Resize Images and Objects in Microsoft Word

Here are 3 ways to get your document looking the way you want

Illustration of a resizing of an object in the color blue.


PeterPal / Getty Images

If your Microsoft Word documents contain anything other than straight text, chances are there have been times when you've wanted a certain component (such as an image or a text box) to be a different size. Fortunately, Word makes it easy to change the size of objects.

This article applies to Word 2019, Word 2019 for Mac, Word 2016, Word 2016 for Mac, Word 2013, Word for Office 365, and Word for Office 365 for Mac. 

Resize an Image by Clicking and Dragging

Resizing your images lets you shrink them down to fit in a tight spot in your document or make them larger to fill up more space. You can resize any type of object, including images, shapes, SmartArt, WordArt, charts, and text boxes. Here's how to do it:

  1. Within your Word document, select the object you want to resize.

    Image selected in MS Word
  2. Use your mouse or touchpad to select and drag 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.

    Once you've resized the object, you may also need to reposition it.

    MS Word with image resized
  3. To keep the proportions of the object the same, press and hold the Shift key on your keyboard while you select and drag. To keep the object centered in its current location, press and hold the Ctrl key while you select and drag. Press and hold both keys together to perform both functions.

Resize an Image by Setting an Exact Height and Width

Resizing an object based on an exact size is useful if you need to make two or more images the same size or if images must be a certain size to fit a template or other requirement. Here's how to do it:

  1. Within your Word document, select the object you want to resize. On the ribbon, select Picture Format.

    If you're resizing something other than an image, the name of the tab will differ. For example, for WordArt, text boxes, or shapes it's Shape Format. For SmartArt or charts it's Format.

    MS Word with Picture Format tab selected
  2. In the Size group, use the arrows to change the height and width of the object.

  3. To resize the object to an exact proportion, in the Size group, select the dialog box launcher. In the Layout dialog box, select the Size tab.

    MS Word with Layout dialog box displayed
  4. In the Scale section, select Lock Aspect Ratio. In the Height or Width section, use the controls to change the height or width. The other dimension will automatically change to maintain the ratio.

  5. Select OK.

Crop an Image

You can also crop an image to remove a portion of it, which is helpful if you don't need all the content within the image. To do it, follow these steps:

  1. Within your Word document, select the image you want to crop. On the ribbon, select Picture Format.

    MS Word with the Picture Format tab displayed
  2. In the Size group, select Crop. Your image displays crop handles.

    MS Word document with image and crop handles displayed
  3. Select and drag a handle to crop the image.

    MS Word document with cropped image
  4. As with resizing an image, press Shift on your keyboard while you crop to maintain the size ratio. Press Ctrl to keep the images centered. Press both Shift and Ctrl to do both.