How to Remove an Anchor in Microsoft Word

There are so many things you can do with Microsoft Word. For many, it’s the absolute favorite word processor and is available across various platforms.

Doing the basics on Word is pretty easy, but when it comes to inserting images, things become a little more complicated. Sometimes you have an Anchor attached to your image, and it’s getting in your way. So, how do you remove it?

Removing the Anchor Option 1

Before getting into the purpose of the little Anchor in Word and how to utilize it best, let’s see how to remove it if you find yourself struggling with it. If you want to avoid seeing the Anchor altogether, the best way to go about it is to disable this feature in the Word document. It’s straightforward. This is all you need to do:

  1. Create a new or open a Word document.
  2. Go to File (top left corner).
  3. At the bottom of the page, select Options.
  4. From the pop-up window, select Display.
  5. Under Always show these formatting marks on the screen, make sure that the Object Anchors box is unchecked.
    Remove Anchor in Microsoft Word

Now when you insert an object, image, or icon, the little Anchor icon won’t appear.

Removing the Anchor Option 2

Another way to do it is to change the object or image from floating to inline. This means that if an object is floating, it will move with the text in many different ways. But if the object or an image is in line with the text, that means that they behave like the text itself.

It sits where it is and will move the same way lines of text do. Unless you need the images in your Word document to be specifically sorted and formatted, keeping the image in line with the text will ensure that the Anchor is removed. Therefore, this is what you should do:

  1. Click on the object next to which is the Anchor you want to remove.
  2. On the upper right side of the object, you will see the icon for the Layout Options.
  3. Click on the “In Line with Text” option.
  4. The anchor will disappear, and your image is now inline instead of floating.

In case you change your mind, you can always click on the object again and select With Text Wrapping to turn the object into floating again. In that case, Anchor will re-appear.

How to Remove Anchor in Microsoft Word

What Does the Anchor Do Exactly?

You might be wondering why this feature is even named “Anchor.” Well, the symbolism of an Anchor explains it. When you insert an object into a Word document, you see the little Anchor in the upper left corner. If you hover with the cursor over the Anchor, it will tell you that the object in question is Anchored to the text in that location in the document.

This means, essentially, that this specific object is Anchored to a particular paragraph. And if you decide to move the object, the paragraph will move with it. An easy way to check is just to hit Enter a couple of times and check if the object is moving with the text.

Another thing you can do to fix the position of an object on the page is to reselect the object and click again on the Layout Options. On the bottom, you’ll see that option. This means that the object then stays on the page, but the text can move without it. However, the Anchor remains next to the paragraph. And once the text reaches the next page, the object follows.

You can also reach to the Layout Options to use the “Lock Anchor” option. Just go to Layout Options>Position and then check the Lock Anchor box. This way, both the Anchor and the object stay in the same place on the page.

Text Wrapping in Word

Everything about the Anchor has to do with positioning objects and text. And all of that has to do with text wrapping in Word. If you choose to use a floating object in your Word document, you can then select several different ways that object incorporates with text. You can select “square,” and the text will wrap around the object.

There are also top and bottom options and for the object to be behind the text or over the text. Those options pretty much ensure that you’ll be able to have the images and the text working together as you intended.

Remove an Anchor in Microsoft Word

Don’t Let the Anchor Get in the Way

The Anchor is a great tool that lets you have more creative freedom when inserting images into your Word document. But if it’s there when you don’t need it, it can be bothersome. It’s important to remember that if you don’t want to see the Anchor icon at all, it’s best to go to Options first.

Then you will be able to have floating objects, but the Anchor won’t be there. Alternatively, you can keep the objects in line.

Let us know what you think about Anchor in Word in the comments section below.

7 thoughts on “How to Remove an Anchor in Microsoft Word”

Moira Simpson says:
I have received a Word file containing about 60 thumbnail images which I need to edit and format. It was sent by a MAC user who converted the file to Word, as I use a PC. I do not have the time to spend un-anchoring all these images individually – I need to be able to change the whole document to . I tried using Control and clicking on several images, but then the option for is greyed out. The same when I highlighted the whole file contents. Cutting and pasting into a new file just maintains the anchoring. Does anyone have an answer to this problem?
Moira Simpson says:
Sorry – a omitted a phrase.
I need to be able to change the whole document with inserted images so that the text wrapping is in line with text.
JB says:
What is i want the image (on in my case a text box) to remain floating but not have an anchor?
L G Hiatt says:
I hate the way anchors work, e.g., the giant box that is opened. I’d like to it more like power point. Let me draw a box the size and location I want and then, if I desire, I’ll add the anchor. It takes too long to use.
Helen Williams says:
I hate anchor. It is of no use to me.
Jack says:
There are only three words in the English language that can accurately convey what I think of Microsoft’s genius when it comes to poorly executed “features” like this one: Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
Kasper says:
Agree. This function is ridiculous. Word is for text. If you need fancy picture options there is always Photoshop.

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