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Note: Picture in-cell feature is currently in production and rolling out in Excel.

Picture in-cell feature allows users to insert pictures into cells from Excel ribbon, with the use of a formula or by extracting it from a data type. Picture in-cell feature lets users insert their own pictures from several different entry points in Excel, as well as converting existing picture floating over cells to picture in cell and vice-versa.  

How to insert picture in cell

There are several options to insert picture in cell:

  • With the IMAGE function, using a web URL path: IMAGE function - Microsoft Support 

  • Insert Picture in Cell from Excel ribbon

  • Paste Picture in Cell from the clipboard

  • Switch from Picture over Cells to Picture in Cell

Note: For inserting pictures in cells, Excel supports the following picture file types: JPG/JPEG, PNG, BMP, ICO, WEBP, TIF/TIFF, GIF (not animated). 

Insert Picture in Cell from the ribbon

  1. On the Insert tab select Pictures.

  2. Select Place in Cell.

  3. Select one of the following sources from the Insert Picture From dropdown menu:

  • Select Insert > Pictures > Place in Cell > This Device for inserting picture from your device.

  • Select Insert > Pictures > Place in Cell > Stock Images for inserting picture from stock images.

  • Select Insert > Pictures > Place in Cell > Online Pictures for inserting picture from the web.

Insert Picture in-cell in Excel screenshot one version two.jpg

4. Select picture and select Insert.  

Inserting multiple pictures at once: 

Once you select the source where your picture is being inserted from, then select multiple pictures, then select Insert

All selected images will be inserted within the workbook cells at once, starting from the active cell and down the column for as many cells as pictures selected, overwriting any values in those cells.  

Paste Picture in Cell: 

If you have a picture in clipboard, you can paste it as a picture in cell. 

  1. Select Paste > Paste Picture in Cell.

  2. Right click in cell Paste Options > Paste in Cell.

Insert Picture in-cell in Excel screenshot two version two.jpg

Note: When there's a picture in the clipboard, the default Paste option or Ctrl+V shortcut will paste picture over cells.

Switch from Picture over Cells to Picture in Cell:  

You can easily switch between the picture types and convert a picture that is floating over cells to a picture in cell. 

When selecting a picture over cells and choosing Place in Cell, the picture will be put at the top-left corner cell where the picture over cell was floating. 

  1. Select a picture which is over cells, the ribbon tab will switch to Picture Format.

  2. Select Place in Cell.

Insert Picture in-cell in Excel three version two.jpg

Place in Cell through right click menu:

  1. Select a picture and right click to open context menu.

  2. Select Place in Cell.

Switch from Picture in Cell to Picture over Cells: 

If you want to get back and have the picture floating over cells, switch is easy through the context menu. Right click on the picture in cell and choose Picture in Cell > Place over Cells.


We recommend adding alt text to the picture. Alt text helps people with visual disabilities understand pictures and other graphical content. When someone using a screen reader comes across a picture in a document, they will hear the alt text describing the picture; without alt text, they will only know they've reached a picture without knowing what the picture shows.

Right click on the picture in cell, choose alt text and fill the alternate text in the side pane. 

For more information, see Everything you need to know to write effective alt text.

See Also 

IMAGE function - Microsoft Support 

What are linked data types in Excel? 

Add alternative text to a shape, picture, chart, SmartArt graphic, or other object.

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