How to Insert an Image in a Cell in Excel

Updated April 17, 2017

Microsoft Excel is part of the Microsoft Office application suite, with the first version for Windows launched back in 1987. Excel has evolved rapidly over the years, offering more features with every release. You can insert graphs or pictures with a few clicks of the mouse, and manipulate them directly from within Excel to change the size, colours and orientation. These are ideal for use with presentations, to incorporate suitable images and diagrams to help explain your raw data.

Click the Windows "Start" button and select "All Programs." Open the "Microsoft Office" folder, and then click on "Microsoft Excel" to launch Excel.

Click in the cell in which you want to insert the image.

Click on the "Insert" tab in the Microsoft Office ribbon bar, and then click on "Picture" in the "Illustrations" section.

Select the image to insert from the file dialogue box, and then click "OK" to add the image to the cell.

Click on the image to show the image handles. Click on a handle and drag the mouse to make the image bigger or smaller. Use the "Format" tab from the Office ribbon bar to apply a border to the image, or change the brightness or contrast.


Click on the "Picture Shape" drop-down menu in the "Format" tab to change the shape of the image to one of the many shapes included. The "Picture Effects" menu allows you to add special effects to the picture, such as a shadow, glow or 3-D rotation effect.

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About the Author

Gareth Downes-Powell has been writing since 2000. He has contributed to a number of U.K. magazines, including "Web Designer," and has co-written four IT-related books published by Apress and Wrox. He has also worked as a technical editor on a number of titles for U.K. and U.S. publishers. Downes-Powell attended Thanet Technical College, achieving A-Levels in computer science, math and physics.