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

Cropping Graphics

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 16, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Once you place a graphic in your document, you may decide to crop it, to trim the edges of the image. To crop a graphic, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the graphic to select it. Word places handles around the graphic and makes the Format tab available on the ribbon.
  2. Make sure the Format tab is displayed.
  3. In the Size group click on the Crop tool.
  4. If you click on the Crop option of the Crop tool, Word places "Crop" marks at corners and center of each side of the image. Drag the crop marks to change how much of the image is visible.
  5. If you click on the other options of the Crop tool, Word displays drop-down lists of cropping options you can apply.
  6. You can turn off cropping by again clicking on the Crop tool or clicking anywhere else in the body of the document.

You should realize that cropping a graphic in Word does not make any changes to the actual graphic. Instead, cropping means that you are simply telling Word how much of the original graphic you want displayed. If the graphic is embedded in the document, then cropping it is not a way to reduce file size because the full, complete graphic is still saved with the document. If you want to permanently delete the cropped areas and reduce the image file size, then you will need to use the Compress Pictures tool, in the same Format tab, in the Adjust group.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8766) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Cropping Graphics.

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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