Time to showoff your VBA skills – Help me fix ActiveSheet.Pictures.Insert snafu

Posted on July 30th, 2009 in VBA Macros - 37 comments

Okay, I am trying to build something hush hush super cool using excel but hit a roadblock trying to load images from a URL to my excel sheet.

What is the problem?

I am trying to insert an image from a URL to my excel 2007 workbook using VBA. The code I have used is,

Dim pPath
pPath = range("picLocation").value
ActiveSheet.Pictures.Insert(pPath)

insert-pictures-using-vbaWhen I try to run it, the error is “Unable to get the Insert property of the Pictures class”
Now, after googling I bumped on this piece of code recommended to fellow VBA coders who had the similar problem.

With ActiveSheet.Pictures.Insert(pPath)
.Left = range("a1").Left
.Top = range("a1").Top
End With

Well, I tried that, but still the same error. After spending what seemed like a couple of hours I am turning to you.

Do you know how to insert images (from URLs) to excel workbook using VBA?

Paste your code in comments. Lots of love and admiration is awaiting…

Written by Chandoo
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37 Responses to “Time to showoff your VBA skills – Help me fix ActiveSheet.Pictures.Insert snafu”

  1. shokks says:

    I tried your code with 2003, it works.

    But, I know Addpicture does not take URLs anymore with 2007 onwards, perhaps its the same with picture.insert as well.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928983/en-us

    The above link gives the solution as "picture fill in a shape such as a rectangle".

  2. Vince E. says:

    Tried to recreate this, but it worked fine for me. I just took the image of the error you showed in the post. Is there more info that can narrow this down a bit?

  3. Ian Hinckley says:

    Hi

    Not sure if this is what you're after, but I just tried this

    Sub Macro1()
    ActiveSheet.Pictures.Insert("http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en_uk/images/logo.gif").Select
    End Sub

    Tied a button to it on the sheet and it seems to work; hope this helps a little

    Ian

  4. Chandoo says:

    @All.. the issue is in Excel 2007. In 2003 ActiveSheet.Pictures.Insert seems to work fine. Unfortunately, I have design this in Excel 2007.. that is why I posted it here..

  5. Ian Hinckley says:

    v2

    Sub Macro1()
    Set n = ActiveSheet.Pictures.Insert("http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en_uk/images/logo.gif")
    With Range("c12")
    t = .Top
    l = .Left
    End With
    With n
    .Top = t
    .Left = l
    End With
    End Sub

    Ian

  6. Ian Hinckley says:

    That didn't come out very well. This positions at c12, so can change easily:
    Sub Macro1()
    Set n = ActiveSheet.Pictures.Insert("http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en_uk/images/logo.gif")
    With Range("c12")
    t = .Top
    l = .Left
    End With
    With n
    .Top = t
    .Left = l
    End With
    End Sub

    Works OK in 2007

    Ian

  7. Chandoo:
    Try 'ActiveSheet.Pictures.Insert'

    With ActiveSheet.Pictures.Insert("C:\Example.png")
    .Left = ActiveSheet.Range("A1").Left
    .Top = ActiveSheet.Range("A1").Top
    End With

  8. Jon Peltier says:

    activesheet.pictures.insert "C:\Documents and Settings\Jon Peltier\Desktop\2007 stuff\insert_charts_2007.png"

    Works for me in 2003 SP3 and in 2007 SP2.

    Check the URL, and make sure you have internet connectivity.

    What also works, and is newer (pictures.insert was supposedly deprecated in '97):

    activesheet.shapes.addpicture "C:\Documents and Settings\Jon Peltier\Desktop\2007 stuff\insert_charts_2007.png", false, true, 200,200,100,100

    Unfortunately you must specify dimensions (the last four arguments) and you don't necessarily know them. But the picture size is still related back to the original picture size, so you could use scaleheight and scalewidth to fix this.

  9. Chandoo: I just re-read your post.

    The code I posted works for me. However, I'm using a local picture. If you try to add a picture from the web, this won't work.

    I remember solving this problem before by adding a rectangle shape first, then using the Shapes.AddPicture method to get a picture from the web.

    I'll find that code and post it here.

  10. Chandoo says:

    Some more updates... The code "ActiveSheet.Pictures.Insert (path)" works fine in Excel 2007 at home. Strange it failed miserably on my work laptop. Do you think this has got something to do with SP2 of MS Office 2007 or something like that?

    @Ian, Jon: Thanks for the code snippets. I guess I will use my home installation of excel to do this.

  11. Chandoo:

    Try this on your work laptop:

    Sub test()
    ActiveSheet.Shapes.AddShape msoShapeRectangle, 50, 50, 100, 200
    ActiveSheet.Shapes(1).Fill.UserPicture _
    "http://www.datapigtechnologies.com/images/dpwithPig6.png"
    End Sub

  12. Jon Peltier says:

    I didn't mean to post code with a local file, because both approaches worked with an internet image as well. This is in Excel 2007 SP2.

    activesheet.pictures.insert "http://peltiertech.com/images/2009-07/col_area_noblanks.png"

  13. Jon: Looks like I have SP1 on my client machine! I wasn't paying attention.

    Just checked my home computer where I have SP2, and you're right...looks like they fixed it.

  14. Jon Peltier says:

    I didn't even bother testing in SP1, though I could if anyone cares enough.

  15. teylyn says:

    I'm afraid I don't have a solution, but I find it remarkable that after attaining a certain status in the Excel world, Chandoo does not need to post on an Excel discussion forum to get help for an Excel problem. Instead, he posts on his blog and all the gurus come rushing to his help.

    Isn't Web 2.0 great?

  16. Jon Peltier says:

    Teylyn - I saw Chandoo's tweet first, and followed the link back to his blog.

  17. Chandoo says:

    @Mike.. thank you. I have seen the fill rectangle solution before posting the query here. For that matter, I have also tried the solution of embedding a browser control on a spreadsheet. both of these seemed a bit extreme. That is why I have asked it here.

    But I guess I will end up using it if I had to build this in work laptop.

    @Teylyn: I have thought of posting this in a forum. (Unfortunately I have not been to any excel group in the last 5 years. Last time I was active was when I built a jave based excel sheet construction solution using POI.HSSF classes of Apache... ) After searching for a few hours, I found several forum posts where others had same problem and the solution recommended (using .left and .top parameters) is not working for me. Incidentally most of these solutions are from a certain Jon Peltier 😛

    I thought may be the problem is interesting for fellow blog readers. So I posted it here.

  18. Justin B says:

    Hi,
    Adapting the code in the question,

    [code]
    Sub InsPicture()
    pPath = "http://chandoo.org/images/pointy-haired-dilbert-excel-charts-tips.png"
    With ActiveSheet.Pictures.Insert(pPath)
    .Left = Range("a1").Left
    .Top = Range("a1").Top
    End With
    End Sub
    [/code]

    Seems to work fine

  19. Jon Peltier says:

    Looks like it was a problem in 2007 up to SP1, which was corrected in SP2.

  20. Chandoo says:

    @Jon.. seems like the case. I just checked the version at work laptop. it is 12.0.6331.5000 (SP1).

    Thank you so much every one. I really appreciate your time and suggestions in solving this.

  21. Jon Peltier says:

    Glad to help. I couldn't understand why something so straightforward wasn't working.

  22. Kieranz says:

    Hi All
    Is there a way of inserting a motion clip eg animated gif or swf or flv?
    Thks

    • Chandoo says:

      You can insert animated GIFs by inserting them in a browser control through VBA. For other types of movies, I can guess you can insert them as clip art.

  23. ashvini says:

    I WANT THE INSERT PICTURE BY USING COADING

  24. Lutz says:

    so currently i was struggling same as you, chandoo, with the insert picture method in excel 2007/10 from an url and came along your thread here.

    so i re-designed the code on the addshape method as mike was suggesting it and all of the sudden it works just fine.

    thanks alot to you guys, you were a great help
    a big salut from switzerland

  25. Santiago says:

    Hi guys,

    I need help copying and pasting an image with the path in a cell.
    I leave the code.

    And thank you very much!

    Sub Copiarimg()

    Dim pic As Picture

    With ActiveSheet

    Set pic = .Pictures.Insert(Range("f2").Value)

    With .Range("e9:g22")
    pic.Top = .Top
    pic.Left = .Left
    pic.Width = .Width
    pic.Height = .Height
    End With
    End Sub

  26. I've played around with the approaches in these comments, and the code below is what I've come up with. The ImagePath can be a local file or a URL. As Jon mentioned above, the trick is to set an arbitrary value for the width and height, then call the ScaleWidth and ScaleHeight methods afterward to reset the picture to its original size. Once the LockAspectRatio property is set, you can change the picture width and the height will automatically scale (or vice-versa).

    Sub AddPictureToRange(TopLeftCellAddress As String, ImagePath As String)

    Dim pic As Shape
    Dim l As Single, t As Single
    Dim temp As Single

    l = Me.Range(TopLeftCellAddress).Left
    t = Me.Range(TopLeftCellAddress).Top
    temp = 10# ' arbitrary value

    Set pic = Me.Shapes.AddPicture(ImagePath, msoFalse, msoTrue, l, t, temp, temp)
    pic.ScaleHeight 1#, msoTrue
    pic.ScaleWidth 1#, msoTrue
    pic.LockAspectRatio = msoTrue

    End Sub

  27. dip says:

    I need some help with inserting pictures. I have an excel file with a column of item numbers next to this row I want to insert a picture of this item. The pictures are coded with the item number so I tried to insert it with one of the codes above:

    Sub InsPicture()
    pPath = "http://img.bricklink.com/P/80/55236.gif"
    With ActiveSheet.Pictures.Insert(pPath)
    End With
    End Sub

    That worked but I need to do that for every row separtly.
    So I tried in the code
    pPath = "http://img.bricklink.com/P/80/"&Text(a1;"#")&".gif"

    But that gives errors.

    Anybody ideas?

  28. alex says:

    Hi Nicholas, I used your solution in a related problem in Excel 2003 and it worked flawlessly..thank you!

  29. Richard says:

    Hi Mike Alexander,

    Your solution with some changes was helpful in my problem in XL 2007, thanks.

  30. seejay says:

    Hi,

    thanks all. In addition, I had a problem with multiple pictures inserting (every new picture replaced the prior one). I've changed it a bit, may be helpful..

    Sub test()
    ActiveSheet.Shapes.AddShape msoShapeRectangle, 50 , 50, 100, 200
    ActiveSheet.Shapes(1).Fill.UserPicture _
    "http://www.datapigtechnologies.com/images/dpwithPig6.png"
    ActiveSheet.Shapes(1).Copy
    ActiveSheet.Paste
    End Sub

  31. Jon Peltier says:

    Try this instead:
     
    Sub test()
    ActiveSheet.Shapes.AddShape msoShapeRectangle, 50 , 50, 100, 200
    ActiveSheet.Shapes(ActiveSheet.Shapes.Count).Fill.UserPicture _
    "http://www.datapigtechnologies.com/images/dpwithPig6.png"
    End Sub

    • Kez says:

      Thanks to everyone, this thread has been very helpful. However, image inserting still doesn't work quite as expect for me.

      While I can get a picture inserted into an Excel 2010 worksheet using either:

      1) ActiveSheet.Shapes(ActiveSheet.Shapes.Count).Fill.UserPicture...
      2) ActiveSheet.Pictures.Insert(pPath), and
      3) Shapes.AddPicture...

      unfortunately the images all insert with a display size determined not by the actual pixel dimensions of the image but by the dpi resolution.

      So for example, if I insert two copies of the exact same 600x600 pixel image, one with a 300dpi resolution and the other with 72dpi, they display at vastly different sizes on screen.

      While this might be intended behaviour for Excel in order to maintain a WSYWIG printing layout, I actually need a way to insert the image based on the the actual pixel dimesnsions and ignoring the dpi resolution.

      Any help appreciated.

      Thanks
      Kez

  32. Kez says:

    Not doing an intentional bump, but realised I posted in rely to one of the repsonses here instead of to the main thread, so reposting.
    =====

    Thanks to everyone, this thread has been very helpful. However, image inserting still doesn’t work quite as expected for me.

    While I can get a picture inserted into an Excel 2010 worksheet using any of the below methods:

    1) ActiveSheet.Shapes(ActiveSheet.Shapes.Count).Fill.UserPicture....
    2) ActiveSheet.Pictures.Insert(pPath), and
    3) Shapes.AddPicture....

    unfortunately the images all insert with a display size determined not by the actual pixel dimensions of the image but by the dpi resolution.

    So for example, if I insert two copies of the exact same 600×600 pixel image, one with a 300dpi resolution and the other with 72dpi, they display at vastly different sizes in Excel on screen.

    While this might be intended behaviour for Excel in order to maintain a WYSIWYG printing layout, I actually need a way to insert the images based on the the actual pixel dimesnsions and ignoring the dpi resolution.

    Any help appreciated.

    Thanks
    Kez

  33. Kez says:

    Well, answered my own question 🙂

    For those who might be interested, you can use this function:

    Public Function GetPicDims(strFilePath As String, strFileName As String) As String
    GetPicDims = CreateObject("Shell.Application").Namespace((strFilePath)). _
    ParseName(strFileName).ExtendedProperty("Dimensions")
    End Function

    to get the dimensions of the image you want to insert. Then you can parse the return string and use the width and height values to add a rectangle shape of the appropraite size, like:

    ActiveSheet.Shapes.AddShape msoShapeRectangle 50, 50, iWidth, iHeight

    which you then fill with the picture:

    ActiveSheet.Shapes(ActiveSheet.Shapes.Count).Fill.UserPicture "c:\temp\test.jpg"

    This way the picture gets inserted using the pixel dimensions and the (print) resolution gets ignored.

    If desired, the GetPicDims function can be made more generic to get other ExtendedProperties.

    Regards
    Kez

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