How to Use Microsoft Excel’s Image Function

If you wish to incorporate an image in Excel, such as a company logo or a product shot, use the Insert tab. However, if you want to retain the picture within a particular cell, use the IMAGE function instead. 

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However, using this helpful method, you may enter the picture’s URL, optionally provide alternative text, and specify how large the image should be within the cell.

Note: Starting from October 2022, the IMAGE capability will be accessible to Office Insiders, followed by Microsoft 365 subscribers on Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, and the web.


The function’s syntax is IMAGE (URL, alt text, sizing, height, width), with just the first parameter necessary. This parameter contains the image’s URL, which should be enclosed in quotation marks. The four optional parameters are described below:

1. Alt text: To assist accessibility, include alternate (alt) text; the text should be enclosed in quotes.

2. Sizing: Select one of four sizes: 0 to fit the picture in the cell while keeping the aspect ratio, 1 to ignore the aspect ratio, 2 to keep the original image size, or 3 to adjust the scope using the height and width parameters.

3. Height: Set the size to 3 and input the height in pixels.

4. Width: For the sizing, use 3 and give the width in pixels.

Note: Image formats supported include BMP, GIF, ICO, JPG, PNG, TIFF, and WEBP.

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How to use the IMAGE Function in Excel

Now that you understand how to construct the formula and the image file types supported let’s look at some instances utilizing the IMAGE function using the image below. The sample picture is from our Word how-to on image overlaying.

In this first example, we’ll use the following formula to insert an image without alt text or optional sizing:
As you resize the cell by altering the row and column, the picture remains within the cell and keeps its aspect ratio. It’s the same as setting the sizing argument to 0.

Following that, we’ll include the alt text “dog” and utilize size option 1 to retain the picture in the cell while ignoring the aspect ratio with this formula:
As you can see, when we modify the size of the cell, the picture is distorted according to the sizing choice.

To preserve the image’s original size, we’ll use the following formula with alt text and scaling option 2:
Because this image is huge (1,200 by 675 pixels), it does not fit within the cell at its present size. However, we wanted to show how to keep the original image size.

Finally, we’ll delete the alt text, leaving only the argument in quote marks. We’ll also utilize a custom size for our image, with 3 pixels for scaling, 280 pixels for height, and 500 pixels for width. Here’s how it works:
When we resize the cell, the picture retains its aspect ratio for the specified dimensions.

Lastly, adding an image to Excel has never been difficult, but with the IMAGE function, you can now insert a photo into a cell and keep it there in any size you choose.

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