Microsoft Excel now has an IMAGE() function


Microsoft Excel supported inserting images into spreadsheets for years, but they floated over the sheet instead of appearing in cells. That is finally changing.

Microsoft is now testing a new function in Excel, called PICTURE, that returns an image within a cell. Unlike the existing method of inserting an image (from the Insert tab), the new feature keeps the image inside the cell, so it can stay where it’s intended while you adjust rows and columns.

Example of PICTURE() function that inserts a sphere into a cell

The new IMAGE function imports an image from a specific URL, which can be in BMP, JPG/JPEG, GIF, TIFF, PNG, ICO or WebP format. Optionally, you can set an alternative text (alt text) value, which is useful for screen readers and other accessibility tools. The width and height can be defined in pixels, or you can choose from three other options: fit the image with its aspect ratio, fit the image ignoring the aspect ratio, or keep the original size (which might exceed the cell boundary). ).

=IMAGE(source, [alt_text], [sizing], [height], [width])

Images are already invaluable for Excel spreadsheets, especially for illustrating example entries, mathematical models, and other data. The ability to insert images directly into cells is especially useful for anyone creating templates and documents that need to look more like a web page or Word document. You can also enhance your monthly budget sheet with some relevant memes.

The IMAGE feature is now available in Beta Channel builds for Office Insiders on Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android. Once all the issues are resolved, Microsoft will roll it out to everyone except people using Excel on a computer without a Microsoft 365 subscription, as new features aren’t typically rolled out to non-subscription apps.

Source: Microsoft