Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Resize Graphics Outside of Excel.

Resize Graphics Outside of Excel

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 8, 2021)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


As has been mentioned in other issues of ExcelTips, after inserting a graphic in your worksheet you can easily resize it to almost any size you want. While this can be easy to do, resizing graphics in this manner may not be the best approach to working with your graphics.

I've heard reports of people who have problems printing worksheets that have lots of graphics in them. Invariably, the root of the problem is graphics that are resized in Excel. Even if the graphic is only resized a few percentage points, it can still cause problems. Solving these types of problems can take quite a bit of trial and error and therefore a lot of time.

When you insert a graphic in Excel and then resize it, the full, large-scale graphic is still embedded within your worksheet. This adds to the overall size of your workbook and means it may be slower or more difficult for Excel to process.

Excel is not a graphics program. (Duh!) It makes sense that specialized graphics programs would be more adept at resizing and cropping graphics than what you can get when you use Excel. Therefore, you should consider resizing your graphics in a graphics program before placing them in a worksheet. Doing so may result in a higher-quality graphic in your worksheet, and it certainly will result in a lesser processing burden on Excel (not to mention a smaller workbook size).

If you are having problems printing graphics within Excel, consider resizing and processing the graphics outside of Excel completely using a program such as Paint Shop Pro or PhotoShop. Chances are good that you can solve your problems sooner than you think.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3310) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Resize Graphics Outside of Excel.

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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