How to Perfectly Align Objects and Pictures in Microsoft Word


When you create a document that contains shapes, images, or other objects, aligning them can make all the difference in the appearance of your document. Fortunately, Microsoft Word gives you features to help you line up your objects.

By enabling alignment guides or grid lines in Word, you can place your items neatly on the page and align them for a smooth, professional look. You can also customize the settings for each feature according to your preferences.

Enable and use alignment guides

With alignment guides, you’ll see lines as you drag your object on the page. This helps you align the element with the top, bottom, left, and right margins by default.

RELATED: How to Place Pictures and Other Objects in Microsoft Word

To turn on guides, go to the Layout tab and select the Align dropdown arrow in the Arrange section of the ribbon. Choose “Alignment Guides” to place a checkmark next to the feature to enable it.

Alignment guides in the Align menu

When you see the object you’re dragging aligned with the guides, simply drop it to drop it into place.

Alignment guides in Word

To disable guides, follow the same steps above to deselect and remove the check mark from the Alignment Guides feature.

Enable and use grid lines

Another good way to align elements in your document is to use Gridlines. These allow you to move your items freely and place them evenly and with other objects according to the grid.

RELATED: How to Move Pictures Freely in Microsoft Word

To turn on gridlines, go to the Layout tab and select the Align dropdown arrow. Choose “View Grid Lines” to place a check mark next to it and enable it.

See grid lines in the Align menu

You’ll then see that grid lines cover every page of your document, allowing you to align your objects precisely.

Grid lines in Word

To turn off grid lines, follow the same steps as above and deselect “View Grid Lines”.

Customize grid settings

For both alignment guides and grid lines, you can adjust settings and options based on their appearance and behavior. Go back to the Layout tab and the Align dropdown menu. This time select “Grid Settings”.

Grid settings in the Align menu

When the Grid & Guides box opens, you’ll see the available settings for alignment guides at the top. To show the alignment guides, check the box at the top. Then optionally check the boxes below it for page, margin, and paragraph guides.

Alignment Guide Settings

To align your object with other objects, check the box under Object Snapping.

Object Snap Adjustment

To adjust the size of the grid lines, use the horizontal and vertical spacing boxes to choose those sizes.

Grid Settings

To change the origin of the grid, uncheck the Use Margins box and enter measurements in the Horizontal and Vertical Origin boxes.

Grid Origin Settings

To enable grid lines, check the box under Show Grid to display grid lines on the screen. You can then adjust additional settings for vertical and horizontal placement. And, to snap objects to the grid even when grid lines aren’t showing, check the box at the bottom.

Grid line settings

Note: You can’t use alignment guides and grid lines at the same time. You’ll notice that if you enable one of the two features, the other automatically turns off.

When you’re done with the grid settings, click “OK” to save your changes. To use this setting in all your Word documents, select “Set as default.”

With these two convenient features, you can perfectly align elements in your next Word document. For more information, take a look at how to overlay images in Word.