How To Insert an Image in Excel (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 8, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

You may primarily use text, numbers and charts in Excel, but there are situations where you might want to include an image in your spreadsheet. You could include pictures in a list of products to illustrate the data or make it easier to scan. There are many ways to insert images in Excel, and it's useful to know about some of them to improve your Excel skills. In this article, we explore the different ways to insert an image into an Excel spreadsheet and share tips for adjusting the images.

How to insert an image in Excel

There are several different ways you can use to insert an image in Excel. Here are a few methods for inserting an image and steps for how to do them:

Insert image from your computer

If you want to insert an image that's saved on your computer, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cell where you want the image to go.

  2. Under the "Insert" tab, click "Pictures."

  3. Navigate to the image in the dialog box.

  4. Select the image and click "Insert."

Related: 25 Best Excel Tips to Optimize Your Use

Insert image from the web

If you have a recent version of Excel, you can add images from a web search without leaving Excel. Here are the steps:

  1. Under the "Insert" tab, click "Online Pictures."

  2. In the search window that opens, put a term in the search box and hit "Enter" on your keyboard.

  3. Add filters for size, type, color and license if desired.

  4. Select the image you want and click "Insert."

Insert image into a cell

When you insert an image in Excel, by default it won't be in a specific cell. Instead, it floats above the cells. This can be useful in some circumstances, but if you want to do more with the images, such as sorting, hiding or having them move and resize with cells, then you need to insert the image into the cell. You may also see this referred to as locking the images.

Here are the steps for locking images in cells:

  1. Fit the image to the cell by resizing the image, resizing the cell or merging cells.

  2. Right-click the image and click "Format Picture."

  3. Click the "Size & Properties" tab.

  4. Under "Properties," click "Move and size with cells."

Insert multiple images

If you want to insert multiple pictures at once, you can follow these steps:

  1. Under the "Insert" tab, click "Picture."

  2. Find the images you want either on your computer or on the web.

  3. Press and hold the "Ctrl" button on your keyboard while clicking on images to select multiple images that aren't all next to each other.

  4. If the images are all next to each other in the folder or image search, press and hold the "Shift" button on your keyboard, click the first image and the last image.

  5. Click "Insert."

  6. Move pictures to the desired cells.

Insert image into header or footer

Here are steps for inserting an image into the header or footer of your spreadsheet:

  1. Under the "Insert" tab, click "Header & Footer" to open the "Header & Footer" tab.

  2. For the header, click the left, right or center box depending on where you want the image to appear.

  3. Under the "Header & Footer" tab, click "Picture."

  4. Use the "Insert Pictures" box that appears to find an image on your computer or on the web.

  5. Click "Insert."

  6. If the image doesn't immediately appear, try clicking on another part of the screen.

  7. To insert an image into the footer, scroll down until you see the text "Add footer" and click on the left, right or center box.

  8. Follow the same steps to insert the image into the footer.

Related: Basic Excel Formulas and How To Use Them

Insert image into a comment

When making comments on an Excel spreadsheet, you may have one where you want to include an image. Here are the steps for inserting an image into a comment:

  1. Add a new comment by going to the "Review" tab and clicking "New Comment" or by right-clicking on a cell and selecting "Insert Comment."

  2. Right-click the comment's border and select "Format Comment."

  3. You can also find an existing comment by clicking "Show All Comments" under the "Review" tab and right-clicking the border of that comment.

  4. In the dialog box that appears after clicking "Format Comment," click on the "Colors and Lines" tab.

  5. In the drop-down menu next to "Color," click "Fill Effects" at the bottom.

  6. In the new dialog box, click on the "Picture" tab.

  7. Click the "Select Picture" button, select the image and click "Open."

  8. Click "OK" to return to the previous dialog box, then click "OK" again.

Insert Excel data as an image

Sometimes you may want to insert data from another spreadsheet as an image, such as when you're compiling data from several spreadsheets for a report or printing. There are two ways to insert Excel data as an image. The "Copy as picture" function copies and pastes the data as a static image, while the camera tool inserts the data and updates if the original data changes.

Here are the steps for using the "Copy as picture" function:

  1. In one spreadsheet, select the data you want to insert.

  2. Under the "Home" tab, click the arrow next to "Copy."

  3. Select "Copy as Picture."

  4. Change the appearance or format if desired, and click "OK."

  5. In the other spreadsheet, select where you want the data to appear and paste by selecting "Paste" from the "Home" tab or by pressing "Ctrl V" on your keyboard.

To use the camera tool, you first have to add it to your Quick Access Toolbar using these steps:

  1. Click the three dots at the end of your Quick Access Toolbar and select "More Commands" at the bottom of the list.

  2. In the dialog box that appears, select "Quick Access Toolbar" on the left if it's not selected already.

  3. Find the drop-down menu under "Choose commands from" and select "Commands Not in the Ribbon."

  4. Select "Camera and click "Add" to move it to the section on the right.

  5. Click "OK."

Once you have the camera tool available, follow these steps to use it to insert data as an image:

  1. In one spreadsheet, select the data you want to insert.

  2. Click on the "Camera" button in your Quick Access Toolbar.

  3. In the other spreadsheet, select where you want to add the data and it should automatically appear.

Tips for inserting images in Excel

Here are some tips on inserting images in Excel:

Reposition the image

To move an image to another spot in the spreadsheet, select it, click the four-headed arrow in the corner and drag the image to the new location. If you want an image to stay in the same cell but have a different position in the cell, select the image and hold the "Ctrl" button on your keyboard. Click the arrow keys to move the image a small amount at a time until it's in the position you want.

Resize the image

One way to resize an image in Excel is to select it, click one of the circles on the border and drag it in to make it small or out to make it bigger. If you want the aspect ratio of the picture to stay the same, click one of the corner circles. The other method resizes using by changing the height and width in inches, following these steps:

  1. Select the image and go to the "Format" tab.

  2. Change the numbers in the "Height" and "Width" boxes to adjust the image's size.

  3. If you only change one number, Excel will automatically adjust the other to keep the same aspect ratio.

You can also use this method to resize multiple images at once by selecting all the images and following the same steps.

Related: How To Use Excel To Lock Width and Height in a Spreadsheet

Remove images

To remove a single image, select it and press "Delete" on your keyboard. You can also remove several images at a time by holding "Ctrl" on your keyboard while you select images, then pressing "Delete." If you want to remove all of the images on your spreadsheet without selecting them individually, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open the "Go To" dialog box by pressing "Ctrl G" or by pressing the "F5" button on your keyboard.

  2. Select "Special."

  3. In the new dialog box, click "Objects" to select all the images on the spreadsheet and click "OK."

  4. Press "Delete" to delete all images.

Replace the image

You can replace an image by removing it and adding a new one, but that requires redoing the position and the locking process if you want it locked. If you want to replace an image but have the new one retain the same position and formatting, you can follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the image you want to replace.

  2. Click "Change Picture."

  3. Choose "From a File" or "From Online Sources."

  4. Select the image you want to use, and click "Insert."

Change the image's appearance

Excel can make some basic changes to an image's appearance, such as color, rotation and borders. You can find these tools under the "Format" tab in "Picture Tools." You may also be able to bring up the "Picture Tools" tab by selecting an image.

Here are what a few of the picture tools in Excel do:

  • Corrections: This alters the brightness, sharpness or contrast of the image.

  • Artistic Effects: This adds effects to your image that make it look like it's glowing, blurred or pixelated, among other options.

  • Picture Styles: This adds shadows, reflections, soft edges or other picture effects.

  • Color: This allows you to adjust the saturation, change the tone or recolor the image.

  • Rotate: This changes the angle of the image or flips it vertically or horizontally.

Related: How To Search in Excel in 5 Steps (Plus Tips)

Consider third-party extensions

There are many third-party extensions or add-ons available for Excel that may add functionality Excel doesn't currently support. For example, Excel requires you to either insert images into cells one at a time or move images from a batch into the desired cells one at a time. This can be time consuming if you want to insert more than a few images at once, so consider finding a third-party extension that allows you to insert multiple images into multiple cells at once.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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