Small business chat – Jennifer Martin

mugsWelcome to another brand new small business chat. Jennifer Martin contacted me after reading and enjoying this series, to ask if she could be featured. Jennifer, who’s in California, runs Zest Business Consulting, which aims to help small business owners and solopreneurs to make sensible business decisions and achieve or maintain a good work-life balance. Well, we all want that, don’t we! Jennifer is quite unusual among my interviewees for the way in which she launched her business – OK, she had previous experience in the business area, and in running her own businesses, but then she just went for it, cold, straight into it, no preparation. That’s a bit brave, isn’t it – but she’s been going for 18 months now, so something must be going right. Let’s see how she did it …

Hi, Jennifer. What’s your business called? 

It’s called Zest Business Consulting.

When did you set it up?

I set up the business in March of 2013.

What made you decide to set up your own business?

I am passionate about helping small business owners get out of overwhelm. I wanted to help people learn how to reinvent the way they do business so they can make money and live a fun, interesting, balanced life.

What made you decide to go into this particular business area?

I have been a Business Consultant on and off for many years.  This time around I named my company Zest because I wanted to help bring more zest to the lives of my clients.

Had you run your own business before?

Yes. This is the 6th business I’ve owned.

How did you do it? Did you launch full-time, start off with a part-time or full-time job to keep you going?

I started Zest in an unusual fashion. I had taken a full time job after being a Business Coach. One day after an argument with a supervisor I was clear that this new job wasn’t a good match. So I quit. With no job, no health insurance and no idea what was next I sat down to think about what I would do if money were no object. In about 5 minutes it was pretty clear to me that I would be returning to the work I love and opening my own business (again).

What do you wish someone had told you before you started?

Don’t be afraid to turn away clients who aren’t a perfect match.

What would you go back and tell your newly entrepreneurial self?

You are enough.

What do you wish you’d done differently?

Planned to start a new business. Had money set aside to cover my expenses for 6 months.

What are you glad you did?

Every day I feel blessed to see my clients make such amazing changes in their lives. So, yes, starting Zest Business Consulting was a great decision

What’s your top business tip?

Create Strategic Partnerships. You’ll get a team of salespeople and you’ll only pay them when they deliver clients.

How has it gone since you started?

Like any new business, there are always a few bumps, and stops and starts but overall it’s gone incredibly well both financially and in the fun and rewarding department.

Have you grown, diversified or stayed the same?

I feel like I’ve grown personally. Recently I’ve gotten really clear about my niche.

Where do you see yourself and your business in a year’s time?

I see myself working with groups of people from all over the world through webinars, seminars, and in-person retreats. I can see myself giving in-person presentations to large groups of people and having a big smile on my face.

So, although Jennifer jumped into this round of running her own business, it’s interesting to see that looking back, she wishes she’d planned it and saved up some money first! I love her answer to the question “Have you grown?” – I usually receive replies about business growth, but this one’s about personal growth. As this is something Jennifer seeks to encourage in her clients, it’s great to see that she’s experiencing it, too!

Jennifer’s website is at and you can pop over to pick up a free guidebook to learn 10 Fast & Easy Ways to GET OUT OF OVERWHELM & FEEL MORE BALANCED AT WORK [Note: I've checked this out - you are asked to sign up to Jennifer's newsletter to access the guidebook, but that's done legitimately and reputably with an opt-in screen and the ability to unsubscribe; the guide itself has some really useful points put in a clear and accessible way, and comes in PDF format.] You can email Jennifer or call her on (USA) 805-669-7160

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured. If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 

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Posted by on September 20, 2014 in Business, Small Business Chat


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How do I view two Excel spreadsheets at a time?

You’re looking at a spreadsheet and you want to compare it to another one. In Word, it’s easy to line up two separate documents side by side to look at them both. In Excel – not so easy. This article explains how you can view two Excel spreadsheets next to each other on your screen and compare the two spreadsheets easily (or more, if you want!). Next week, we’re looking at how to view two sheets from the same workbook side by side, too! This article is valid for Excel 2007, Excel 2010 and Excel 2013 to some extent. The problem doesn’t exist in Excel 2013 as you can move spreadsheets around just like you can in Word, however the options still exist for arranging your multiple views (thanks to Alison Lees for pointing out the resolution of the problem).

Why can’t I view two Excel files on the same screen?

If you’re used to working with Word, you’ll know that if you have two Word documents open in any version of Word, you can pick them both up by the top bar (I usually do it near to the name of the document), slide them across to the left and right until they ping back and fill half of the screen …

Two Word documents on one screen

… and end up with two documents next to each other (you can, of course, move the boundary between them to make one bigger and one smaller):

Two Word documents showing side by side

But, if you’ve ever tried to do this with two Excel spreadsheets, you’ll have found that you move one over …

Moving an excel spreadsheet

… and the other one moves to sit underneath it, inaccessible and impossible to view at the same time as, say, Spreadsheet 1:

Second spreadsheet hidden

Move Spreadsheet 2 across to the right and Spreadsheet 1 will follow it. Grrr!

I’m going to show you how you can view both (or even lots of) spreadsheets on the same screen, in various arrangements, and then return to viewing only one. And next week I’ll show you how you can view two sheets from one workbook side by side.

The quick way to view two spreadsheets side by side

We’re going to look at the View tab here. In the View tab, you’ll find a button labelled View Side by Side.

view side by side excel

If you have two spreadsheets open in, say, Excel 2010 (from which these screenshots are taken, but the process is the same for Excel 2007, 2010 and 2013), pressing this button will show you both spreadsheets, one above the other (this always reminds me of playing competitive driving games on the games console):

View side by side - result excel

You can see that the Synchronous Scrolling button is highlighted in the image above. This is a really useful function – if you have both spreadsheets lined up to start with (i.e. you can see Column A and Line 1 at the top left of both), if this button is showing in yellow, scrolling in one spreadsheet (the active one has the scroll bar) will move the other spreadsheet up and down or left and right at the same time:

view side by side synchronous scrolling

However, if you don’t want to use this feature, you can click on the Synchronous Scrolling button to turn it white, and then your two spreadsheets can be scrolled independently (the scroll bar still displays on the active spreadsheet, i.e. the one you’ve clicked on):

view side by side remove synchronous scrolling

Note that synchronous scrolling only works in this View Side by Side option, so if that’s important to you, choose this option.

But what if you want to view the sheets side by side, or more than two in a tiled layout (I’ve got a widescreen monitor so I always want to view side by side)? Read on for that option  …

How do I view two spreadsheets next to each other or in a tiled layout?

To view your multiple spreadsheets arranged next to each other, to swap to the horizontal view we just looked at, or to use the cascade option, stay in the View tab and the same area but click on the Arrange All button:

excel arrange all button

This will give you a range of options for displaying the spreadsheets that you currently have open:

excel arrange all button options

Let’s look at these in turn …

Arrange all – Tiled

If you have two spreadsheets open, the Tiled option in Arrange All will simply show them arranged vertically, i.e. next to each other. All of my other examples feature two spreadsheets, but to demonstrate the Tiled option, here are four spreadsheets:

excel arrange all Tiled option

Note that the spreadsheets arrange themselves in the order in which you have them open, so if Spreadsheet 4 is the last one you looked at, that will appear top left. You can expand and move the individual spreadsheets, then return to Arrange All – Tiled to click them back into position again.

Arrange all – Horizontal

If you choose the Horizontal option in Arrange All, your spreadsheets will appear on top of each other, with the split between them horizontal:

12 arrange all horizontal

Note here that I had Spreadsheet 2 active (visible) when I chose this option, so it appears at the top. To choose which one appears at the top, have that particular spreadsheet visible and active when you click on the Arrange All button.

Arrange All – Vertical

Choosing the Vertical option in Arrange All gives you the two (or more) spreadsheets arranged next to each other, with the split between them vertical:

excel arrange all vertical option

This is how I prefer to view them.

Arrange All – Cascade

I find this one a bit odd. When you choose the Cascade option in Arrange All, the windows containing the individual spreadsheets all appear on top of each other, with a little bit of one poking out from underneath the active one. Here, Spreadsheet 1 is just showing at the top, but if I click on Spreadsheet 1, Spreadsheet 2 will be sticking out at the bottom. It’s odd, but there must be a reason for it, or Excel wouldn’t offer it:

excel arrange all cascade option

How do I get back to viewing only one spreadsheet at a time?

If you want to return to a full-screen view of a particular spreadsheet, simply double-click on the title bar of your spreadsheet (by its name) and it will expand and be the only one visible:

excel return to single sheet view

In this article, we’ve learned how to view two or more Excel spreadsheets on the screen at the same time, and how to return to a single spreadsheet view.

If you’ve enjoyed this article and found it useful, please take a moment to share it using the buttons below!

Please note, these hints work with versions of Microsoft Excel currently in use – Excel 2007, Excel 2010 and Excel 2013, all for PC. Mac compatible versions of Excel should have similar options. Always save a copy of your document before manipulating it. I bear no responsibility for any pickles you might get yourself into!

Find all the short cuts here … and view the blog resource guide here.


Posted by on September 17, 2014 in Excel, New skills, Short cuts


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Small business chat – Jenny Woodberry

mugsWelcome to another brand new small business chat, and I’m delighted to welcome Jenny Woodberry, who’s building up her business Miss Fighting Fit, going straight into entrepreneurship as she was finishing her education, and providing a good role model as a young woman who’s interested in being strong, fit and healthy. Unlike some of my older interviewees (and me!), Jenny was able to make a quick move into her new endeavour, and had the energy to run it alongside what must be a pretty demanding day job. With no worries to hold her back, she’s just gone for it, and is doing well so far, while recognising the need for a healthy work/life balance, too.

Hello, Jenny! What’s your business called?

The two sides of my business are called Miss Fighting Fit / Fighting Fit Kitchen

When did you set it up?

I set up the business in February 2014.

What made you decide to set up your own business and what made you decide to go into this particular business area?

I had developed a keen interest in nutrition, fitness and a healthy lifestyle over the last year and after completing my nutrition course decided to offer personal nutrition plans to my fellow fitness enthusiasts to share my knowledge with other people who were aiming at living a healthier lifestyle. From there i have written plans for all kinds of people with all kinds of goals! In the last couple of months I launched Fighting Fit Kitchen, as my daytime job involves working in the kitchen at top Falmouth restaurant Oliver’s and I have ALWAYS had a passion for cooking! People would comment on Miss Fighting Fit’s food photographs and i realised that there was a real gap in the market for convenient food that was healthy and nutritious!

Had you run your own business before?

No, i hadn’t really thought about it either!

How did you do it? Did you launch full-time, start off with a part-time or full-time job to keep you going … ?

I didn’t really think too much about it, I just had the idea and ran with it, and I think that really worked for me. A friend of mine had just launched a fitness business very quickly and suggested I just go for it and I’m so glad I did. I kept my part-time job in the restaurant and spent my spare time writing nutrition plans for people. Now on my days off work I am in the kitchen again but on my own terms and cooking healthy menus for my customers! It’s hard work but i love it!

What do you wish someone had told you before you started?

That setting up a business as a nutritionist means that you are considered to be the food police! People hide treats from me all the time! Haha!

What would you go back and tell your newly entrepreneurial self?

To keep going and remember to take time for yourself. It’s always difficult at first and each time I have progressed Miss Fighting Fit it has taken a few months to get into a comfortable work/life balance – but it always happens in the end!

What do you wish you’d done differently?

Nothing really: I feel like everything so far has gone according to plan and worked out well!

What are you glad you did?

I’m glad that I went ahead and started!

What’s your top business tip?

I have three!

1) Be Brave! If you are unhappy or your current career/lifestyle isn’t what you want to do then make the change and get on track to a better future – there’s always time to change if it means doing what you love!

2) Make time for yourself. Whether its 30 minutes with a book of choice or a nice hot bath, it’s important to take the time to turn your business head ‘OFF’. I spent the first few months of Miss Fighting Fit feeling run down and unwell because I didn’t realise that it was OK to say no to work and that it was important to take care of myself as well as my customers!

3) Make friends! Honestly the best thing you can do to boost your business profile and customer base is be friendly! The nicer you are and the more people you go out and meet, the more likely people are to want to support you!

How has it gone since you started? Have you grown, diversified or stayed the same?

When I first started, I was just writing nutrition plans for people and posting healthy recipes on Facebook. Now I operate Fighting Fit Kitchen too, which supplies healthy ready meals on a weekly basis. I have also given nutritional talks at events and worked with CJ’s Bootycamp to give advice and guidance. I am just about to launch Fighting Fit Dining Experience, offering a pop up style restaurant experience where diners can relax knowing that everything they are given is healthy and nutritious!

Where do you see yourself and your business in a year’s time?

I have so many plans for the future, it’s fantastic! Potentially i would love my own restaurant and to collaborate with more fitness professionals and set up Fighting Fit HQ – a place for fitness, health, well-being and tasty food! I am also really interested in studying food as medicine, as I strongly believe that our diets have the power to cure so many ailments and illnesses!

I love Jenny’s point about people thinking she’s the food police (in error, I’m sure). I get people telling me they’re worried about making spelling and grammar errors when they’re replying to my social media posts or commenting on blog posts – and just like I encourage people to express themselves, I’m sure Jenny would rather people discussed good nutrition with her, or left it out of the equation sometimes, rather than fearing her sharp eye! She’s got great plans for the future and bags of energy, so I’m sure we’ll all looking forward to seeing what she gets up to in the upcoming year. Good luck!

Miss Fighting Fit can be found on Facebook, as can Fighting Fit Kitchen. You can also get in touch with Jenny via email.

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 


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How to avoid two common mistakes when using MailChimp

Mailchimp is a very popular program for sending newsletters – mainly because it’s free to use to send newsletters and other messages to up to 12,000 emails per month to up to 2,000 subscribers. I use it myself, as do the people who write quite a few of the newsletters I subscribe to. If you use MailChimp yourself, this post helps you to avoid two common mistakes that I see occurring very frequently (and if you don’t use it yourself, I bet you see at least one of these in the newsletters you subscribe to – feel free to share this post with their creators!).

What am I talking about?

Well, this is what you might see in your email box when you receive a newsletter:

MailChimp newsletter email with errors

Ignore the “[Test]” – that’s me sending test copies of my newsletter to myself for demonstration purposes. So, with email on preview mode, and then when you open the email:

Full MailChimp email with errors

… what can we see here?

  1. The email subject is simply “Newsletter”. Not that inviting.
  2. This is the biggie – there’s an odd bit of text in the preview that reads “Use this area to offer a short preview of your email’s content.”

How often have you seen the second point and been confused or even tutted slightly to yourself? (Note: as a kind editor, I avoid tutting. But I do smile wryly every time I see it and think, “I really MUST write a blog post about that one”).

How do these MailChimp mistakes come about?

I’m going to assume here that you know how to set up and send a MailChimp newsletter campaign, and just concentrate on eliminating these errors. If you need a step-by-step MailChimp walkthrough, let me know in the comments and I’ll put one together for you if enough people want it.

The boring email title error comes on the Campaign Info page:

MailChimp campaign info pageIf you set up your very first campaign with a title like this, it will carry on sending it like that forever, but this is editable. I’m not going to go into ideas for good subject lines here – first off, MailChimp obviously provides a link to some further information, as you can see from the screenshot, but I’d like to take a moment here to mention my client Nathan Littleton’s book, “Delivered“, which has masses of information on creating a good email marketing campaign, including lots of advice on subject lines (he’s not sponsoring this post: I edited this book and I got loads of ideas from it which I’ve implemented in my own newsletter, to good effect).

So, first things first: change that Email subject field to a good, interesting phrase and I’d like to bet that you’ll stop boring your subscriber list and get more opens.

The second one is the dreaded “Use this area … ” text. How does it get there?

Well, when you get to the Design screen in your campaign creation process, bits of helpful text automatically appear in your template to tell you what to do. And one of the bits of helpful text that always appears is this one, right in the top of the screen, and in ever such a small font so that you’re very likely not to see it:

Sample teaser text in MailChimp

And that’s where that text pulls from that displays in your recipients’ emails.

Whatever the design, it’s always up there. Your eye is of course drawn to the main body of the email – the nice picture, the lovingly crafted text you’re going to place into the template.

What do you need to do here? Simply click on that teaser text, just like you would to edit the main body of the newsletter, and you can enter whatever text you want to.

What should it look like?

Once you’ve given your newsletter a more dynamic subject line and eradicated that bit of pesky sample text, this is what your email recipients will see:

MailChimp errors corrected

I think you’ll agree that you’d be more likely to open that one .. and so will your newsletter recipients!

In this article I’ve shared how to avoid two common MailChimp newsletter errors. Please do use the sharing buttons below to share this with anyone who you think might find it useful – thank you!


Posted by on September 10, 2014 in Business, Errors, Social media


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Small business chat update – Annabelle Beckwith (plus update from Sally Evans-Darby)

mugs It’s time for a new Small Business Update, and I’m delighted to welcome back my old friend, Annabelle Beckwith, of Yara Consulting and Never Mind the Buzzwords. We had a reunion weekend last month, along with two other ladies we met on the first day of university, and we’re still rather surprised that the two of us are running our own businesses, however, we always knew Anna would be doing something creative involving other people, and that I’d end up something to do with books. Anyway, on she goes, collaborating, learning, developing new training programmes and jet setting around the world to do so, as well! I first interviewed Anna back in 2012 and again last year. At that point, her plan for where she wanted to be now was: “Working collaboratively with others for larger clients … and maybe I’ll get some of those online products going!” Let’s see how she’s doing – oh, and look out for a quick update and farewell for the time being from Sally Evans-Darby …

Hi again, Annabelle! So, are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
Sort of! I’m working with other people and have been approaching larger companies for bigger pieces of work, which is working well.
We’re building our own team of associates, so in a practical sense there are more of us to be able to actually deliver larger programmes to clients, and we’re deliberately working with people who have specialist skills that complement our own, meaning that we can pitch for work which we wouldn’t otherwise be able to.
In addition, my business partner, Ian, and I are developing some online products (a series of business scenarios and activities which in-house trainers or other providers can use within their own courses) and the first of these will be launched in September.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
Not enough has changed and it’s not moving fast enough!! That’s how it feels, anyway. We’re moving in the right direction, though, and I’m working with the right people now. Our business model is changing as we’re targeting longer-term programmes and consultancy rather than one-off projects, which will give us more financial stability.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I’ve learned a lot by looking at what other training companies are doing, and also by looking at what consultancy companies in other sectors are doing, and pinching ideas from them. I wish I’d done this a year ago, as I’d be further ahead now!
Any more hints and tips for people? 
Things can take longer than you think they will. But keep going with it!
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
Working with more clients on longer-term programmes, and able to invest more money in marketing and PR.
Perseverance is the key here: in the mature business, things don’t change quite as rapidly as when we’re starting out, and especially for dynamic and changing business areas, this can be frustrating. Checking out the competition and what peers are doing is a great way to pick up hints, tips and ideas, and helps you to stay fresh and at the front edge of the game. Let’s hope things are moving to Anna’s satisfaction by this time next year – I can’t wait to find out what she’s up to!
Annabelle’s business collaboration, Never Mind the Buzzwords can be found online at and on Facebook. The Yara Consulting website can be found at  and she has a blog, too. Anna can be contacted via email or her contact page online.
And a quick update from Sally Evans-Darby of Write Sense Media. As Sally’s business has settled down, she finds she doesn’t  have much detail to report since the last time we spoke, although things are going well and she has this to say about her progress: “Another year has zoomed by! I’m very happy to say that my business is still thriving, with a good solid client base along with some new ones that I’ve just started to work with. I feel like during the past year I’ve managed to cultivate a good work-life balance, with many and varied jobs to keep me busy but essential time for leisure too! I love the work, and as I head towards my two-year anniversary as a full-time freelance, I couldn’t be happier.” So, we won’t be following Sally’s progress any more, but I’m very happy to see how well she’s doing, and wish her every success in a settled and balanced career in the future.
You can find Sally’s website at and, of course, email her. She’s on social media, too, for example Twitter and LinkedIn.

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 


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Small business chat update – Julia Walton

mugs Welcome to another Small Business Update, and I’m sorry it’s a bit late but I had commitments to clients and had committed the terrible blogger’s sin of not scheduling in advance. Today we’re catching up with Julia Walton from J. Walton Restoration  who we first met in July 2013. When I asked her then where she wanted to be now, she replied “Hopefully contentedly plodding along much as I am now (maybe with a bit more money coming in, though). I can only do as much as I can so don’t want to increase my workload too much. I’d rather enjoy my work and do it well: I might as well be doing something different and have a job that pays more money if I’m not going to enjoy myself”. That sounded like a good plan to me, so let’s find out how she’s been getting on …

Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

I don’t feel things have changed that much in the past year as much as I’d hoped. I’m still working on increasing my client base. I have some things in the pipeline and am hoping for some good feedback on a large job I have coming in soon.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
One big change which actually occurred this summer is that I’m breaking up a working relationship with a joiner I’ve been working with. I’m taking a chance of dropping the client because the work really doesn’t suit my skills. This way I’m giving myself more time to devote to work that will stretch and improve my skills.

What have you learned? 

I’ve learned that taking on a job that’s not really in my field just because it pays is not always a good experience. By stepping outside my comfort zone I’ve learned new skills and how to transfer the skills I have, but on a couple of occasions I’ve really regretted not trusting my initial instincts and have wasted a lot of time worrying over jobs I shouldn’t have started.
What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
About a year ago I took on a client that was pretty toxic. If I could go back in time I’d definitely make sure I told myself not to be so trusting and set a very short limit on working with outstanding payments!
Any more hints and tips for people?
Take time to assess each and every job before saying yes. Even if it’s from a client you deal with all the time, if the job is not what you feel comfortable doing just say no rather than worry about it after you’re committed. Remember to give the customer what they want, nothing more and definitely nothing less, if you can’t do that then don’t take on the job.

And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
I’m really not sure. Permanent workshop space is an issue and I think that’s something I need to look at, however relocation back to the north of England is niggling away at the back of my mind, we’ll see.

It looks like some good lessons learned there. It is often a few years in to a business that a) you start to look more carefully about which clients and opportunities to say yes to, and b) you start to explore diversifying and looking at new areas to grow into – but as Julia comments, it is vitally important to make sure that you assess those opportunities and check whether it’s something that you want to do again. I wonder where Julia will be in another year’s time – both with her business and her location! I’m looking forward to finding out!
You can find Julia online at and email her if you want to discuss any restoration or other work.

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 


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How do I stop pictures jumping around when I edit a Word document? Combining words and pictures 2

More from my own editor, Catherine Fitzsimons, creator of educational materials and community magazines, on the tricky task of controlling how images behave in Word documents …

Last week, we looked at the ways in which Word can wrap text around pictures. To control how close the text is to the edge of a picture we opened the More Layout Options window from the right click menu. You may have noticed there are two other tabs in this:

Diagram 9One lets you control the size of your picture, but there are easier ways to do that (see How do I change the size of pictures in Word? on my website). The other, Position, provides some detailed options for controlling where your pictures go and is the key to stopping them from jumping around. It looks complicated, but I don’t think I’ve ever, in years of creating worksheets and doing magazine layout, had to resort to changing anything in the sections labelled ‘Horizontal’ and ‘Vertical’ – I’ve just used the ‘Options’ section.

Diagram 11Before we go on to that though have a look at the ‘Allow overlap’ button. This is useful if you want to get two pictures closer together than their boundary boxes would otherwise allow. For example, here you can see that although the books themselves don’t overlap, the boxes round them do. Notice also how the Tight-wrapped text goes inside the boxes because these images have a transparent background.

Diagram 12

Why do pictures move? How do I stop pictures moving?

Basically, pictures can either be locked in position on the page or moved around with the text.

In Word 2013 ‘Move with text’ and ‘Fix position on page’ appear as options on the Wrap Text menu and on the little pop out Layout Options menu (so long as your picture isn’t in line with the text).

Diagram 5Diagram 4bIn earlier versions you have to go into More Layout Options|Position and check or uncheck ‘Move object with text’ – it’s checked as default. If you have a picture exactly where you want it on a page, all you have to do is uncheck the box (or make the appropriate selection from one of the menus in Word 2013). That picture will then stay exactly where it is when you edit or add to the text or insert another picture – it will move only if you grab it and place it somewhere else yourself (or play with the numbers in the ‘Position’ tab of More Layout Options).

Allowing pictures to move with text is a little more complicated and depends on understanding the idea of anchors.

When you whizz a picture around the page, Word makes a decision about what text to tie it to: it generates an ‘anchor’, usually at the beginning of the paragraph nearest to the top left corner of the figure (working up). If you then move or delete that bit of text, the image will move or be deleted with it — that’s why pictures sometimes vanish unexpectedly. They usually jump because an anchor and its picture have to be on the same page. That means that if you type an extra paragraph and the anchor moves to a new page, the picture will jump to that new page too. It’s Word trying to be helpful, aiming to keep pictures and the writing about them together, but it does feel pretty random if you don’t know the logic.

Word 2013 helpfully shows you the anchors whenever you’re clicked on a picture, but it is possible to see them in earlier versions: since they are formatting marks, they will show up if you click the symbol that looks like a backwards P in the Paragraph group on the Home ribbon. If you can see them, they can help you work out why a picture won’t go where you want it or keeps disappearing altogether.

Diagram 13

In Word 2010 or 2007 you can also get the anchor marks to show all the time (without the other formatting marks) by going to File (Office button in 2007)|Options|Display|Always show these formatting marks on the screen, then ticking ‘Object anchors’ and OK.

Once you get the hang of how the wrapping styles and the anchors affect where the pictures go, it becomes much easier to put a picture in the right place and make it stay there. Here’s the order I suggest for creating a document that has words and pictures:

  • Write and type all the text first (or work a page or two at a time).
  • If possible, get the pictures as close as you can to how you want them (size, resolution, cropping, colours) before you add them to your text – either use image editing software or get it right in a blank document then copy and paste into the one you’re working on.
  • Once you have a picture where you want it, with the right sort of size and wrapping, consider locking it in place.
  • If a picture that has to stay with the text appears to be misbehaving, go in search of its anchor to track down the problem.

Still can’t get the pictures where you want?

If you’re creating something with a lot of images, or need more complex layout — such as for a brochure or worksheet — then there are alternatives to putting the text and pictures straight into the document. I explain how to use a table to combine text and pictures in How do I organise a lot of pictures on a page? over on my own blog where, in future posts, I will look at alternative solutions, and other issues to do with using pictures.

Other useful posts

On this blog:

How do I make pictures go where I want them to in Word?

On Catherine’s blog:

How do I organise a lot of pictures on a page?

How do I change the size of a picture in Word?

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Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Short cuts, Word


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