Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 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: Freezing Cell Size when Inserting Pictures.

Freezing Cell Size when Inserting Pictures

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 25, 2020)

3

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, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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. ...

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Comments

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What is 5 - 3?

2020-07-14 09:50:57

Tim

Nice work, But the picture is cropped. I need the picture to resize to fit the cell. I'm filling the table with <<insert>> tags, so the picture has to do its re-size automatically.


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


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