In this post let’s look how we can insert images into our sheets. There are two main ways, either inserting the image via the Insert menu or by using the IMAGE function.

Example 1 – Inserting an image from Drive

Here let’s add an image from my Drive. Open the “Insert” menu then click “Image”.


Choose where your image is, in this case, let’s choose “Google Drive”.


Search for your image, and click on the one you want, then click Select.


This will place the image on top of your sheet and won’t affect the cells in any way. You can change the size of it by moving the blue squares on the border of your image.


Example 2 – Inserting an image within a cell using the IMAGE function

An alternative way to inserting images, is to use the IMAGE function, which will insert the image within the cell where that function is. To do this we need the URL of the image.

In the cell I type =IMAGE() then in between the brackets I add speech marks and the URL inside them, i.e. =IMAGE(“”)

Here I’ll add an image from my blog:


This adds the image within the cell. A bit small isn’t it?


This is because it has adjusted the size of the image to the size of cell. To make it bigger we just make the row and/or column sizes bigger.


By default, the image is inserted in “sizing mode 1”. So, what does that mean? Well, there are 4 modes and they treat the images in different ways.

Mode 1 – Resizes the image to fit inside the cell, maintaining aspect ratio.

Mode 2 – Stretches or compresses the image to fit inside the cell, ignoring aspect ratio.

Mode 3 – Leaves the image at original size, which may cause cropping.

Mode 4 – Allows the specification of a custom size.

So, let’s look at the modes 2, 3, and 4 in turn.

Mode 2

Taking the same image and formula, but this time just adding a comma and 2 at the end, will squash the image into the cell, and ignore the original aspect ratio, so it now looks too wide.



Mode 3

This time replacing the 2 with a 3, will insert the image as its original size, but if it is bigger than the cell, it will be cropped, as we can see below.



Mode 4

Finally, we can control the height and width we want, but to do this we must use mode 4.

As you can see in the formula, after the 4, we add the height (150) and then the width (120).



Which mode you use is of course entirely dependent on what you want to achieve.

It’s important to note that as these images are within the cells, they are affected by any cell changes, rows or columns added, etc.

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Baz Roberts (Google+Flipboard / Twitter)