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How to put picture placeholders in word document

Posted on 2008-10-18
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We have a template document that we are making in word and would like a way to create picture placeholders. By picture placeholder, I mean a premeasured "frame" that we can drag or insert a picture into that will fill in the existing dimensions. I'm not sure how to do this or if its possible in word. I would be open to changing the doc to an excel version if that will enable us to create placeholders. Please attach an example if possible.

Thanks,

Derrick
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Question by:dpriebe
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9 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

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Eric Fletcher earned 2000 total points
ID: 22752082
I described one method you can use to do this in response to an earlier question here:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Microsoft/Applications/Microsoft_Office/Word/Q_23733776.html

Essentially, you create floating 1x1 or 1x2 tables and set the option to NOT resize to fit contents. This way, a dragged image gets resized to fit the cell dimensions. Having a 2nd row in a 1x2 table lets you add a caption and have it stay with the image.
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:dlc110161
ID: 22760748
I agree with EricFletcher. A table will provide the most control over the size of the picture. I'd set the cell so that it centers the picture within the cell. And as EricFletcher suggests, make sure that the table does not resize to fit contents.

If his solution will not work, please provide information regarding why you want to try something else instead.

Dawn Crosier-Bleuel
Word MVP
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Author Comment

by:dpriebe
ID: 22772123

Can you upload an example?
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:Eric Fletcher
ID: 22772929
The attached was something I cobbled together for an earlier example related to the use of tables instead of text boxes for generating ToCs. The content relates to ToCs, but I think it illustrates the points above -- except that the images are embedded and not linked the weay I would normally recommend.
AutosizingImages.doc
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Author Comment

by:dpriebe
ID: 22773533

Sounds simple. I am able to get it to work reasonably well on a new word document. Only drawback is that it only takes up the whole cell space if its dimensions are larger than the cell area. Not a big deal though.

The major problem occurs when I try to add it in to an existing doc that I'm trying to add this to. The pictures are always smaller than the cell area and shifted to the left for some reason. (area is on page 3) If there is a way to get it to work without changing anything on the first page that would be ideal.

Derrick
test.doc
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LVL 21

Assisted Solution

by:Eric Fletcher
Eric Fletcher earned 2000 total points
ID: 22777554
You can constrain the row height: in your case, it is set to "At least" 5 inches, but if you use "Exactly" instead, an incoming image will be sized to fit within both the width and height.

You can set internal cell margins for a given cell or for the whole table: use Cell Options for individual cells, or Options for the whole table.

Your images are shifted to the left because your paragraph format specifies a left indent of -0.5" (so they are in fact centered over a width that starts half an inch to the left of the margin. If you turn on the "show all" view (the ¶ button), you will see where several paragraph marks are shifted to the left. Unless there is a reason for these, you can remove that negative left indent.

A few tips if I may...

-- Avoid using multiple Enters for spacing, and use the space before and after settings in the Paragraph Format dialog instead. Even better, use styles for the various elements. Your documents will be smaller, more adherent to industry standards, and future management will be simplified. In the attached revised version, I redefined the built-in style called Heading 1 to set up your title and the "Test area" paragraph. I also defined the Table Grid attributes for the pg1 table to give automatic spacing for the lines. This eliminated the need for ~25 Enters, and would make it a lot easier to change the format later (i.e. just modify the style definitions).

-- You can get a line for signatures by defining the tab leader to be "_". In your example, your signature blocks below the pg1 table can be set up to have the underlines automatic (see attached revised version)

My biggest beef with Microsoft about Word is that they have always glossed over the very well-thought-out and powerful features in the program in the belief that they would confuse people. In the early days, this let them overcome the competition from apparently easier-to-use products like WordPerfect. Unfortunately, the result is that most users just use the most basic features, and miss the real value of Word. The free WordPad program can do almost everything most Word users try to do.
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Expert Comment

by:Eric Fletcher
ID: 22777612
Sorry Derrick; I neglected to attach the file. Here it is.
test-v1.doc
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Author Comment

by:dpriebe
ID: 22777776

I've noticed that it does not resize the picture though. On the attached file it just stretches it out to the max dimension, in this case horizontal. Is there a way to make it so that whatever is dragged and dropped than it auto resizes to those exact dimensions of the cell?
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:Eric Fletcher
ID: 22778400
No. The resizing maintains the same proportions as the original image. You can adjust the percentages in the Picture dialog later if you want, but if you do, the image will be distorted in one of the dimensions.

In the sample file, a large landscape image will be reduced to fit the maximum cell width less the left and right internal margins, and the image height will be reduced in the same proportion. A large portrait image will be reduced to fit the constrained row height (5") less the top and bottom margin values, and the width will be reduced by the same proportion. This ensures that the image will not be distorted.
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