Wrapping text around images

The Wrap setting determines the relation between the text and the image. Several possibilities are provided:

No Wrap
With this option the text is placed above and below the image but not around it. This is the wrapping type used for most of the figures in this book.

Page Wrap or Optimal Page Wrap
The text flows around the image. Moving the image around the page causes the text to be rearranged to fill the space to the left and right of it. Optimal Page Wrap prevents text from being placed to the side of the image if the spacing between the image and the margin is less than 2 cm.

Wrap Through
Superimposes the image on the text. This option must be used with the image-transparency setting in order to make the text under the picture visible.

In Background
Similar to Wrap Through, but the image is placed behind the text so there may be no need to change the transparency to make the text visible.

The No Wrap option found in the pop-up menu of a picture is equivalent to the Wrap Off menu item in the Format > Wrap menu.

The wrap format is normally selected after the anchoring and the alignment of the picture have been decided. To set the position of an image to the desired wrap format, follow these steps:

  1. Select an image by clicking on it.
  2. Right-click to display the pop-up menu and move the mouse pointer to Wrap to display the available wrap formats. Alternatively you can select Format > Wrap from the main menu.
  3. Select the desired wrap format.

When anchoring a graphic as character, you can only adjust the distance between the image and the text; no wrapping option is displayed.

To fine tune the wrapping options, open the Picture dialog and select the Wrap page.

The advanced wrap format options for an image

The advanced wrap format options for an image

Open this dialog by selecting Format > Picture from the main menu or right-click and select Picture from the pop-up menu. For drawing objects, you can access the Wrap page by selecting Format > Wrap > Edit in the main menu or right-click and select Wrap > Edit from the pop-up menu.

This dialog is divided into three sections. In the top part you can select among the wrap types mentioned above, plus two additional wrap formats that prevent the text from filling the area to the left (After) or to the right (Before) of the picture. Use the Spacing section of the page to adjust the spacing between the image and the text. The contents of the Options section of the page may change depending on the selected wrap format.

First Paragraph
Starts a new paragraph below the image after you press Enter.

In background
This option becomes available if Through Wrap is selected; it moves the image into the background.

Wraps the text around a custom contour rather than around the edge of the picture; it is only available for Page or Optimal Page Wrap. See the Writer Guide for a detailed description and example of how to use this option.

Outside only
Forces the text to wrap on the outside of the image, even if the contour contains open areas within the shape.

Example: page wrapping

Example of image with Page Wrap formatting

Example of image with Page Wrap formatting

The figure above shows an example of page wrapping in action. To do this:

  1. Insert the image into the document, then anchor it to the first paragraph. To move the anchor, select the image and move it until the anchor symbol is at the beginning of the paragraph. Do not worry about the position as that will be fixed in the next step.
  2. Align the image so that the left margin of the image is in line with the paragraph indentation. This can be done with the mouse or using the advanced settings. In the example, the image is placed at 1 cm from the left of the paragraph area.
  3. Change the wrap to Page Wrap. It starts out OK; however, there is still too little space between the image and the text. To correct it, access the Wrap page of the Picture dialog and set the gap between the image and text to 0.2 cm in the Right and Bottom boxes.
  4. The last touch is to change the position so that the image is below the first line of the paragraph. Again, you can use the mouse to drag the image or use the advanced settings, which require a bit of trial and error.

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This book is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, version 3.0.

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8 comments on “Wrapping text around images
  1. MJ says:

    Oh, this is good.

    Unfortunately, though, I still need to look up how to anchor the captions to the bottom of the photo. OO sees the as pt of the text.


    I keep trying all of the above and still am unable to “wrap” text around image. what am I doing wrong????

  3. Jean says:

    Robert, hard to say what you’re doing wrong; there are a lot of variables that could be causing this to not work. My first guess would be that your image may not be anchored in a way that allows wrapping, but there are other possibilities. Be sure to turn on the display of paragraph and other marks to see if there is anything strange on the page, like the image might be in a borderless table. Are you creating or opening an ODT file or a DOC file? What version of OOo are you using? What operating system?

  4. Jean says:

    MJ, I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you earlier. I hope you’ve found the way to “anchor” captions, but if not, here’s how. Select the photo, right-click, choose “Caption”, type your caption, then OK. This puts the photo and the caption into a frame together. There is another way, depending on how your photo is anchored.

  5. Vanessa says:

    Thanks so much. this is exactly what I was looking for!

  6. Maggie says:

    I’ve finally managed to put the picture on the right hand side and wrapped the text on the left hand side, but can’t centre the text top and bottom with the pic – the top of the pic is level with the first line of text, and if I use return above it to move the text down, all the text moves below the pic. And I can’t get a margin between the text and the pic, however I juggle the settings! Help, please! What am I doing wrong?

  7. Jean says:

    To center the text vertically with the picture, I think you will need to put the text and the picture in a one-row, two-cell table and format the cell containing the text to be centered vertically. You can also adjust the size of the cells to provide the margin between the text and the pic.

    From your description, it sounds like you are not using the best “Anchor” and “Wrap” selections. Be sure to anchor the picture “to paragraph” and set the wrap to “Before” in the Picture dialog. (The choices for Wrap on the right-click menu do not include what you want.) Move the picture to where you want it. Now when you use Return above the text, it should move the text down without affecting the picture.

    When wrapping text on the left as you are doing now, here is how to make a margin: right-click on the picture, choose Picture to open the Picture dialog, go to the Wrap page of that dialog, and set a distance in the “Left” box in the “Spacing” section. Make sure one of the wrap icons is selected at the top of that page; “Before” is probably what you want in this case.

  8. Nilima says:

    I want to know the wrap text symbol using in spreadsheet.???