Use the Optional Drawing Canvas in Word 2016 - dummies

Use the Optional Drawing Canvas in Word 2016

By Dan Gookin

In Word 2016, the drawing canvas is optional. The drawing canvas is a throwback to an earlier version of Word. For some reason, Microsoft changed the way Word 2000 worked with shapes and pictures, requiring you to first create a drawing canvas and then insert a graphic.

Too many people were frustrated with that process, so in the next release of Word (2002), the drawing canvas was inserted automatically. Then, in the following release of Word (2003/XP), the drawing canvas was optional, as it is now in Word 2016.

If you plan to create a group of shapes or some other interesting artwork, you can direct Word to insert a drawing canvas, a playground upon which you can create graphics. The canvas works similarly to setting objects in groups, except that you start out with a space in which shapes and other items can be placed.

To add a drawing canvas to your document, follow these steps:

  1. Click to set the insertion pointer at the spot where you want the drawing canvas to appear.
    The drawing canvas is inserted with the layout option In Line with Text. You can reset this option later, but the default setting means that the insertion pointer’s location is relevant to the process.
  2. Click the Insert tab.
  3. In the Illustrations group, click the Shapes button.
  4. Choose the New Drawing Canvas command.
    The drawing canvas appears in the document at the insertion pointer’s position.

word-pros-layout-options

A good next step would be to click the Layout Options button and choose the In Front of Text setting. That way, the drawing canvas and its objects appear like other shapes in the document.

A good next step would be to click the Layout Options button and choose the In Front of Text setting. That way, the drawing canvas and its objects appear like other shapes in the document.

  • The drawing canvas can be resized like any object.
  • Individual objects can be moved inside the drawing canvas without affecting the drawing canvas’ location.
  • To move the drawing canvas, point the mouse at its edge. Then drag it to a new position.
  • You can apply a fill color, line styles, and other attributes to the drawing canvas.
  • The drawing canvas cannot be rotated. You can, however, group objects inside the canvas and rotate the group.
  • The alignment options also apply to a drawing canvas.