Excel Camera Tool

While working in Excel, sometimes, you need to think out of the box.

It happens to me sometimes when I share my dashboards and templates with other users and they made changes in it and all of my work break.

Well, to solve this problem, I started to use live images of data tables instead of using actual data tables.

This helps me to present my data to them and they can’t make changes in those visual references because those are just images (but live).

And for this, I use Camera Tool. Maybe you are hearing about this tool first time but yes, there is an in-built camera in Excel.

A camera tool can help you to create a live image of a cell or range of cells with a single click. And you can paste it anywhere in the worksheet.

It’s one of my tools of the trade.

So today, in this post, I’d like to show you how you can use camera tool in Excel and how you can easily create live images.

So let’s get started.

Quick Intro

Unlike a normal camera, this camera captures the pictures of cell ranges.

In simple words, camera tool helps you to copy a range and create a live picture it. And, you can paste that picture 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.

live picture with excel camera tool

Enable Camera Tool

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 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 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.

Create A Linked Image Table With Excel Camera Tool
  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.

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 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 the dashboard.

So, I use 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 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 the space you have in the dashboard.

3. 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.

Important Point

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

Suppose you have an image which 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 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.
Change Cell Address For Linked Image Created With Excel Camera Tool
  • Hit enter.

Conclusion

This camera tool is really a cool. Just select a range, 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.

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  • Sandeep

    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.

    Thanks!!

    • Puneet Gogia

      please share the file.

  • Abid

    Instead of using the camera tool, one can just paste special in .jpeg format.

  • Syed Waqar Hussain Shah

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