How to Crop a Photo in Microsoft Word

By Nick Peers

Learn how you can manually crop your images in Microsoft Word or crop to a shape or aspect ratio. Delete the cropped areas to reduce file size.

Remove unwanted portions of photos in Microsoft Word by using the Crop tool. You can manually set the cropping area, or crop to a shape or common aspect ratio. The cropped areas are not deleted automatically, so you need to manually delete them to prevent others from seeing them; deleting the cropped areas also reduces file size.

Manually Setting the Crop Area

By setting the crop area manually, you can remove unwanted portions of the photo and get the look that you want.

Step 1

Selecting an image and switching to the Format tab.

Open the document that contains the image you want to crop in Word, select the image and then click the Format tab displayed near the top of the window.


If the Format tab does not display, you may need to double-click the image.

Step 2

Selecting the Crop option from the Size group.

Click the Crop button in the Size group and select Crop from the menu. The cropping handles display on the sides of the image.

Step 3

Setting the crop area using the handles.

Drag the cropping handles inward to define the crop area and then press Escape or click outside the area to apply the crop.


  • To crop two sides at the same time, hold Ctrl and drag a center handle — it looks like a vertical or horizontal line — inward.
  • To crop all four sides at the same time, hold Ctrl and drag a corner handle — it looks like an arrowhead — inward.
  • You can reposition the crop area by clicking and dragging the image.
  • You can crop the picture to exact dimensions by typing the height and width into the Shape Height and Shape Width boxes next to the Crop button in the Size group.

Cropping to a Shape or Aspect Ratio

Crop to a Shape

Step 1

Selecting a shape from the Crop to Shape menu.

Select the image, switch to the Format tab, click Crop in the Size group, select Crop to Shape and then select one of the shapes to crop the image.

Step 2

Using a diamond shape to crop the image.

Preview the result. If you aren't satisfied with the result, press Ctrl-Z to undo the changes and then select a different shape.


To change the size and position of the shape, click Crop and select Fill from the menu. Drag the crop handles inward to change the size of the shape, or click and drag the photo to change the position of the shape.

Any part of the photo that falls outside of the shape is cropped by default. To fit the entire photo within the shape, click Crop and select Fit. The aspect ratio of the image is preserved.

Crop to an Aspect Ratio

Selecting an aspect ratio from the Aspect Ratio menu.

Switch to the Format tab after you select the image, click Crop and select Aspect Ratio from the menu. Select one of the common aspect ratios — you can choose square, portrait or landscape aspect ratios — to crop the image.

To undo the changes, press Ctrl-Z.

Delete the Cropped Areas

Deleting the cropped areas from a single picture.

Word does not delete the cropped areas automatically; these areas are instead hidden until you manually delete them.

Switch to the Format tab after you select the photo and click the Compress Pictures button in the Adjust group to display the Compress Pictures dialog. Check the Delete Cropped Areas of Pictures box and click OK.


To remove the cropped areas from all pictures in the document, uncheck the Apply Only to This Picture box and then click OK.

You can also remove the white background from a picture in Word.