Excel Camera Tool


- Written by Puneet

Excel’s Camera Tool can help you to create a live image of a cell or range of cells with a single click. In this post, I’d like to show you how you can use the camera tool in Excel and easily create live images. Let’s get started.

What is Excel’s Camera Tool

Camera tool in Excel helps you to copy a range and create a live picture of it. You can paste that picture anywhere on 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.

live picture with excel camera tool

Enable Camera Tool

The Camera tool is not listed anywhere in the Excel ribbon so we need to add it to the quick access toolbar before we use it. Follow these simple steps.

  • From your quick access toolbar, click on the down arrow.
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 a camera from the list and 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 the quick access toolbar.

add camera tool to quick access tool bar

How to use it

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

  1. Select a range from which you want to create a live image.
  2. Click on the camera icon in your quick access toolbar.
  3. Your cursor will convert into a plus icon.
  4. Now, click on the place in your worksheet where you want to insert your live picture.
Create A Linked Image Table With Excel Camera Tool

Examples to Use Camera Tool

Here I have listed some inspiring examples of using a camera tool to create live images in your spreadsheet.

1. Adding In-Cell Charts to Your Dashboard

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

Create Linked Image With Excel Camera Tool

This method helps me a lot because I can change the size of the chart.

2. Adding Data Tables in a Dashboard

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

Create A Image Of Data Table With Excel Camera Tool

You can change the size of the data table according to the space you have in the dashboard.

3. Monitoring Important Cells

Suppose you have some important cells which are related to your dashboard. And all the cells are in different worksheets, and you want to monitor them.

The best way to do that is just to create live images of all important cells and put them in a single worksheet or 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.

Important Point

The most important point is when you change the location of an image from one worksheet to another it will change the link to the current worksheet.

Suppose you have an image that is linked to the range A1:B5 in Sheet1. Now, When you move that image from sheet1 to sheet2, it will change its link from Sheet1 to Sheet2

To get a solution to this problem please follow these simple steps.

  • Once you create a linked image, just select it.
  • Click on the formula bar, you’ll have the range address for which you have created the linked image.
  • Add the worksheet name before the range address.
Change Cell Address For Linked Image Created With Excel Camera Tool
  • Hit enter.


This camera tool is excellent. Just select a range, and click where you want to paste the image. Yes, that’s it. Even if you compare it with the paste special option for pasting images, you’ll find it much faster (if you don’t use shortcut keys).

I hope this camera tool will help you to take your skills to next level. 

Now tell me one thing. Have you ever used this camera tool before? Do you use linked images in your spreadsheets?

Please share your views with me in the comment section, I would love to hear from you. And please don’t forget to share this tip with your friends. I’m sure they are not aware of this.

Last Updated: April 20, 2024

13 thoughts on “Excel Camera Tool”

  1. Hi,
    first off “THANK YOU!!!”
    I used this a couple of years ago and loved it and forgot about it. Now, I need a pivot table in a dashboard and had problems with the column widths. (To honor Charlie Brown) ARGHHH!
    I looked all over the web and couldn’t find anyone else solving my problem so eloquently.
    Need less to say I have booked marked the page and will read through all your posts.
    Cheers Chris

  2. Can you change the properties of the camera image such as ‘don’t move or size with cells’ so that it stays in the same place as I scroll the sheet up?

  3. i am using excel around last 10 years but i didnt get a chance to use this excel camera instead i was using snipping tool. its just simply amazing.

  4. Great tutorial. Thanks.
    I have a spreadsheet that I use to calculate electric watts for customers equipment, and sometimes I want to store a picture of the machine for reference in a cell. So I want an image (jpeg or other type), but I need to use the tablet camera to capture. How can I do this?

  5. I love this tool – when it works. It’s very useful also to paste clear images of excel tables into Word etc, though they cease to be dynamic there. But sometimes, on my Mac, the whole thing just inexplicably stops working – it pastes an empty rectangular shape instead of a neat dynamic pic of the selected cell range. I first thought it had to do with my file being online on Dropbox and there being a conflict or some such; but then it started acting up on local files as well. What’s the deal here? Any ideas? Thanks.

  6. I created a pretty cool sheet using the camera tool for dynamic logos but its seems the camara tool fucnitonality is not suported buy office 365 is that right? When I upload the file to office 365 it loses all the images T____T

  7. Wow. I didn’t know it can be used with bar graphs and charts as well. Will surely improvise my post in future.

  8. Thanks for giving a wonderful tip that’s live image, before i can used only camera tool.

  9. Hi Puneet,

    It’s nice trick but there is a challenge with it. Image is blur upto the extent that one even can’t read the data.



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