Inserting an image inside of text in Microsoft Word allows you to showcase visuals right alongside your content. While Word doesn’t have a built-in feature to insert images into text boxes or individual letters, you can use Word’s SmartArt graphics as a workaround.
This article will walk you through the process step-by-step. The instructions apply to Microsoft 365, Word for Mac, and purchased versions of Word.
Overview of Inserting Images in Text with SmartArt
The key to inserting images inside text lies in Word’s SmartArt graphics. SmartArt allows you to insert different types of graphics, like process charts and hierarchies, that you can customize.
By inserting a SmartArt graphic into your text, you can then add an image into one of the text boxes. This effectively lets you place an inline image within your text.
- Retains text wrapping and flow
- Image positioning remains stable
- Ability to resize image as needed
- Requires more manual formatting
- Not possible to insert image directly into text
Now let’s look at how to do this using the step-by-step walkthrough.
Step 1: Select Location in Text
Start by opening your Word document and selecting the location where you want to insert an image.
Place your cursor in the desired location within the text. You can insert an inline image mid-sentence, between paragraphs, or any other text location.
Step 2: Insert SmartArt Graphic
Next, go to the Insert tab and click the SmartArt button.
In the Choose a SmartArt Graphic window, select a simple SmartArt option that has a single text box, like Basic Block List.
Basic Block List SmartArt example
Click OK to insert the SmartArt into your document.
It will appear as an object within your text that you can now customize.
Step 3: Insert Image
In the text box inside the SmartArt graphic, click and press Delete to remove the placeholder text.
Then, go to the Insert tab and click the Pictures button. Select the image you want to use from your computer files.
Insert Picture menu in Word
The image will appear inside the SmartArt text box.
Step 4: Format Image
If desired, use the SmartArt Format tab to add formatting to the graphic.
For example, you can add an outline, adjust the transparency, change the colors, and more. This allows you to seamlessly integrate the image with your document’s style.
Step 5: Resize and Position
If your image appears too large or small within the text, resize the entire SmartArt graphic to achieve the desired size relative to your text.
You can adjust the position of the inline image and surrounding text as needed to get the right fit.
Under SmartArt Tools Format, select Tight for the Text Wrapping option. This will wrap text tightly around the object.
Helpful Tips for Working with Inline Images
- Copy and paste – Once you have the inline image formatted as desired, you can copy and paste it to quickly duplicate it in other parts of your document.
- Maintain aspect ratio – When resizing your SmartArt graphic with the image, hold Shift while dragging the handles to retain proper image proportions.
- Edit original image – You can right-click the image and select Edit Original to adjust the base image as needed in an editing program.
- Alternative text – Add alt text for accessibility and screen readers by selecting the image and adding a description in the Format tab.
Why Use SmartArt Instead of Text Boxes
Some might wonder why you wouldn’t just insert text boxes instead of SmartArt for inline images.
The main advantage of using SmartArt graphics is that the images flow with text when adding or deleting content.
With separate text boxes, you have to manually position inline images. SmartArt simplifies the process while also keeping images with the relevant text.
For a visual demonstration, see the step-by-step video tutorial below on inserting an image inside text with SmartArt:
YouTube thumbnail showing demo of image insertion process
And that’s it! You’ve now successfully inserted an image creatively within text using Microsoft Word’s built-in tools.
Some next things to explore:
- Experiment with different SmartArt layouts
- Add captions or text wrapping to images
- Troubleshoot formatting issues
For more help, check out the following resources:
We covered the core process, but there’s a lot more you can do when working with images in Word documents!
Let me know if you have any other questions.