How to Make Word Not Resize Inserted Pictures

By Cathryn Chaney

When you insert a picture into Word, the inserted image may take on a vastly different size compared to what you were expecting. This can happen when you use the Control-C and Control-V commands to copy a picture and paste it into a Word document, as well as when you insert a clip-art image or picture file. What's actually happening is that Word is displaying the picture at its full, original size. Many web pages and software programs display images at a scaled-down size, as does the Microsoft Office clip organizer. Changing to full-size view in the Word document can mean a dramatic change in the displayed dimensions. To eliminate this effect, paste the picture into a text box within Word.

Step 1

Click on the "Insert" tab in Word 2010 or Word 2007, or the "Insert" pull-down menu in earlier versions of Word. Choose the option for "Text Box." In Word 2010 and Word 2007, you'll also then have to click the option for "Draw Text Box."

Step 2

Use the mouse to draw a text box of the appropriate size in your Word document. To draw the text box, click where you want the upper left corner of the photo to go, then drag the mouse to the position where the opposite corner should be. A box outline will appear as you are drawing. When the box is the right size, release the mouse. For optimal results, the text box should have the same proportions and desired display size as the picture you're inserting.

Step 3

Click inside the text box and insert or paste the picture as you normally would. The picture will automatically take on a size that is appropriate for the text box. If the text box dimensions slightly mismatch the picture's proportions, the text box might resize slightly. If the text box mismatches the picture more significantly, either part of the text box will remain unfilled or part of the picture will be hidden. In such cases, single-click the border of the text box to activate it, then click and drag the appropriate resizing handle to alter the text box. Resizing handles are small white dots that appear around the border of a selected text box.

Step 4

To remove the black border from around the text box, first activate it by single-clicking its border. The border will become highlighted with diagonal hatching. Right-click the thick diagonal hatching and choose "Format Text Box." On the resulting pop-up screen, choose the tab for "Colors and Lines." Find the area on that tab labeled "Line" and set the line color to "None."

Tips & Warnings

  • To reposition a text box, first click its border to activate the text box. When the border becomes thick with diagonal hatching, single-click the border again, holding down the mouse button and dragging the text box to the new location.
  • To change the word wrap or alignment properties of the text box, click the border and then right-click the thickened border. Choose "Format Text Box" and then click the "Layout" tab on the resulting pop-up screen.
  • An alternative approach is to simply paste or insert the picture without using a text box. Allow the image to resize, but immediately right-click it. Choose the option for "Format Picture," and then go to the "Size" tab on the resulting pop-up screen. Find the box for "Height" and type in an estimated desirable height, such as 2 inches. Look at the middle of the pop-up screen to ensure the box for "Lock Aspect Ratio" is checked, then click "OK." The "Lock Aspect Ratio" check box is checked by default, so you shouldn't have to change it unless you modify the setting.