What is the best way to put pictures into a word document?

There seems to be more than 1 way of putting pictures in word. I am using word 2003 and making docs that need to be compatible with 2000 up to current release word.

My pictures will typically be annotated with text boxes, incidently - putting text boxed in line with text seems to change the way they behave as a drawing object (who'd have guessed!?), and I typically need to have arrows overlapping the pictures.

Primary objective is to have everything stay together... picture text box and arrows and move together if the text shrinks or expands...

My preference is to insert from a jpg and put image in-line with text, others are telling me to use canvas...

Basically I'm advocating in-line-with-text but want to be sure of my reasons...

Please provide some sound technical reasons why various methods are preferred or to be avoided.

Kind regards

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Eric FletcherCommented:
I recommend you place the images and other objects within a table. You can then use the Table Properties to position the table container, and grouped objects within it will stay in place relative to the table cells. An added benefit is that you can use a 1x2 table so the 2nd row is your caption. Captions within text boxes are not seen by TOC fields, and this lets you set up images with captions that can have the text flow around them.

See my response in http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Office_Productivity/Office_Suites/MS_Office/Word/Q_23827055.html for a related question. This thread includes a file example, but there is also a link within it to an earlier thread that goes into more detail.

Also, while the link method to insert images has significant benefits over the default embedding, it may not be backwards compatible to Word 2000, so try it before committing.

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DrTribosAuthor Commented:
Hi Eric

Thank you for your response. Would you recommend using canvas in a table, in-line with text or some other method of wrapping the picture.

With this question I am hoping to get enough information to mandate 1 methodology for inserting pictures into documents that project team can adhere to.

We are already using tables (for the most part) but this was more for historical (or as the case may be hysterical) reasons.

Looking forward to other perspectives as well.

Kind regards

Eric FletcherCommented:
My preferred approach to images is to have them managed outside of Word as much as possible, and then link to them from a document. I typically keep all images in a folder one level below the document(s) so the links can be kept relative more easily. While the drawing tools are handy within Word, they can be cumbersome to use, and as you have described, objects can move unexpectedly.

With linked images, you can use software more suited to their content to prepare and maintain them: Canvas, Photoshop, etc. for pictures; Excel for charts or graphs; Illustrator or Corel Draw for vector drawings... If you have a strategy within Word to place the linked images -- such as the table method I describe -- you can keep the Word document to a manageable size and focus on the document layout using Word's features. It usually takes quite different skills to manage the image side of things, so separating them works more effectively (even if the same person is doing both).

A drawback commonly cited against the linking approach is that the document is not as portable as if the images are embedded. While this is true, it isn't too hard to zip the document(s) and the associated image files for backups and/or distribution.

There are other benefits to linking as well: if you maintain 2 versions of the linked image files -- one set in hi res for optimal printing; another in lo res for screen use -- you can just swap them in and out of the linked folder. As long as the filenames are identical, Word will use the current versions. If an image becomes out-of-date, as often happens in manuals for example, you can simply replace it with a new version, and the Word document will be current when next viewed or printed. The biggest benefit is that the file size of a Word document using linked images is dramatically smaller than one with embedded images.

If you do go with the 2-row table method I describe, consider setting up some autotext entries for typical sizes. For example, I have several different autotexts with variants: a full width table; a half-width table; and a thumbnail-sized callout. When I need to place an image or chart, I can invoke the appropriate autotext to get a blank table set up with the typical properties I need to hold the image and caption parts. I can modify the properties as needed for different templates: one might have centred captions below an image; the next have flush left captions above images -- but the autotext entries can have the same names. Since the positioning options are buried several levels within dialogs, having autotext entries that bring predefined settings in can be a big timesaver, and can help ensure consistency of design. For example, you could create 2 different autotext entries for a full width image placeholder: one positioned at the top of the page; the other at the bottom of a page.

Finally, consider supporting your approach by adding custom tools to the Picture toolbar: mine has several macros that help size images to the template's design defaults, plus some that alter the Table Properties positioning settings to change, say, from top to bottom of a page.
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DrTribosAuthor Commented:
Hi Eric - your speaking my language - love the idea of linking. Unfortunately will almost certainly be outside of the capability of the Document Management System imposed upon us.

When you link images do you still have all the same options for text wrapping etc.?

Some of my pet hates with pictures are:
1. image grouped with drawing /shape objects - I would rather see these object float over the image so they move with the image. If the object overhangs the image I would then ask people to use the crop tools to make the image larger to prevent the object from spilling over the image boundary...

2. images are inserted in such a way that when double clicked an editor opens - yuck!

3. images are stored in such a way that whey double clicked a message pops up saying the image cant be found... wtf - I'm looking at it, or am I not?

People seem to prefer grouping all arrows text boxes with the image, which is a hassle when text in a text box needs to be changed... also a pain if the text box needs to be re-formatted (i.e. there is a style guide to adhere to).

So I'm wondering if there is a better, practical way. I find people tend to do things for a reason - I guess I need the reasons... for and against. Perhaps I'm well on the way to answering this... I just want to know if my ideas/reasons are sound.

Kind regards

Eric FletcherCommented:
Too bad about not being able to use linking... what kinds of DMS problems does it impose?

To respond to your comments & questions:

Yes, linked images have exactly the same Format Picture options as embedded ones.

(2.) Use Tools | Options, Edit and set the Picture Editor to Microsoft Office Word. This is how mine is set and when I double-click an image, it brings up the Format Picture dialog. (Note that you can also set the default behaviour for how pictures are inserted directly below this Tools Option Edit setting.)

(3.) If the image was embedded from a program that is no longer accessible to you, Word cannot make the connection back to it. What you are seeing is the last instance of the object; try "disconnecting" it by pressing Ctrl-Shift-F9. This is another reason not to embed IMHO...

Grouped drawing objects are a major hassle, because even if you have strict guidelines, you can't really tell how someone did it until you open the mess up. I sometimes take a screen shot, or print as a PDF, to get a flattened version of such composites, and then just treat it as an image.

No matter what way you come up with, someone will think there is an easier or "more logical" way. What I find works best is to provide as many useful tools to make it so easy to do it "my way" that users are less tempted to venture off on their own. ;-)

I point out to people that Word is a document processor, and not an image editor. Manage document images with the tools best suited for the purpose, and link to the results from within your document.

I think your ideas and reasons are sound. Good luck in implementing them!
DrTribosAuthor Commented:
DMS is an eroom :-(
Files are added individually and can only be added 1 at a time. Client moves files around according to whim. Also, many of the docs will be integrated at a later stage. Me thinks it will be too difficult to maintain. Probably the biggest source of concern is the PEBKAC.



Btw - any idea how to determine if text is in a text box? This is going to me my next question...
user selects text (not textbox frame), macro runs, if text is in textbox then... otherwise... I'm ok if user selects the textbox frame, it throws me if they select text...
Eric FletcherCommented:
What is a PEBKAC?

My first inclination would be to suggest the information property, but it looks like there is no information type for reporting if the selection is within a text box. Too bad, because you can do it for other structures though: Selection.Information(wdWithInTable)

Note that text within text boxes is invisible to many (perhaps all) field codes. For example, the TOC field won't collect any Heading 2 paragraphs set within text boxes -- although they will find them within table cells. I try to avoid text boxes for that reason.
DrTribosAuthor Commented:

Just my luck... will post the question and look for a solution. All I want is

sub InABox()
dim text
if selected text is in a textbox
end if
end sub
DrTribosAuthor Commented:
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