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Tim Huffam Dotting the I and crossing the T of I.T.
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 OS/Networking/Misc Apps , Half Baked | Back to top


Comments on this post: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?

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

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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Same issue driving me crazy
Left by Mark on May 04, 2008 3:11 AM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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
Left by . on Aug 21, 2008 12:12 PM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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?
Left by kristan on Sep 07, 2008 3:59 AM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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!
Left by Gordon on Sep 15, 2008 12:17 PM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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.
Left by Shannon Sellers on Oct 21, 2008 4:08 PM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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.
Left by Jason Meyer on Dec 09, 2008 10:09 AM

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

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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Just show the drawing toolbar, then click the select tool (the arrow), and click on any image in the document, it's that easy!
Left by Nick Steele on Feb 03, 2009 2:09 PM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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.
Left by Ryan on Mar 11, 2009 2:35 AM

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

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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!
Left by Scott on May 07, 2009 2:52 AM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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Thank you mate, same problem select object worked perfectly thanks a lot
Left by Suresh on Jul 01, 2009 5:19 AM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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.
Left by klibber on Aug 20, 2009 11:13 AM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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.
Left by Spiral on Oct 05, 2009 6:45 AM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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...
Left by Spiral on Oct 05, 2009 6:50 AM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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MOST VERY Helpful!!! Thank you all!
Left by Tezrah on Nov 16, 2009 3:36 PM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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Thanks Spiral for the valuable information....
Left by Abhay on May 31, 2010 2:17 AM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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Thank you Shannon Sellers. You helped me greatly.
Left by David Hamilton on Jul 07, 2010 7:47 PM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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"The HOME - SELECT - SELECT OBJECT worked perfectly!

Thanks so much!"

Same here, thanks a lot! :)
Left by kattekliek on Sep 23, 2010 4:41 AM

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

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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
Left by bob on Oct 27, 2010 5:50 PM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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Nick Steele,

Thanks so much! Will definitely remember that tip. Was going crazy.
Left by NKothary on Jan 23, 2011 6:31 PM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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
Left by Caroline on Feb 10, 2011 1:49 PM

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

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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@ 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
Left by Metalhaid on Mar 28, 2011 1:05 PM

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

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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Nice Thanks
Left by Alex on Jun 15, 2011 4:56 PM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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Simple Solution (IN WORD 2003): View > "Print Layout"

Worked for me
Left by Mark on Aug 04, 2011 1:06 AM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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.
Left by D on Aug 24, 2011 12:49 AM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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Just hold the control button and select the object
1
Left by Julian on Dec 05, 2011 11:02 AM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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!!!
Left by jersery gurl on Dec 07, 2011 8:44 AM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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.
Left by Pete on Dec 12, 2011 8:53 PM

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

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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Yeeeeey! Home - select objects did it! Thank you!!!!!!
Left by B on Dec 18, 2011 8:40 AM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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Thank You!
The HOME - SELECT - SELECT OBJECT worked perfectly!
Thanks so much!"

Left by Dave Myers on Apr 14, 2012 9:04 AM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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.
Left by Sort of Fixed on Jun 08, 2012 6:34 PM

# re: Cannot delete the text inside the picture..pls help
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what im going to do inorder to delete the text inside the picture without any traces of marks sorround it!!!pls help
Left by grace on Aug 04, 2012 2:07 PM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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.
Left by Anwar on Sep 08, 2012 7:01 PM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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.
Left by Anwar on Sep 08, 2012 7:01 PM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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!
Left by Renee on Sep 17, 2012 1:38 PM

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

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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?
Left by mike on Oct 23, 2012 10:34 PM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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!
Left by Rich on Oct 26, 2012 6:39 PM

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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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!
Left by Ash on Dec 20, 2012 9:47 AM

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

# re: Cannot select images in Microsoft Word?
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Go into Publisher view, select the pic and then go back to print view - your pic will remain selected
Left by Michele Taylor on Apr 04, 2013 7:25 AM

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