SharePoint Modern Pages Image Sizing and Scaling [Reference]

SharePoint Modern Pages Image Sizing and Scaling [Reference]

With the new modern SharePoint experience, you will experience image flexibility like never before. Unfortunately, many users like you are confused about how sizing and scaling works in SharePoint.

Are there idea image sizes for the different web parts in SharePoint Online? Or do you have to use the same image size with all the web parts and leave the crop magic to SharePoint? Is there a way to resize the images within SharePoint?

If those are your questions, you’ll definitely love this article. You can treat it as a one-stop reference for SharePoint modern pages image sizing and scaling. Stick to the end to learn how to resize images and change the focal point.

Let’s get started!

How do image sizing and scaling work in SharePoint?

One main difference between the classic and modern experience in SharePoint is that the new one is designed to be fully responsive across devices. The sizes become dynamic (instead of being static).

In simpler words, images are scaled depending on the device accessing the SharePoint page and what layout is used. The scaling and cropping happen automatically and unfortunately, you can’t do anything about it.

However, there are a few factors that may influence how good (or right) your image looks on a specific device and layout:

  1. The width and height of the images (aspect ratio) when you uploaded them
  2. The type and number of columns on your page
  3. The web part used with the image

How column layouts affect image sizing and scaling in SharePoint?

As you may know, there are many column layouts that you can use in SharePoint, including a full-width column, one column, two columns, and more. Fortunately, the way images work with column layouts is easy to understand:

To fill the width of any type of column, the image must be at least as wide as the column.

Here is the pixel width per column layout:

LayoutPixel Width
One column1,204
Two columns586 per column
Three columns380
One-third left column380 for left column and 792 for right column
One-third right column792 for left column and 380 for right column

Because of the responsive nature of modern pages, images will be shown at the full width of the screen in whatever device you’re using. However, the heights will automatically be cropped depending on the screen size.

In terms of automatic height cropping with all other column layouts, it will depend on the aspect ratio of the device you’re using.

You can refer to the table below to help keep your images at an aspect ratio that you prefer even while viewing a page using a mobile device:

Aspect Ratio16 x 94 x 3
LayoutWidth x Height in PixelsWidth x Height in Pixels
One column1204 x 6771204 x 903
Two columns586 x 330586 x 439
Three columns380 x 214380 x 285
One-third left column380 x 446 for left column and 792 x 446 for right column380 x 594 for left column and 792 x 594 for right column
One-third right column792 x 446 for left column and 380 x 446 for right column792 x 594 for left column and 380 x 594 for right column

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    What is the optimal image size in the hero web part?

    The hero web part is already in communication sites by default. Since this part is one of the first elements that visitors to your SharePoint site see, it’s vital that you know the optimal image size to use.

    Within the hero web part, there are two types of layouts — tiles and layers.

    The tiles layout is what you see when you create a new communication site, a combination of a big image and four smaller ones.

    Images within the tiles layout have an aspect ratio of 16:9

    Images scale to an aspect ratio of 4:3 or equivalent to the following image sizes:

    • 640 x 480
    • 1,280 x 960
    • 1,920 x 1,440

    Meanwhile, images in the layers layout are wider, which scale to an aspect ratio of 16:9 or equivalent to the following image sizes:

    • 640 x 360
    • 1,280 x 720
    • 1,920 x 1,080
    Images within the layers layout have an aspect ratio of 8:3

    Although it’s not hard to use a mobile-first approach when it comes to optimizing your images in the web hero for mobile users, most mobile devices render images at a size of 466 pixels x 350 pixels. You can use that if you want your images to fully display on mobile devices.

    Images on the hero carousel on mobile renders at 466 pixels by 350 pixels

    What is the ideal image aspect ratio on an image web part and image gallery web part?

    Image sizing and scaling on an image web part is easier to understand. Basically, the maximum width for the image is up to the width of the section containing the web part. In addition, you have control over the aspect ratio of the image through cropping and resizing.

    The image will also retain the set aspect ratio even when viewed on mobile. For example, the image below has an aspect ratio of 16:9 and still retains it even when viewed on a mobile device.

    Images on an image web part will retain its aspect ratio whatever device the visitor is viewing the page from

    The aspect ratios of the images in an image gallery web part vary on the layout that is used. Fortunately, they are easy to remember.

    When using a bricks layout, SharePoint will retain the aspect ratio of all your images whether that’s 1:1, 4:3, 8:3, 16:9, or even 9:16 (tall).

    On the other hand, images on the grid layout are automatically cropped to a 1:1 aspect ratio. Both apply to whatever device you’re using.

    To demonstrate, the image below has square, wide, and tall images in both bricks and grid layouts:

    Images retain their aspect ratio on a bricks layout while images are cropped to a square on a grid layout

    Like in the case of a bricks layout, images on the carousel layout also retain their aspect ratio. It’s important to consider, however, that the aspect ratio of the whole carousel layout is 16:9, which is why it’s better to use images of the same aspect ratio.

    If not, your images that don’t have a 16:9 ratio will not fill in the entire web part and will instead look like something the screenshot below:

    Images on a carousel layout in an image gallery web part will retain its original aspect ratio

    What is the image aspect ratio for all the other web parts?

    1. Highlighted Content

    For images in the highlighted content web part, all types of layout use a 16:9 aspect ratio whether you’re using a desktop or a mobile device to view the page. Take note, however, that the title covers a portion of the image in a carousel when viewing on mobile.

    Images in the highlighted content web part follow the 16:9 aspect ratio whether on desktop or on mobile

    2. News

    Images on the news web part is a bit complicated to understand.

    Viewing them on a large screen (computer monitor) will give you a standard 21:9 aspect ratio on the top story (main story only) and carousel news story layout.

    The tiles layout uses various aspect ratios, with 4:3 on its main tile.

    On the other hand, the following layout follows the 16:9 aspect ratio:

    • Top Story (Side Stories)
    • Side-By-Side
    • Hub News
    • List
    Featured images in the news web part follow the 21:9 ratio except for the side stories in the top story layout which follows 16:9

    Unfortunately, things become hard to track when viewing the page from mobile. In summary, here are the aspect ratios per type of news layout:

    News Web Part Layout (Mobile)Aspect Ratio
    Top Story16:9
    Hub News16:9

    As for the image in the page title area, it’s preferable to use a landscape (wide) one that’s at least 16:9 in aspect ratio. The image you use here is then carried over as the page thumbnail (although you can always override this and use an image with a 16:9 aspect ratio).

    For best results, use an image with at least a 16:9 aspect ratio on the page title area

    3. Quick Links

    Although the quick links web part has a lot of layouts, not all of them always support images. But for those that do, the compact layout uses a square ratio (1:1) while filmstrip and grid layouts both use a 16:9 aspect ratio.

    In the quick links web part, images on the compact layout follows the 1:1 aspect ratio while those in the filmstrip and grid layouts use the 16:9 aspect ratio

    How to resize images in the SharePoint Online image web part?

    As of now, the only web part that allows you to resize the image within SharePoint is the image web part.

    There are three tools available:

    1. Resize
    2. Crop with free ratio
    3. Aspect ratios

    To use any of them, go to edit mode, select the image, and select which tool you prefer.

    If you want to resize the image, click on the resize icon and drag the corner hands found on the edges of the image (as shown below).

    To resize the image within the image web part, edit the page, select the image, click the resize icon, and drag the corner handles

    How to change the focal point in an image?

    As of now, the only time you’re able to change the focal point in an image is when editing the page thumbnail area when creating a post or news content. The focal point represents the main focus of the image used.

    As stated earlier, it’s best to use a wide image in your page thumbnail. However, there are instances when the focus subject is shown or displayed correctly because of how the image is automatically cropped.

    Fortunately, you can easily change the focal point.

    To do so, follow these steps:

    1. Head over to that page
    2. Edit the page
    3. Select the page thumbnail
    4. Set image focal point
    5. Update the page

    While setting the image focal point, you will see a yellow cursor that you can move as shown in the image below:

    To set the focal point of the image, simply edit that web part on that image and move the yellow cursor around

    That’s it! Did I forget to include something related to SharePoint modern page image sizing and scaling? If so, you can drop them down below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. You can also send me a question on the contact page.

    About Ryan Clark

    As the Principal Solutions Architect at Mr. SharePoint, I help companies of all sizes better leverage Modern Workplace and Digital Process Automation investments. I am also a Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP) for Office Apps & Services.

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    Dayan Boyce
    Dayan Boyce
    3 months ago

    Absolutely awesome and very thorough. Thanks for this! I wonder if you have any advice on “safe content area” or “bleed” areas when dealing specifically with graphical content or with photos that have a key single subject? I find that close-ups and designed content are hard to get right due to the scaling, and would love guidance on where to include the important stuff, or where not to include things that might get cropped out.

    3 months ago

    I appears that MS have changed (ie broken) the way the Focal Point works on the stock images. Up until recently you were able to move the image up/down to find the right slice to display, but now the experience is very inconsistent and sometimes you can only slide left/right and barely up/down.
    Saving the page and editing again can fix this – sometimes.

    Elke Taljaard
    Elke Taljaard
    2 months ago

    Excellent article about image sizing nealty explained too! All in one place, thank you!

    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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