Resize Images and Objects in Microsoft Word

Whether you're struggling with a tight clipart or an image that's too large for the contents of your document, chances are you've wanted to resize a picture, object, or image while working in Microsoft Word. Fortunately, manipulating and cropping images or objects is surprisingly simple in this word processing program and can be done in a number of ways.

Keep in mind while working with Microsoft Word (or even Google Docs), some functions are subject to change with newer versions. These instructions are for Microsoft Word versions 2015 and earlier, but often the menus and commands are the same regardless of which word processing program you use. If you need further help with images in this version of Word, make sure to read  "How to Position Images" and "How to Wrap Text Around an Image."

Resize an Image by Clicking and Dragging

Resize Handle
Resize Handle. Photo © Rebecca Johnson

Resizing your images lets you shrink the images down to fit in a tight spot in your document or make them larger to fill up more of your document—essentailly, it increases or decreases the dimensions of your object. In Microsoft Word, you can resize clip art, smart art, pictures, word art, shapes, and text boxes by following these simple steps:

  1. Click on the object, such as clip art or a picture to select it.
  2. Hover your mouse over one of the Resizing Handles, which are located on each corner of the object, as well as on the top, bottom, left, and right borders.
  3. Click and drag your mouse once the pointer changes to a resize handle.

To keep the object’s shape proportional, press the Shift key while dragging; to keep the object centered in its current location, press the Control key while dragging; to keep the object proportional and centered, press the Control and the Shift key while dragging.

Resize an Image by Setting an Exact Height and Width

Adjust Height and Width
Adjust Height and Width. Photo © Rebecca Johnson

Resizing an object based on an exact size is useful if you need to make all of the images the same size. You may also be required to make an image an exact size based on a template or a business requirement. Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Click on the object to select it.
  2. To change the height of a picture or clip art, type in the desired height in the Height field on the Format tab in the Size section on the Picture Tools tab. You can also click the up and down arrows to the right of the field to increase or decrease the size.
  3. To change the height of a shape Word Art, or text box, type in the desired height in the Height field on the Format tab in the Size section on the Drawing Tools tab. You can also click the up and down arrows to the right of the field to increase or decrease the size.
  4. To change the width of a picture or clip art, type in the desired width in the Width field on the Format tab in the Size section on the Picture Tools tab. You can also click the up and down arrows to the right of the field to increase or decrease the size.
  5. To change the width of a shape Word Art, or text box, type in the desired width in the Width Field on the Format tab in the Size section on the Drawing Tools tab. You can also click the up and down arrows to the right of the field to increase or decrease the size.
  6. To resize the object to an exact proportion, click the Size and Position dialog box launcher on the Format tab in the Size section on the Picture Tools tab or the Drawing Tools tab.
  7. Type the percentage of the height that you desire in the Height field on the Size tab in the Scale section. The width will automatically adjust to the same percentage as long as the Lock Aspect Ratio option is selected.
  8. Click OK.

Crop an Image

Crop an Image
Crop an Image. Photo © Rebecca Johnson

You can crop images to remove a portion of it, which is helpful if you only need to feature a portion of an object or picture. As with other manipulations in this guide, cropping an image is relatively simple:

  1. Click on the image to select it.
  2. Click the Crop button on the Format tab in the Size section on the Picture Tools tab. This places 6 cropping handles around the image, one on each corner and one on the left and right side of the image.
  3. Click on the handle and drag to remove a portion of your image.

As with resizing an image, you can press the ShiftControl, or Shift and Control keys to keep the crop proportional, centered, or proportional and centered.

Restore Images to Original Size

Restore an Image
Restore an Image. Photo © Rebecca Johnson

If you make a few too many changes to the sizing of an image—or cropped where you didn’t mean to crop—Microsoft Word can restore your image to its original size and shape:

  1. Click on the image to select it.
  2. To reset the image to the proper size, click the Size and Position dialog box launcher on the Format tab in the Size section on the Picture Tools tab or the Drawing Tools tab.
  3. Click the Reset button.
  4. Click OK.

To restore a cropped image, click the Undo button as resetting the image through the Size and Position dialog box will not restore the image to its original size.

Give it a Try!

Now that you have seen how you can change the size of an image, give it try! Resize and crop images in your word processing documents.
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Your Citation
Johnson, Rebecca. "Resize Images and Objects in Microsoft Word." ThoughtCo, Dec. 4, 2017, thoughtco.com/resize-image-and-objects-3540363. Johnson, Rebecca. (2017, December 4). Resize Images and Objects in Microsoft Word. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/resize-image-and-objects-3540363 Johnson, Rebecca. "Resize Images and Objects in Microsoft Word." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/resize-image-and-objects-3540363 (accessed January 23, 2018).