Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Freezing Cell Size when Inserting Pictures.

Freezing Cell Size when Inserting Pictures

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 8, 2014)

2

Al wrote about a problem he was having with inserting graphics into a table. He created a table that had four rows and four columns, and then merged the center four cells. He ended up with one large cell surrounded by twelve smaller cells. When he tried to place a picture into the center cell, his table was thrown all out of whack as the table rows and columns would adjust to accommodate the inserted picture.

This is normal behavior for Word. According to Word's online help system, if you insert a graphic into a table cell, the cell is adjusted to fit the dimensional needs of the graphic. If you don't want Word to do that, then you must format the table so that it won't. This requires two passes through the Table Properties dialog box. Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the table and choose Table Properties from the Context menu. Word displays the Table Properties dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Table tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Table tab of the Table Properties dialog box.

  4. Click the Options button. Word displays the Table Options dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The Table Options dialog box.

  6. Clear the Automatically Resize to Fit Contents check box.
  7. Click OK to close the Table Options dialog box.
  8. Click OK to close the Table Properties dialog box.
  9. Select the row or rows that will contain pictures.
  10. Right-click on the selected rows and choose Table Properties from the Context menu. Word again displays the Table Properties dialog box.
  11. Make sure the Row tab is displayed. (See Figure 3.)
  12. Figure 3. The Row tab of the Table Properties dialog box.

  13. Select the Specify Height check box, and indicate right next to it the height you want used for the rows that will contain graphics.
  14. Using the Row Height Is drop-down list, choose Exactly.
  15. Clear the Allow Row to Break Across Pages check box.
  16. Click OK.

Now, insert your picture as you normally would. The table will not resize. If the graphic is larger than the available space in the cell, then it is cropped to fit within the cell.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13299) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Freezing Cell Size when Inserting Pictures.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Positioning Line Numbers

Line numbers can be added to a document, and is typically done in legal documents. The line numbers appear to the left of ...

Discover More

Adding AutoShapes

The graphics features of Excel allow you to add a number of predefined AutoShapes to a workbook. If you want to add shapes to ...

Discover More

Adjusting Table Row Height

When working with tables, you can adjust the height of individual rows. How you go about such adjustments depends on the ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Placing Text in Empty Table Cells

Tables are often used to organize information into an understandable format. If your company requires that tables in formal ...

Discover More

Quickly Moving Your Table

For those who love to use the mouse during editing, you can use the little critter to help move your tables to exactly where ...

Discover More

Deleting a Table

Tired of that old table taking up space in your document? You can get rid of it using a variety of techniques—"some of ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 5 + 0?

2014-11-11 02:02:57

Dave

Can't believe I didn't see this. Now, how do you take this check mark off so that if you don't want this function to work all the time.


2014-11-10 02:46:17

Pietzke@Ferchau.Bremen

Great!
More and more templates from France use tables instead of paragraphs and by that more and more colleagues have exactly this problem. Good tip!
Pietzke


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.