Microsoft Word logo on a gray background

You can fill text with a color, but the feature for filling text with an image was removed in Microsoft Word 2013. However, with a little workaround, you can still do this in Word for Microsoft 365. Here’s how.

If you want to fill your text with an image in Word, you can’t simply type the text and fill it like you could in Word 2010, or even in the latest version of PowerPoint. But you can fill the text of a SmartArt graphic with an image.

RELATED: How to Get a Picture Behind Text in PowerPoint

First, open the Word application. In the “Illustrations” group of the “Insert” tab, click “SmartArt.”

SmartArt option

The “Choose a SmartArt Graphic” window will appear. In the left-hand pane, choose an option that provides a type of SmartArt graphic that you can type text within. We’ll use “List” in this example.

List option in SmartArt graphic window

Next, choose the SmartArt graphic that you’d like to use from the available options within the selected tab. We’ll use the “Basic Block List” SmartArt graphic. Once it’s been selected, click “OK.”

Choose list smartart graphic and click ok

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The SmartArt graphic will now appear in the Microsoft Word document. Now, delete all but one of the items within the graphic by clicking each item and pressing the Delete key.


Next, type the desired text in the remaining graphic.

Typed text in smartart graphic

To better see the image inserted in the text, format your text to be larger. You can do so in the “Font” group of the “Home” tab.

Here are the font specs we’ll use:

  • Font type: Cooper Black
  • Size: 82 pt.
  • Format: Bold

This is what our text looks like now.

Font after adjusting specs

Next, highlight the text by clicking and dragging your cursor over the text.


In the “WordArt Styles” group of the “Format” tab that appears, click the “Text Fill” option.

Text fill option

Toward the bottom of the drop-down menu that appears, click “Picture.”

Picture option

The “Insert Pictures” window will now appear. Here, choose where you’d like to locate an image:

  • From a File: Choose an image from your computer.
  • Stock ImagesChoose an image from a stock image library.
  • Online Pictures: Search for an online image.
  • From Icons: Choose an icon from Word’s icon library.

We’ll use a stock image.

Insert Pictures window

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Select your image from the location that you chose, then click “Insert.”

Select and insert image

The text will now be filled with the image.

Text with image inserted

Next, you’ll need to remove the background of the SmartArt graphic. Select the box and then, in the “Shape Styles” group of the “Format” tab, click “Shape Fill.”

Shape Fill option in format tab

In the drop-down menu that appears, click “No Fill.”

No fill option

The SmartArt background will now be removed, leaving only the text behind.

Text without background

Though not as convenient as it used to be, with this little trick, you can still insert an image inside your text.

Marshall Gunnell
Marshall Gunnell is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer at LINE Corporation in Tokyo, Japan, runs ITEnterpriser, a data-storage and cybersecurity-focused online media, and plays with development, with his RAID calculator being his first public project.
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