How to Insert an Image Inline in an Email With Outlook

Image inserted to a new message in Outlook on Windows 10

They say in every picture is a book. Emails, though, are mostly made of text and words. To make your next Outlook email more memorable, insert a picture into the text instead of just attaching the image. First, of course, be sure the image is compressed properly so you won't have a problem sending the email.

Then type whatever message you want to send. But how do you insert an image, picture, painting or photograph in an email in Outlook so that it appears in the message itself, not as an attachment? Well… this might be easier than you thought.

Insert an Image Inline in an Email With Outlook

To add an image from your computer (or cloud storage appearing as a drive on your computer) into an email inline with Outlook:

  1. Make sure the message you are composing uses HTML formatting:

    Go to the Format Text (or FORMAT TEXT) tab on the message composition window's ribbon.

    Select Format and then HTML.

    HTML format button in Outlook
  2. Position the cursor where you want to put the picture or image.

  3. Open the Insert tab in the ribbon.

  4. Click Pictures in the Illustrations section.

    Pictures button in Insert tab of Outlook

    Choose Online Pictures to use Bing Image Search to insert pictures directly from the web, or to insert images from your OneDrive account.

  5. Find and highlight the image you want to insert.

    You can insert multiple pictures at once; highlight them while holding the Ctrl key.

     If your image is larger than some 640x640 pixels, consider shrinking it to more handy proportions. Outlook will not warn you about large images or offer to decrease their size.

  6. Click Insert.

    Insert button in Outlook's Insert Picture dialog

Right-click on the picture to access options for its position, or to add a link, for example:

  1. Select Link from the context menu, then Insert Link. Paste the link next to Address: in the Existing File or Web Page category (in the left pane).

  2. Open the Wrap Text menu to try various positions; Outlook 2013 will give you a preview in the message itself when you hold the mouse cursor over an option.

Insert an Image Inline in an Email With Outlook 2007

To insert an image inline in an email with Outlook:

  1. Start with a message using HTML formatting.

  2. Position the cursor where you want the image to appear.

  3. Go to the Insert tab.

  4. Click Picture.

  5. Find and highlight the desired image.

    You can highlight multiple images using the Ctrl key and insert them all at once.

    If your image is larger than some 640x640 pixels, consider shrinking it to more handy proportions.

  6. Click Insert.

To insert an image found on a web site:

  1. Start with a message using HTML formatting.

  2. Open the web page containing the desired picture, and right-click the image to copy its URL.

  3. In Outlook, follow the above steps as if you're going to choose an image from your computer, but instead of selecting one, enter the URL you copied from the web page into the File name box.

  4. Choose Insert to place that image into the message.

Insert an Image Inline in an Email With Outlook 2002 and 2003

To insert an inline image into a message with Outlook 2002 or Outlook 2003:

  1. Compose a message using HTML formatting.

  2. Put the cursor where you want the image to appear in the body of your message.

  3. Select the Insert > Picture > From File menu item.

  4. Locate the image you want to add to the email and then click Insert.

If your image is larger than about 640x640 pixels, consider shrinking it to more handy proportions.