Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Resize Graphics Outside of Excel.

Resize Graphics Outside of Excel

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 22, 2021)

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As has been mentioned in other issues of ExcelTips, after inserting a graphic in your worksheet you can easily resize it to almost any size you want. While this can be easy to do, resizing graphics in this manner may not be the best approach to working with your graphics.

I've heard reports of people who have problems printing worksheets that have lots of graphics in them. Invariably, the root of the problem is graphics that are resized in Excel. Even if the graphic is only resized a few percentage points, it can still cause problems. Solving these types of problems can take quite a bit of trial and error and therefore a lot of time.

When you insert a graphic in Excel and then resize it, the full, large-scale graphic is still embedded within your worksheet. This adds to the overall size of your workbook and means it may be slower or more difficult for Excel to process.

Excel is not a graphics program. (Duh!) It makes sense that specialized graphics programs would be more adept at resizing and cropping graphics than what you can get when you use Excel. Therefore, you should consider resizing your graphics in a graphics program before placing them in a worksheet. Doing so may result in a higher-quality graphic in your worksheet, and it certainly will result in a lesser processing burden on Excel (not to mention a smaller workbook size).

If you are having problems printing graphics within Excel, consider resizing and processing the graphics outside of Excel completely using a program such as Paint Shop Pro or PhotoShop. Chances are good that you can solve your problems sooner than you think.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11080) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Resize Graphics Outside of Excel.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is nine more than 9?

2021-05-25 06:54:11

Mike D.

Vueprint is an awesome program I have used for years.
It does not do what Photoshop can do but it can perform many manipulations, crop, resize, contrast, brightness, negative, mirror, rotate and many more.
It is also a great quick viewer stepping through most types of images in full screen or in thumbnail. And for you old timers out there, like me, every command has a keyboard shortcut.


2021-05-23 17:31:11

MW

Another graphics editor suggestion for those that need basic, very easy to use and effective photo cropping, image enhancement and compression features is to use a couple of Apps built into Windows 10:

Windows default Photos App: a quick and easy to use photo editor that crops, applies many filter & editing functions, including a one-click option that automatically balances and enhances the photo. Unless you are a graphics editor, this app will give you what you need without complexity.

Image resizer: This is offered within the suite of MS app tools called Power Toys. Google "Microsoft Power Toys 2021" and install the App. Within the app is an Image Resizer that creates a right click context option to compress one or as many photos as you select to one of several different file size options. The quality is great and it only requires a couple of clicks.

The Power Toys App also offers several other useful apps, e.g. a file batch renamer utility.


2021-05-22 18:27:57

David Gray

I offer a strong second to Allen's suggestion of Paint Shop Pro, which has been my go-to graphics program since 1990, when it was just called Paint Shop. Though any graphics program can be challenging to learn and use, PSP has almost always come through in spades for me, not only for resizing and cropping images, but for recoloring, blemish repairs, annotations, and file format conversions. It is also a first rate screen capture program, which is part of the reason that I began using it in 1990.


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