How to View Full Images on Hover in Google Sheets

full images on hover in Google Sheets

This guide will show you how you can view full images on hover in Google Sheets.

We’ll be using the Hover Zoom+ extension to make this possible. If your workflow requires viewing a lot of images from a spreadsheet, then this guide is for you.

Let’s take a look at a common scenario where seeing a full image on hover would be useful.

As an online seller, you allow for refunds as long as they show proof that a recently opened product has been significant damage. Your website provides a submission form where concerned customers can submit their refund requests. This form sends its responses to a Google Sheet.

You get about 20 to 30 refund requests a week as a large seller. This process involves clicking on the link provided by the customer and opening the image in another tab. 

It becomes tedious after the first few tries, so you try inserting the image into the cell with the IMAGE function. It saves you a bit more time, but the image is still too small to discern whether the product has significant damage. You end up clicking the link anyway.

We can use a Google Chrome or Firefox extension to make this workflow easier for you. The Hover Zoom+ extension lets zoom images and videos on any website. You simply have to hover your mouse over an image to enlarge it. The extension will automatically enlarge the image to its full size while making it fit inside your browser window.

This use case is just one way the Hover Zoom+ extension can help your Google Sheets workflow. 

Let’s learn how to set this up ourselves in Google Sheets and later test out this workflow on sample data.



Example of Viewing Full Images on Hover in Google Sheets

Let’s look at a real example of how we can use Hover Zoom+ to enlarge images in Google Sheets.

In the example below, we have a spreadsheet containing information on a few books. Column D has a URL that contains the book’s cover. Column E uses the IMAGE function to show the actual image in Google Sheets.  

A list of books with URLs pointint to an image of their book covers


We used the following formula in Column E:


A limitation of the IMAGE function is that the image can only be displayed within the boundaries of the cell. If you need to view the full image, you must open each link yourself.

With the Hover Zoom+ extension, you can simply hover over a selected link to view a pop-up of the full image. Note that this requires the image also to be a hyperlink. Hence, we needed to use the HYPERLINK function in the formula above.

If your worksheet has plenty of images, you can use an add-on to easily view images given the URL


You can make a copy of this spreadsheet above using the link attached below so you can try it out yourself.

In the next section, we’ll look at a step-by-step guide on setting up this workflow on your own.



How to View Full Images on Hover in Google Sheets

This section will guide you through each step you need to view the full image on hover in Google Sheets. We’ll go through how we can use the Hover Zoom extension to make our image-heavy workflows much easier.

Follow these steps to start using the Hover Zoom+:

  1. First, we should download the Hover Zoom+ extension. It is available in both Google Chrome and Firefox browsers. Chromium-based browsers such as Brave and Microsoft Edge can also install it since it is compatible with the Chrome Web Store.
    Hover Zoom allows you to view full images on hover in Google Sheets

  2. Make sure that the extension has been enabled by the browser. You may have to look at your browser’s Settings page for a list of enabled extensions.
    Check if Hover Zoom application is enabled

  3. You can use the formula =HYPERLINK(<cell>,IMAGE(<cell>)) to both create an image preview and a link at the same time.
    Image must still be a hyperlink

  4. Once the formula has been applied, simply select the cell you want to preview and hover over the link pop-up that appears. The full image should appear in a floating pop-up.
    you can now view full images on hover in Google Sheets



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Why do we need to create a hyperlink?
    The Hover Zoom + extension can’t read non-hyperlink text. Converting your URL into a hyperlink will allow a pop-up to appear when the cell is selected. The extension can then extract the URL from that link pop-up.
  2. Can this tip work on pictures inserted into the sheet?
    Hover Zoom+ currently does not have support for displaying full images of pictures inserted into Google Sheets. The extension requires a hyperlink to work correctly. You can look into future developments on their Github page.



This guide is everything you need to begin viewing full images on hover in Google Sheets. Hopefully, this tip will make your image-heavy spreadsheets easier to browse and inspect.

Using spreadsheets to inspect multiple images is just one of the limitless workflows possible in Google Sheets. With so many other Google Sheets functions out there, you can surely find one that suits your workflow.

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  1. hello ! on the cell where you write the hyperlink formula. How do I insert an image to that cell when there’s already a formula .

    1. You dont.

      You have a first cell, d2 there you input the raw link
      and then you have a differenc tell on a new collumn but the same row, e2 and there you input the formula, with the target being the d2 cell – the one with the link

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