Learning Resources

Resize an image

Four types of image with different types of resizing handle


Resize handles and pointers for different types of graphics:
Callout 1 Clip art or images "from file."
Callout 2 AutoShapes.
Callout 3 Diagrams.
Callout 4 Organization charts are a type of diagram.

When you resize most types of graphics, the same very basic principle is at work: You select the image, and then position the pointer over a resize handle at the top, bottom, sides, or corners of the image. When the pointer becomes a double-headed arrow, you drag to resize.

As you can see in the picture on the left, the pointer becomes a double-headed arrow for all types of graphics. But there is some variation in how the resize handles look from one image type to another, though they all resize in the same way. When they are selected:

  • Pictures and clip art are surrounded by a solid border with resize handles that appear as small squares.
  • AutoShapes sit on the drawing canvas, and are surrounded by resize handles that appear as small circles.
  • Diagrams and organization charts are surrounded by a border of dense dots with resize handles that appear as small circles. (Previous versions of Word resized organization charts in a different way.)


  • Use the corner handles if you wish to maintain the aspect ratio (the relation of height to width); using the side handles will distort the image.
  • To fine-tune the image size, right-click the graphic, and then click Format Picture on the shortcut menu. On the Size tab, you can enter precise measurements or a percentage value of the original size.