Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Cropping Graphics.

Cropping Graphics

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 21, 2016)


Once you place a graphic in your document, you may decide to crop it. Cropping means to cut off part of the graphic so it doesn't show in your document. To crop a graphic, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the Picture toolbar is open. You can right click on the graphic and select Show Picture Toolbar if it is not.
  2. Click on the Crop tool on the Picture toolbar.
  3. Click on one of the graphic's handles with the mouse pointer.
  4. Drag the handle toward the center of the graphic, stopping when you have cropped the desired amount.
  5. You can turn off cropping by again clicking on the Crop tool.

You should realize that cropping a graphic in Word does not make any changes to the actual graphic. Instead, cropping means that you are simply telling Word how much of the original graphic you want displayed. If the graphic is embedded in the document, then cropping it is not a way to reduce file size because the full, complete graphic is still saved with the document. If you want to crop a graphic and reduce file size, then you will need to crop it in a graphics program (outside of Word) and insert the edited graphic in the document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (393) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Cropping Graphics.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is four less than 8?

2012-03-29 07:59:44

mevr. voerman

Alas, I work with office 2000 and there is no compress possibility on the picture tab...

2012-02-06 09:54:20

Jennifer Thomas

Another way to delete the cropped areas is to right-click the picture | choose Format Picture. On the Picture tab, click Compress | ensure the option "Delete cropped areas of pictures" is checked.

At the top, choose whether to apply this to the selected picture or all pictures, then click OK.

This can result in siginicant file size reduction, depending on how much you cropped.

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