How to Remove an Anchor in Word

Typing Laptop Document

Word lets you link images to text so that, when the text moves, so does your image. To stop this, you’ll need to remove the anchor points.

If you’ve inserted images into your Word document, you may find that your page starts to resemble Popeye’s forearms, with small anchors appearing all over the place. The majority of the time, these anchors are very useful. They ensure that your images move relative to the text that they’re anchored to.

You might prefer that these anchors don’t show up in your document. You may even want to turn off anchoring completely so that your images move independently of your text. If you want to learn how to remove an anchor in Word, follow the steps below.

What is an Anchor in Word?

Word uses the anchor symbol to indicate that an image is tied to the text at a specific point in your document. What this means is that when you move the text that the image is anchored to, the image will also move, so that it always stays in the same position relative to the text.

When you have an image in your document that is anchored, when you click the image, you will see the anchor icon appear next to the text it is anchored to.
word anchor symbol

If you hover over the anchor, you’ll see an explanation of what the anchor means.
word anchor info

For example, you might have an image with a paragraph of text wrapped around it. If you insert some empty lines above the text that the image is anchored to, the text will be shifted down the page. Since the image is anchored to that text, the image will also move.
word moved text

This ensures that it remains in the same position within that text.

How to Stop the Anchor Icon from Showing in Word

Are you happy with the way that anchor is working in your document, but don’t want the anchor icon to keep popping up every time you click on an image?

If so, you can tweak some settings so that the anchor no longer appears. Your image will still move in the same way—the anchor symbol just won’t appear.

To Stop the Anchor Icon from Showing in Microsoft Word

  1. Open your Word document.
  2. Click to open the File menu.
    microsoft word file menu
  3. Select Options at the bottom of the screen.
    microsoft word options menu
  4. In the Display section, uncheck Object Anchors.
    work object anchors off
  5. Click OK. When you click on your image, no anchor will appear. Your image will still behave in the same way, however. If you insert empty spaces above the paragraph, the image will move with the text.
  6. microsoft word no anchor symbolsTo turn anchors back on, repeat the steps above, but ensure that you check the Object Anchors checkbox.

How to Remove an Anchor in Word

An anchor in Word is a helpful tool if you want your image to move with your text. If you want to stop the text from being anchored to the text at all, you’ll need to change the text wrapping option.

To Remove an Anchor in Word

  1. Right-click on the image that you want to remove the anchor from.
  2. Select Size and Position from the context menu.
    microsoft word size and position
  3. Click the Text Wrapping tab and choose In Line With Text as the wrapping style.
    word in line with text
  4. Click OK.
  5. The anchor for your image will now disappear.
    word no anchor symbol
  6. The image will act as if it is just another section of text. If you insert some spaces before the paragraph that the image was previously anchored to, the image will not move with the paragraph. It will remain in the same position.
    word unanchored text
  7. If you decide that you do want to anchor your image again, repeat the steps above and choose any wrapping style other than In Line With Text. The image anchors to the text once more.

Creating Better Word Documents

Learning how to remove an anchor in Word allows you to ensure that the images in your document stay exactly where you want them. There’s a lot more you can do with images in Word, however.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Tori

    September 30, 2023 at 5:33 pm

    Your solution allows me to remove anchors one at a time. How can I do all at once? Thanks1

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