Written by Puneet Gogia
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 the Camera Tool. Maybe you are hearing about this tool first time but yes, there is an in-built camera in Excel.
It’s one of my tools of the trade.
So today in this post, I’d like to show you how you can use the camera tool in Excel and how you can easily create live images.
What is Excel Camera Tool
Excel Camera Tool is an option to capture a live picture of a cell or range of cells. In simple words, the camera tool helps you to copy a range and create a live picture and you can paste that picture anywhere in your worksheet. If you make any changes to your original range that will reflect in the image as well.
How to enable the 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.
- You’ll get a drop-down menu. Click on more commands.
- Now, in Excel options select all commands from “Choose Commands From”. Select the camera from the list and add it to the quick access toolbar.
- Click OK.
Now, you have a camera icon in the quick access toolbar.
How to use it
Camera tool is not listed anywhere in the Excel ribbon so you need to add it to the quick access toolbar before you use it and here are the steps:
- 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.
Examples to use Camera Tool in Excel
Here I have listed some inspiring examples of using a camera tool to create live images in your spreadsheet.
1. Adding Tables Images
You can also use it to insert the live images of tables.
Sometimes data tables consume lots of space in our dashboard. We can add a live snapshot of data in our dashboards.
You can change the size of the data table according to the space you have in the dashboard.
2. Monitoring Important Cells
I really love this one.
Suppose you have some important cells which are related to the 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.
And the best part of this, a user can’t make a change in these live images.
3. Adding Charts Images
I am a huge fan of in-cell charts but the most difficult part of these charts is to add them to the dashboard.
So I use the camera tool to create a live image to add them to the dashboards. This method helps me a lot because I can change the size of the chart.
The most important point, 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 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 names before the range address.
- Hit enter.
In the end,
This camera tool is really cool. Just select a range, click where you want to paste the image. Even if you compare it with the paste special option for pasting images, you’ll find it much faster.
I hope you like it.
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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About the Author
Puneet is an Excel Expert and using Excel since his college days. He helped thousands of people to understand the power of spreadsheets and learn Microsoft Excel. You can ﬁnd him online, tweeting about Excel, on a running track, or sometimes hiking up a mountain.