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Microsoft Word for Dissertations

Helps you use Microsoft Word for your dissertation. Topics include: formatting page numbers, using chapter templates, footnotes, images, and figures.

Inserting Images, Charts, and Other Non-Text Objects

If you want to insert images, figures, etc., we recommend .png or .tiff files, with a resolution in the 200-600 dpi range. Most diagramming applications will export files in these formats and within that range, by default.

  • While it is possible to copy and paste images into Word, we do not recommend this method since you may not be getting the highest-quality image when you copy and paste (the exception is a chart from Excel – those you can copy and paste).
  • PDFs can also be a good choice, but beware that Word will only insert the first page of a PDF. If you have a multi-page PDF, you'll need to export each page to file, and insert each one separately. 

On the Insert Ribbon, in the Illustrations Group, select the type of object you want to insert, navigate to the file (if appropriate) and click Insert or OK. If you've saved a figure from ChemDraw as a .png file, for example, you'll select Picture, then Picture from File..., and select your file.

The Charts icon () will allow you to enter data and create a new chart within Word. 

You can also use the Screenshot tool take a picture of any open window (Available Windows gallery) or part of the screen (Screen Clipping). 

Once an image is inserted, the Format Ribbon will appear, displaying editing and Text Wrapping tools.


Rackham guidelines say to not wrap text on the left and right of the image. In the Text Wrapping, be sure to choose either In Line with Text or Top and Bottom. Depending on what you choose, when you add a caption, the caption may end up in its own textbox.