Spreadsheets don’t always have to look like a solid wall of text. You can break that monotony by adding some images to your cells in Google Sheets.
Quickly insert a picture into a cell
Google Sheets has a very simple way to insert an image into a cell. First, go to https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/ and open a spreadsheet. Now click on an empty cell in the worksheet and go to Insert > Picture.
Image in Google Sheets.” width=”650″ height=”200″ onload=”pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon(this);” onerror=”this.onerror=null;pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon(this);”/>
This will open an image selection popup with many options. We’ll quickly walk you through all of these so you can choose the one that’s best for you. To upload a file from your computer, click the “Upload” tab.
Now click on the blue “Browse” button that appears once you select the “Upload” tab.
You can now easily navigate to any file on your computer and double click to upload it to the selected cell in Google Sheets.
If you want to take a picture with a webcam, click on ‘Camera’.
Press the yellow camera icon in the “Camera” tab when you’re ready to take a photo.
You can then click “Insert” to the right of the camera icon to add the image to your spreadsheet.
Click the ‘By URL’ tab to import an image with its URL.
Paste the link into the text box on the ‘By URL’ tab.
Once you’ve done that, click “Insert Image” to add it to your sheet.
The Photos tab allows you to select images stored in Google Photos. When you click on ‘Photos’ you will quickly see a list of all the photos stored in your Google Photos.
Click on an image to select it from the “Photos” tab.
Then click the blue “Insert” button at the bottom of the popup to add it to the cell.
You can also navigate to the “Google Drive” tab to select images from your cloud storage account. When you click on ‘Google Drive’, you need to select the folder where you saved all the images.
Once you’ve done that, click on a photo to select it and then click “Insert” to add it to the selected cell.
Finally, you can select “Search for Images” and use the “Search for Images” text box at the top to search for images from the web. You can type any search query here as you would on Google Search.
The next step is to click on the image you want to select and finally you can click on “Insert”.
When you use this method to add photos to your Google Sheets document, the images are automatically scaled to fit in the selected cells. The scaling is proportional, so you don’t have to worry about the aspect ratio getting messed up.
However, if your cells are too small, the images will barely be visible, so you’ll need to resize the cell to make sure the image is large enough to see.
You can do this simply by moving your mouse pointer to the bar above or below the row number on the far left of the worksheet. Make sure the mouse pointer changes to an icon with an up arrow and drag it up or down to resize the row.
Similarly, you can drag the mouse pointer to the separators between two columns at the top of the worksheet. Columns are indicated by alphabets in Google Sheets. Once the mouse pointer changes to a right arrow, click and drag it to resize the column.
As the cell expands or shrinks, you’ll notice that the image automatically scales to fit the cell’s dimensions.
Use the image function to add an image to a cell
The image feature provides another way to insert images into cells in Google Sheets. This method is a little more complicated, but it also offers an extra degree of customizability by letting you choose the size of the image in the cell.
First, let’s go to https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/ and open a spreadsheet. Now select a cell and go to the menu above the spreadsheet and navigate to Insert > Function > Google.
You will see a popup showing you the syntax for the Image function and what each parameter does. The syntax looks something like this:
=IMAGE(url, [mode], [height], [width])
Let’s take a quick look at what each of these parameters means and how to use them. The URL parameter is the most important, because the function will break if you don’t add value to this parameter. You can copy and paste the link to any image from the web here. If you’re using an image URL, make sure to put it in quotes, like this:
You can select any cell and paste the syntax into the formula bar, which is located between the menu and the alphabets that indicate the column names.
Please note that Google Sheets does not allow you to use Google Drive links with the image feature. Another thing to note is that images in SVG format will not work with this feature.
All other parameters are optional, but they are quite useful, so we’ll quickly explain what they do. The [mode] parameter lets you control the size of the image, and it can only have one of four values:
- 1: Resizes the image to automatically fit within the dimensions of the cell without disrupting the aspect ratio of the image. This format mode is selected by default and is applied automatically even if you don’t add a value for the [mode] parameter.
- 2: This stretches or shrinks the image to fit in the cell and distorts the aspect ratio.
- 3: This size mode keeps the image in its original size. It doesn’t resize the cell in Google Sheets, so you have to manually resize the cell to display the full image.
- 4: If you want to use custom dimensions for your image, this is the size mode to use.
Here’s how to properly use the first three format modes:
You can replace the number 1 with 2 or 3, depending on the format mode you want to use. To use the fourth format mode, the height and width parameters must also be specified. The Image function measures height and width in pixels, and here’s an example of the correct syntax for this:
=IMAGE("https://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/new-design-social-coverphoto.png", 4, 1500, 500)
Note that 1,500 is the width in pixels and 500 is the height. We’ll use it in this order because that’s what the Google Sheets syntax says.
Once you master these methods, adding images in cells in Google Sheets becomes very easy. Good luck!