Description of the SHAPE field in Word

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Article ID: 276862 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

When you turn on (toggle) the field codes in a Microsoft Word document, you may see a SHAPE field similar to the following:
{SHAPE \* MERGEFORMAT}
This article describes what a SHAPE field is and how it is inserted into your Word document.

NOTE: To turn on or turn off the field codes in your Word document, do one of the following:
  • Press ALT+F9.
  • In Microsoft Word 2002 or in Microsoft Office Word 2003, click Options on the Tools menu. On the View tab, click to select the Field codes check box, and then click OK.
  • In Microsoft Office Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button, click Word Options, and then click Advanced. In the Show Document Content area, click to clear the Show field codes instead of the check box for the code values.

MORE INFORMATION

A SHAPE field is the Drawing Canvas and is similar to a placeholder, which is automatically created for any drawn picture. Drawn pictures (also called vector drawings) are created from lines, curves, rectangles, and other objects. AutoShapes are drawn pictures.

The SHAPE field represents the position of the drawn picture within the document. The drawn picture is anchored to the SHAPE field, in order for the picture to be displayed in the correct location in the document.

A SHAPE field is inserted when you do any of the following:
  • Insert an organization chart

    To insert an organization chart, point to Picture on the Insert menu, and then click Organization Chart. For more information about organization charts, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type organization charts in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topics returned.
  • Insert a new drawing

    To insert a new drawing, point to Picture on the Insert menu, and then click New Drawing. For more information about drawings, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type drawings in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topics returned.
  • Draw an AutoShape in Word 2002 and in Word 2003

    Note When you draw an AutoShape in Word 2007, a SHAPE field is not inserted.

    To draw an AutoShape, click AutoShape on the Drawing toolbar (on the View menu, point to Toolbars, and then click to select Drawing). 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 topics returned.
You can view the SHAPE field only when the object is in line with the text in your document. This is the default behavior when you insert any of the objects listed earlier in this article. If you change the layout of the object, the field code of the SHAPE field cannot be seen. To change the layout of the Drawing Canvas of the object, follow these steps:
  1. Click the object.
  2. Right-click the outside edge of the Drawing Canvas, and then click Format Drawing Canvas on the shortcut menu that appears.
  3. Click to select the Layout tab, and then click to select the Wrapping style that you want.
NOTE: You cannot insert a SHAPE field as you insert other fields, by using the Fields dialog box (on the Insert menu, click Field).

To turn off the Drawing Canvas (and to prevent a SHAPE field from being inserted), follow these steps:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the General tab, click to clear the Automatically create drawing canvas when inserting autoshapes check box.
  3. Click OK to close the Options dialog box.

Properties

Article ID: 276862 - Last Review: January 29, 2007 - Revision: 2.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Office Word 2007
  • Microsoft Office Word 2003
  • Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbhowto KB276862

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