use excel camera tool to capture live imagesDo you know why excel users are not aware of Excel Camera Tool?

Because it is not listed in any of the tabs of excel ribbon. And, Excel Camera Tool is one of the most ignored tools in excel.

Do you know why you have to learn about Excel Camera Tool?

Using Excel Camera Tool is really helpful for those who want to get best out their spreadsheets. It can be your best friend for creating dashboards.

In this post, I’ll show you some great tips to make your dashboards more awesome.

So, Let’s move ahead to explore this amazing tool.

What is Excel Camera Tool?

Like a normal camera, this camera captures the picture of cell range.

In simple words, Excel camera tool help you to copy a range & create a live picture of that range. And, you can paste that range anywhere in your worksheet.

As this is a live picture, If you make any changes to your original range that will reflect in the image as well.

So the basic idea to use this camera is to create a live image of a range & put it into your dashboards.

Copy Range With Excel Camera Tool

Enable Excel Camera Tool

As I have already mentioned, we don’t have any option of Excel Camera Tool in excel ribbon. We have to enable it first before we use it.

Following are the simple steps to activate it.

Activate Excel Camera Tool From Quick Access Toolbar

  • You’ll get a drop-down menu. Click on more commands.

Quick Access Toolbar Menu To Add Excel Camera Tool

  • Now, In excel options select all commands from “Choose Commands From”.
  • Select camera from the list & add it to the quick access toolbar.

Click OK To Add Excel Camera Tool To Quick Access Toolbar

  • Click OK.
  • Now, you have a camera icon in your quick access toolbar.

How To Use Excel Camera Tool?

Using excel camera tool is as easy as clicking a picture with a camera. Just follow these steps to create a live picture in your excel spreadsheet.

Create A Linked Image Table With Excel Camera Tool

  • Select a range from which you want to create a live image.
  • Click on the camera icon in your quick access toolbar.
  • Your cursor will convert into a plus icon.
  • Now, click on the place in your worksheet where you want to insert your live picture.

Amazing Work You Can Do With It

Now you now about how to use camera tool & you can use it in the way you want.

Here I have listed some inspiring examples of using Excel Camera Tool.

Adding In-Cell Charts in your dashboard

I am a huge fan of In-Cell Charts but the most difficult part of these charts is to add them in dashboards. So, I use camera tool to create a live image to add them to the dashboards.

Create Linked Image With Excel Camera Tool

Using excel camera tool really helps me a lot because I can change the size of the chart by using this method.

Adding Data Tables In Dashboards

You can also use it to insert live image of data tables. Sometimes data tables consume lots of space in our dashboard. We can add a live snapshot of data in our dashboards.

Create A Image Of Data Table With Excel Camera Tool

You can change the size of the data table according to your need.

Monitoring Important Cells

I really love this one. Suppose you have some important cells which are related with your dashboard. And all the cells are in different worksheets and you want to monitor them.

The best way to do that, just create live images of all important cells put them in a single worksheet or in your main dashboard sheet.

Live Picture With Excel Camera Tools

And, the best part of this, a user can’t make a change in these live images.

You can also use watch window to monitor important cells.

Alternate To Excel Camera Tool

Yes, we have an alternate to Excel Camera Tool. And, that alternate is creating a linked image with paste special.

Please follow these simple steps to create a linked image with paste special option.

  • Select the cell or range of cells for which you want to create a linked image.

Alternate To Excel Camera Tool Paste Special

  • Use the shortcut key Control + C to copy the range.
  • Select the cell on which you want to paste your linked image.
  • Right-click & select paste special → other paste options → linked image or use the shortcut key Alt-H-V-I to paste a linked image.

Use Paste Special Option Alternate To Excel Camera Tools

Important Points To Remember While Using it

  • If you are using paste special option, you can’t create a linked image of a range which is a table. You have to convert it to a normal range before creating a linked image.
  • The most important point about creating a linked image with excel camera tool & paste special option is that when you change the location of the image from one worksheet to another it will change the link to current worksheet.
    • For Example, If you have an image which is linked to the range A1:B5 in sheet1. When you move that image from sheet1 to sheet2 it will change its link from sheet1 to sheet2. To get a solution for this problem please follow these simple steps.
      • Once you create a linked image, just select it.
      • Click on the formula bar, you’ll have range address for which you have created the linked image.
      • Add worksheet name before the range address.
      • Hit Enter.

Change Cell Address For Linked Image Created With Excel Camera Tool

Last Words

So the bottom line is, using Excel Camera Tool is a smart move.

But you can also use Paste Special Option instead of Excel Camera Tool.

I hope this tip will help you to make best out of your excel dashboards.

If you ask me I always prefer to use Excel Camera Tool.

Over To You

What is your stand on this? Which one you’ll prefer to use?

Do you like excel camera tool or creating a linked image with paste special?

Submit your views in the comment box.

What is Next?

Here are some other amazing tools like excel camera tool to win your spreadsheet war.