WD2000: General Information About Floating Objects

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SUMMARY

In Microsoft Word 2000, you can use floating objects, which are more flexible and powerful than frames. This article discusses differences in object types to give you a better understanding of how to manipulate objects in Word 2000.

This article covers the following topics:

Overview What Are Objects?
  • Description of the Layers of a Document
  • How Objects Are Handled in Versions of Word Earlier Than Word 6.0
  • How Objects Are Handled in Word Version 6.0 and Later
How to Choose the Appropriate Type of Object Floating Objects
  • When to Use a Floating Object
  • Limitations of Floating Objects
Inline Objects

Frames How to Change One Type of Object to Another Floating Objects
  • How to Convert a Floating Object to an Inline Object
  • How to Convert a Floating Object to a Framed Object
Inline Objects
  • How to Convert an Inline Object to a Floating Object
  • How to Convert an Inline Object to a Framed Object
Framed Objects
  • How to Convert a Framed Picture to an Inline Picture
  • How to Convert Framed Text to Inline Text
  • How to Convert a Framed Object to a Floating Object
How to Troubleshoot Problems Floating Objects
  • Objects Move Around on the Screen, Are Not Inserted or Pasted Correctly, or Move to the Next Page
  • Objects Disappear When You Insert or Paste Them
  • You Cannot See Objects in Some Views
  • You Cannot See Field Codes for Inserted or Pasted Objects
  • Fields in the Drawing Layer Do Not Work, or Fields Return Incorrect Values

MORE INFORMATION

Overview

What Are Objects?

"Object" is a generic term that is used to describe something that you insert or paste into a document. Text is usually not considered an object (it is considered text). Examples of objects include the following:
  • ClipArt pictures
  • Drawing objects (text boxes, lines, AutoShapes, and so on)
  • Equation Editor objects
  • Graphics
  • Microsoft Graph objects
  • PowerPoint slides
  • WordArt objects
In Word 2000, there are three basic types of objects. These types and a description of the layers in which they can appear in Word are listed in the following table. For information about the layers in a document, see the "Description of the Layers of a Document" section of this article.

This type of object

Exists in this layer of Word

 

 

Inline

Only in the text layer and acts as a single, large character. Text does not wrap around it.

 

 

Framed

Only in the text layer. Text always wraps around it.

 

 

Floating

Only in the drawing layer. Text may or may not wrap around it.



Description of the Layers of a Document

Below the Text Layer

   +---------------+
   |               |   You can place objects in this layer. Only "floating"
   |               |   objects can exist in this layer. If an object is in
   |               |   this layer, it appears behind the text of the
   |               |   document (in most cases).
   |               |
   |               |
   |               |
   |               |
   |               |
   +---------------+
Text Layer
   +---------------+
   | This is the   | Generally, this layer contains the text
   |  text of      | of your document. You can, however, place objects in
   | the document  | this layer just as you can in earlier versions
   |               | of Word. You can put the following types of objects in
   |               | this layer:
   |               |
   |               | text: all text and formatting for the document
   |               |
   |               | inline objects: objects that act as a single, large
   |               | character
   |               |
   |               | framed objects: objects that text flows around
   +---------------+
Above the Text Layer
   +---------------+
   |               | You can place objects in this layer. Only "floating"
   |               | objects can exist in this layer. If an object is in
   |               | this layer, it appears in front of the text of the
   |               | document (in most cases).
   |               |
   |               |
   |               |
   |               |
   |               |
   +---------------+
Word has other layers that behave in the same way as the three layers mentioned here. Other layers include the header/footer layers and the footnote/endnote layers.

How Objects Are Handled in Versions of Word Earlier Than Word 6.0

In versions of Word earlier than version 6.0 for Windows, all objects exist in the same layer as the text of the document. You can insert objects "inline" so that they act as a single, large, text character, or you can use a frame. When you "frame" an object, you can move the object around in the document by dragging it, and you can get text to flow around the object. Placing a graphic on top of text is virtually impossible in these earlier versions of Word.

A line of text with an "inline" object resembles the following (with the box being the object):
   text text text text text text text

                  |---|
                  |   |
   text text text |---| text text text text
   text text text text text text text text
A line of text with a "framed" object resembles the following (with the box being the object). The text is said to "wrap" or "flow" around the object:
   text text text text text text text
   text text text |---| text text text
   text text text |   | text text text
   text text text |---| text text text text
   text text text text text text text text
How Objects Are Handled in Word 6.0 and Later

Word versions 6.0 and later include a "drawing layer". A drawing layer can be considered a clear sheet of paper on top of, and underneath, the text of the document. This gives you the ability to place objects on separate layers above and below the text of the document, in addition to the traditional method of placing objects in the text layer of the document. You can also stack one object on top of another object in each drawing layer. Objects that are in the layer above the text layer or below the text layer are called "floating objects." Objects that are inserted in Word 97 are formatted as floating objects by default. Objects that are inserted in Word 97 SR-1 and later are formatted as inline objects by default.

How to Choose the Appropriate Type of Object

Floating Objects

Floating objects are powerful and flexible enough that you can get them to emulate almost all of the behaviors of inline objects and framed objects. In Word 2000, most of the time, you should use a floating object rather than an inline object or a framed object.

When to Use a Floating Object:
  • You want text to wrap around the object. (Note that a floating object also can be formatted to not allow text wrapping.)

    Floating objects can have text wrap around them in ways that a framed object cannot. Wrapping styles include "In line with text", "Square", "Tight", "Behind Text", and "In front of text". Wrapping locations (horizontal alignment) include wrapping to the left side, the right side, the center, or other.
  • You want to position the object by dragging it in the document with your mouse.
  • You want to position the object in front of or behind the text layer. This is usually done when you create a watermark.
  • You want to use other drawing features with the object.
Limitations of Floating Objects:

Certain features do not work well with floating objects. Generally, fields in the text layer do not recognize fields in the drawing layer. If you must access information from a field, use a frame. For example, use a frame when the object includes a field that captures any of the following types of information:
  • Cross-references
  • Captions
  • Table of Contents entries
  • Index entries
  • Table of Figures entries
  • Table of Authorities entries
NOTE: If you want to view the field codes, use a frame instead of a floating object. Also, you should use a frame if you want to use the Find and Replace feature to locate the object by object type. For example, you should use a frame if the object is a picture and you want to find it by searching for "Graphic" with the Special search criteria in the Find and Replace dialog box.

For additional information about these limitations and for possible workarounds, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
212381 WD2000: How to Insert a Right-Aligned Caption Next to an Equation
212235 WD2000: ErrMsg: Error! No Table of Figures Entries Found
211208 WD2000: Entries in Text Box/Callouts Missing from TOC

Inline Objects

When to Use an Inline Object:
  • You do not want text to wrap around the object.
  • You want to format the object as a character by using tabs, indents, paragraph formatting, character formatting, and so on.
  • You want to position the object in a table cell.

Frames

Use a frame when you want an object to behave like a floating object, and you want to use special features with it. For more information, see the "Limitations of Floating Objects" section earlier in this article.

How to Change One Type of Object to Another

Sometimes you may need to convert one type of object to another.

Floating Objects

How to Convert a Floating Object to an Inline Object:
  1. Right-click the floating object, and then click Format object on the menu that appears.
  2. Click the Layout tab.
  3. In the Wrapping Style section, click In line with text, and then click OK.
How to Convert a Floating Object to a Framed Object:

Sometimes you may want your objects to act like floating objects, but you need certain features that are only available with framed objects. In these few cases, you may need to convert a floating object to a framed object.

For more information about when to use a framed versus a floating object, see the "Limitations of Floating Objects" section earlier in this article.

To convert a floating object to a framed object, use either of the following methods.

Method 1: Use an Inline Object

With this method, you first convert the floating object to an inline object, and then you convert that inline object to a framed object. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click the floating object, and then click Format object on the menu that appears.
  2. Click the Layout tab.
  3. In the Wrapping Style section, click In line with text, and then click OK.
Follow these steps to convert the inline object to a framed object:
  1. Select the object.
  2. On the Tools menu, point to Macro, and then click Macros.
  3. In the Macros in box, click Word Commands.
  4. For the Macro Name, type InsertFrame, and then click Run.
Method 2: Use the "Convert to Frame" Option

Text boxes and callouts have a special Convert to Frame option available that is not available for other shapes. To use this feature, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click the text box or callout object, and then click Format object on the menu that appears.
  2. Click the Text box tab.
  3. Click the Convert to frame button.
The text box or callout is now a frame in the text layer of the document.

Inline Objects

How to Convert an Inline Object to a Floating Object:
  1. Right-click the inline object, and then click Format object on the menu that appears.
  2. Click the Layout tab.
  3. In the Wrapping Style section, click Square, Tight, Behind Text, or In front of text.
How to Convert an Inline Object to a Framed Object:
  1. Select the object.
  2. On the Tools menu, point to Macro, and then click Macros.
  3. In the Macros in box, click Word Commands.
  4. For the Macro Name, type InsertFrame and then click Run.
The object is now in a frame. You can move it around in the document by dragging it.

Framed Objects

How to Convert a Framed Picture to an Inline Picture:
  1. Right-click the picture, and click Format Picture on the menu that appears.
  2. Click the Layout tab.
  3. Click Advanced.
  4. Click the Picture Position tab.
  5. Click to clear the Move object with text check box.
  6. Click OK two times.
The picture is now an inline picture.

How to Convert Framed Text to Inline Text:
  1. Right-click the frame, and then click Format Frame on the menu that appears.
  2. Click the Remove Frame button.
The framed text is converted to inline text (standard text in the text layer of the document).

How to Convert a Framed Object to a Floating Object:
  1. Right-click the framed object, and then click Format object on the menu that appears.
  2. On the Layout tab, click to select a wrapping style other than In line with text. For example, click to select a wrapping style of Square.
  3. Click OK.NOTE: Your floating object may reposition itself in a different position on the page, and you may need to drag it to the location you want.

How to Troubleshoot Problems with Floating Objects

Objects Move Around on the Screen, Are Not Inserted or Pasted Correctly, or Move to the Next Page

These effects can occur when the object is inserted or pasted as a floating object. To place the object where you want it, do one of the following:
  • After you paste or insert the object, find it, and then drag it to the location that you want.

    -or-
  • Convert the object to an inline object.
For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
212295 WD2000: Inserted Picture or Drawing Object Moves Down Page

Objects Disappear When You Insert or Paste Them

The object that you inserted or pasted may have landed on top of another object. Click the object that you just inserted or pasted, and drag it by using the mouse. You may see another object underneath it. You can position each object in the location that you want by dragging the object.

The object that you inserted or pasted may have landed on another page or on a different part of the current page. Scroll around in the document until you locate it. Then, you can drag it back to the location you want.

You Cannot See Objects in Some Views

Floating objects cannot be seen in normal or outline view. Switch to Web layout or print layout view, in order to see the object.

A view setting needs to be turned on in order to see floating objects. To turn on this setting, follow these steps:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. Click the View tab.
  3. In the Print and Web Layout options section, click to select the Drawings check box.

You Cannot See Field Codes for Inserted or Pasted Objects

The ability (or inability) to view the field codes does not change the functionality of the field codes. Therefore, there is no need to make the field codes visible. If, however, you want to be able to view the field codes, you must convert the floating object to an inline object or a framed object.

For additional information about floating objects and field codes, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
212241 WD2000: Can't See Field Codes for Some Objects

Fields in the Drawing Layer Do Not Work, or Fields Return Incorrect Values

Many fields do not work in the drawing layer. These fields include REF, SEQ, TA, TC, XE, TOA, TOC, AUTONUM, and MERGEFIELD. To use these fields, you must convert the floating object to a framed object.

REFERENCES

Microsoft Word Help

For more information about floating objects, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type floating objects in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topic.

For more information about positioning objects, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type float over text in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topic.

For more information about frames, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type frames in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topic.

For more information about wrapping text around objects, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type wrapping text in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topic.

For more information about AutoShapes, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type AutoShapes in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topic.

For more information about watermarks, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type watermark in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topic.

For more information about special drawing effects, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type wordart in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topic.

Properties

Article ID: 268713 - Last Review: November 25, 2002 - Revision: 1.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Word 2000 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbinfo kbframe wd2000 kbdta kblayout kbfaq kbgraphic KB268713

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