Excel Images Change Size After Preview

I ran into an odd problem with images in Excel 2010 last week – after looking at the sheet in Preview, a small logo graphic grew big enough to cover the most of the data on the sheet!


Here’s how it looked before the Preview – just a nice, small-sized logo, at the top left of the sheet.


Check the Picture Settings

The first thing I did was check the picture settings – right-click on the picture, and click Size and Properties


Then, in the Properties category, make sure the image is set to “Don’t move or size with cells.”


That setting was okay, so I didn’t know why the size changed. I Googled, but that didn’t help – the only suggestions were to check the image properties.

Paste in a new picture

There was a copy of the logo on another sheet in the file, so I deleted the oversized one, and pasted in a new copy. Yikes! The new copy looked just as big as the oversized one, even though it was the correct size on the sheet where I’d copied it.


I tried deleting and copying a few more times, and the result was the same each time. Also, I found that the problem occurred whether I manually opened the Print Preview window, or used VBA to open it.

The Disappearing Picture

Finally, I noticed something odd, as I pasted the logo onto the problem sheet – after I pasted, I had to zoom out a bit, to find the pasted picture.

When I could see the pasted picture, it was the right size, instead of oversized. But, it was in the range of cells where it should have been visible, without zooming.

The picture disappeared after pasting, and only appeared when I zoomed. This was getting stranger and stranger!


Change the Zoom

I tried previewing again, and the image got larger, just as it did before. But this time, I didn’t delete the picture, I just increased the zoom level, from 100% to 110%. The picture immediately went back to the correct size, and stayed that size, when I put the zoom back to 100%.

I don’t know why the problem occurred, but I added a bit of code to the project, to increase the zoom level, then set it back to the previous zoom setting.

Here is the code that I used, just in case you run into a similar problem.

    lZoom = ActiveWindow.Zoom
    ActiveWindow.Zoom = lZoom + 10
    ActiveWindow.Zoom = lZoom

And if you’ve ever run into this, and know what causes the oversized images, please let me know!


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10 Responses

  1. MF says:

    Hi Debra,
    I had encountered exactly the same thing, just that it happened to a chart object instead. My solution was also to change the zoom back and forth; but don’t know why actually. ;p

  2. Seb says:

    I also face this once in while and changing the zoom level is the fix I used.

    I’m now used to use the scroll up and down with my mouse while holding the CTRL key, without even thinking.

    i remember searching for the cause but could not find a solution.

  3. Doug Glancy says:

    I posted about a somewhat similar problem a while back with the camera tool: http://yoursumbuddy.com/camera-tool-now-with-33-more-picture/. I don’t know if Excel is still having that problem. These kinds of things can drive one a bit mad, especially on a deadline!

  4. Doug Glancy says:

    Makes you wonder what would happen if we sent workbooks with pictures back and forth. Maybe they’d just average out :).

  5. Maxime says:

    Thank you so much for posting it :D

  6. Fritzter says:

    In my case I found out the image resize panel (I don’t know how to call it – the rectangle that appears when you click the image to move or resize it) was positioned *outside* PrintArea.
    The image itself is within PrintArea; but the panel reaches out – I don’t know why in Excel 2013 the rectangle thingy is so wide. So I re-positioned the image so the rectangle was within PrintArea, didn’t expect it to fix the problem BUT IT DID.
    No more autoresize on PrintPreview.

    So yea that’s about it.

  7. Abi says:

    Thanks for this post Debra. I had a similar problem. I was creating printable stickers in Excel and they printed bigger than the specified size. The tip about selecting “Don’t move or size with cells” seems to have fixed it.

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