete
I've tried to group objects, but word 2010 will not allow me to even select the objects i want to group. Could do it on earlier versions of word.

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 12/18/2011 1:13 AM Vietnam Railway
Great visualization and unique informative. I really like looking at different useful information.

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 12/18/2011 8:40 AM B
Yeeeeey! Home - select objects did it! Thank you!!!!!!

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 4/14/2012 9:04 AM Dave Myers
Thank You!
The HOME - SELECT - SELECT OBJECT worked perfectly!
Thanks so much!"



# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 6/8/2012 6:34 PM Sort of Fixed
I (sort of) found a fix.

Problem: I converted a pdf to a docx, but it came with lots of lines/images that I wanted to delete, but I couldn't select them.

Solution: Select the "Drawing Tools" tab at the top. Slick the "Selection Pane" button. A menu should appear on the right that lists all of the objects page by page. You can select them from here.

# re: Cannot delete the text inside the picture..pls help 8/4/2012 2:07 PM grace
what im going to do inorder to delete the text inside the picture without any traces of marks sorround it!!!pls help

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 9/8/2012 7:01 PM Anwar
Really, MS Word 2010 is a pain to select and combine images.

I found the best is to use MS Power Point to combine images, and then, copy and paste the group image to Word document.

It is much faster and a lot easier.


# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 9/8/2012 7:01 PM Anwar
Really, MS Word 2010 is a pain to select and combine images.

I found the best is to use MS Power Point to combine images, and then, copy and paste the group image to Word document.

It is much faster and a lot easier.


# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 9/17/2012 1:38 PM Renee
I had this problem and none of the fixes above worked for me. I ended up working around it by cutting the paragraph where the shape was, which also removed the shape. Then I retyped the paragraph. Note that deleting the paragraph would not remove the shape nor did attempting to reformat the paragraph. Anyway, whatever works!

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 10/12/2012 11:08 PM shravan shastri
it is worked. good tricks! THANK YOU HUMAN SHAMS!

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 10/23/2012 10:34 PM mike
The only one of these that works for me is the selection pane, would is not convenient. The select objects will work if I am working on something with a .doc extension, but doesn't work at all when it is a .docx extension. How do I get it to work on a .docx document?

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 10/26/2012 6:39 PM Rich
Home - Select - Select objects worked! There were graphics that simply could not be selected. When I pasted them in, I could move them around but then they suddenly would lose the outline markers and became unselectable. Great website, thank you!

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 12/20/2012 9:47 AM Ash
Make sure that the images you want to group are "In Front of Text". This can be done by selecting the image, go to the "Format" tab, select the drop down for "Wrap Text" and then you will be able to select "In Front of Text". Once all the images you want to group are "In Front of Text" then you will be able to select each of them by holding the Ctrl key and then you can group them!

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 1/30/2013 12:03 PM Flake
Y'all are Saints!!! Home-Select-Select objects - YEAH BABY!

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word? 4/4/2013 7:25 AM Michele Taylor
Go into Publisher view, select the pic and then go back to print view - your pic will remain selected

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