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How to Insert an Image in a Cell in Google Sheets

Sometimes you may want to insert an image into Google Sheets.

There are a few different methods to put images inside your spreadsheet.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to add images into your cells in Google Sheets.

Inserting an Image with “Image in Cell”

The easiest way to insert an image into a cell in Google Sheets is by using the insert option in the top menu.

Here’s how to do it

1. The first step is to select the cell where you want the image to appear and then select Insert and Image in the top menu

insert image option-1

2. From here you will have two options: Image in cell or Image over cells. Select the one you want. We will choose Image in cell in this example

insert image option-2

3. A pop-up box will appear with six options depending on where you want to insert your image from. In this example, I am uploading an image from my computer so I choose Upload

insert image option-3

4. Select the blue Browse button to upload a picture from your computer. After you select the button, choose the image from your computer and upload it.

insert image option-4

5. The image you have chosen will now be inserted into the cell that you chose in step 1.

insert image option-5

With the insert image option, you have a few different options for where you take your image from. In the example, I have shown uploading an image from the computer, but there are other options

I will cover each of the options below.

Insert Image by Upload

This is the option that I showed in the example. By selecting Upload, you can choose any image on your computer to insert into your spreadsheet.

image upload

Insert Image from Camera

If your computer or device has a camera attached to it, you can take a live picture and insert it into your sheet by choosing the camera option.

Image from camera

Insert Image by URL

Another option is to paste an image URL into your sheet by selecting the BY URL option. There will be a text box where you can paste your link.

Image by URL

Insert Image from Photos

If you have images on Google Photos that you want to place inside your spreadsheet you can choose the Photos option and selecting your images there.

image from photos

Insert Image from Google Drive

You can also put images from Google Drive into your spreadsheet by selecting the Google Drive option. From here you will be shown all the images that you have inside your drive and you can select them.

google drive image

Insert Image from Google Image Search

The last option is to do a google images search to find a picture to place in your spreadsheet. With this option there will be a search bar and you can type in your words to perform the search and choose your photo.

google image search

IMAGE Function

Another great way to place images into your spreadsheet is by using the IMAGE function.

The IMAGE function inserts images into a cell.

The syntax of this function is:

=IMAGE(url, [mode], [height], [width])

  • url – The URL of the image. This must include the http:// part of the URL. It must be inside quotation marks or be a reference to a cell with the URL.
  • mode – the parameter is optional and specifies the sizing of the image. By default, it will be set to 1.
    • 1 – this will resize the image to fit inside a cell while maintaining aspect ratio
    • 2 – this will compress or stretch an image inside a cell without maintaining aspect ratio
    • 3 – this will not change the image size at all, it will stay at its original size (but it may be cropped)
    • 4 – this allows you to set a custom size
  • height – this is an optional parameter that is only enabled if you select mode 4. It is the height in pixels that you want your image to be
  • width – this is an optional parameter that is only enabled if you select mode 4. It is the width in pixels that you want your image to be

Here is an example of how this function can be used in your spreadsheet:

image example

You can see that the image is inside quotation marks and the image has been resized to fit inside the cell. Remember that by default the IMAGE functioni will be set to mode 1 which resizes the image while maintaining aspect ratio.

This is just a basic example where we don’t change the size of the image at all. All of the other parameters outside of the first one are optional, but let’s take a look at some examples where we using the other parameters to change the image size.

Mode 1 Example

By default the IMAGE function is set to mode 1, so you don’t really need to put this as a parameter in your function. Here is an example of using this function using a cell reference containing the URL:

IMAGE mode 1

Mode 2 Example

Mode 2 will stretch/compress an image to fit inside a cell without maintaining its aspect ratio. See how in the example below the image is stretched inside the cell:

IMAGE mode 2

Mode 3 Example

Mode 3 keeps the image at its original size. You can see this is much larger than the previous images because this is the actual size of the original image.

IMAGE mode 3

Mode 4 Example

With mode 4 you can specify exactly how large you want the image by giving the height and width in pixels.

IMAGE mode 4

Troubleshooting =IMAGE Function Not Working

There are a few different reasons that your IMAGE function might not be working properly in your spreadsheet. We will cover a few common reasons here.

  1. No quotation marks – the most common reason your IMAGE function may not work is that quotation marks are required outside of your URL. If you have forgotten quotation marks, your function might throw an error.
  2. Quotation marks – if you are using a cell reference inside your IMAGE function, you do not need quotation marks. When using a cell reference, make sure to have no quotation marks.
  3. Missing protocol – another common reason your image might not be showing up is that you are missing the protocol (https://) part of your URL. This needs to be in there for the function to work properly.
  4. Invalid URL – another common reason is that the URL you are using is invalid, make sure to double-check your URL is correct. Google drive URLs do not work with this function
  5. Sizing issue – the last common reason the IMAGE function might not be showing is that your cell is not sized properly. Sometimes the image is really showing up, but the way it is sized inside the cell you will need to expand it to see the image. Check if this is happening to your image

Closing Thoughts

As you can now see, there are many different ways to get images inside your cells in Google Sheets.

The IMAGE function is much more dynamic and you have control over the sizing of images that you place inside your sheet.

But in some cases using the Insert image option is a good choice too.

More Google Sheets Tutorials:
How to Insert Current Date
How to Insert Rows