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 August 10, 2018)

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

Creating Compound Characters

Word provides access to a wide variety of characters either from the keyboard or from the Symbol dialog box. Up and above ...

Discover More

Adjusting Row Height when Wrapping Text

If you have some cells merged in a worksheet, and you wrap text within that merged cell, Excel won't automatically resize ...

Discover More

Pulling Headers and Footers from Other Files

You may have some standard headers and footers you want to make available in your document templates. This tip describes ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Suppressing a Zero in a Calculated Sum

You can use fields to calculate a sum of values in a table column. Here are two ways you can modify what the fields ...

Discover More

Unwanted Numbering on Pasted Tables

When pasting text from another document or from the Web you can have unexpected characters sometimes show up. Many of ...

Discover More

Changing Table Cell Text Direction

When creating a table, you can turn the orientation of the text, within a cell, by ninety degrees in either direction ...

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 6Mpixels. 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 2 + 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.