Dragging Pictures in Excel

Dragging Pictures in Excel

Do you ever insert pictures into Excel? I add company logos occasionally, when creating a template for clients. They send me a jpg file, which I store in a folder in Windows Explorer. But unlike other Office programs, it doesn’t work it you try dragging pictures in Excel, from a file in Explorer.

Dragging Pictures in Excel

Even though I know it doesn’t work, when it’s time to insert that customer logo, I usually try to drag and drop it onto the Excel worksheet. Of course, that doesn’t work, as I’ve discovered hundreds of times before. But I never give up!

It looks promising, because the pointer gets a little plus sign, as though it’s going to add something to the worksheet.


Maybe this capability was added in the latest Service Pack! But no, the drag and drop from Windows Explore into Excel never works.

Drag From Anywhere Else

Although dragging from Windows Explorer doesn’t work, you can drag and drop other images into Excel. For example, if you find a picture in a web browser, you can drag that into Excel. I was able to drag an image from one of my blog posts onto a sheet, without any problems.

Drag and Drop Pictures in Excel blog.contextures.com

If I have Microsoft Word open, I can drag an image from Windows Explorer into the Word document, and drag from there into Excel.


That’s an extra step, but it’s much quicker than using Excel’s Insert Picture command, and browsing for the picture.


Drag Images Within Excel

Another little quirk with images in Excel is that you can’t drag them from one sheet to another – you have to cut and paste. If text is selected, I can press the Alt key, drag the text to a sheet tab, and drag the text to a position on the new sheet.


That doesn’t work with images though – a red circle with a slash appears on the sheet tab. No dragging images for you!


Fancy Pictures in Excel

Even though you can’t drag pictures into Excel, you can make them fancy-looking, with all the special effects on the Picture tab on the Ribbon. For example, you can remove the background from a picture, to show more of the worksheet.

Maybe in the next version, we’ll be able to drag and drop them from Explorer too.