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What is the Excel Camera Tool?

Excel's Camera tool is a little known Excel tool that enables you to select a range of cells and make a live picture that you can place anywhere in your workbook. Since it makes a picture, it does not have to fit into worksheet row/columns, a great help in building dashboard type reports. Since it's a live picture, any changes to the source range are automatically updated in the picture. In addition clicking on the image will allow the user to “drill down” to the data The Camera tool can significantly improve your Excel dashboard quality quickly and easily. The pasted snapshot can be formatted and resized using Excel’s picture tools. They can also be copied and pasted into Word and PowerPoint documents as well.

Enabling the Camera Tool

The Camera Tool button does not show up on any default toolbars or Ribbon Group, so you'll need to add it yourself. It only takes a few steps, and it is well worth it, so heres how to add it. The best way is to add a button to the Quick Access ToolBar or QAT . When you have done this you will have a new button on the QAT which is a camera icon.

How to use the Excel Camera Tool

Using the Excel camera tool is very easy. There are basically 3 steps: 1 . Select the cell or range where you want to create the picture 2 . Click on the Excel Camera tool icon on the Quick Access Toolbar 3 . Select anywhere on your worksheet to display the picture. This could be in a different WorkBook, Word or PowerPoint. You can resize the picture using the resize handles or move it by clicking on the picture and dragging it to another location. It is worth noting that Excel adds a border to the image. You can remove this border using the drawing toolbar.

Advantages of using the Excel Camera Tool

There are many ways you can use the Excel Camera tool improve your workbook Create Dashboards and Reports. If you have a large workbook which contains data in pivot tables, charts and tables you can create a summary sheet or dashboard and display critical information by using the camera tool and group these together on one page. If the user wants to drill down on the data then they can double click on the picture so they can view the original data. Create Linked Images that Update Based on User Selection. If you have a drop down list of items and you want an image to update based on what the user has selected then you can use the Camera tool to create a linked image. Make your Spreadsheet More Presentable. The camera tool allows you to reate dynamic views of charts, data, etc. You can make these images stand out even more by applying special layouts just like with normal pictures using the Tools in the Picture Tools tab . You can rotate the image or format it using the different built in Excel formats in the Picture Tools tab. You can apply different brightness or contrast, maybe put a shadow or glow to the picture. There are many ways you can apply special formatting to your picture to make it look better and more presentable. Remember taht you cannott apply these special formatting effects to a normal Excel chart. Help When Working with Large Data Sets. If you are working with a large workbook with many different worksheets and each worksheet is linked to another with formulas then using the Camera tool can help you. For example, if the user changes values in one sheet and it affects the values in a different sheet then you can take a snapshot of the data in the other sheet and see how it changes when you change the values in the sheet that you are working in. You can even use the image when you don’t want to allow access to the original data.

Conclusion.

The Camera Tool can be a great tool to enhance your Excel workbooks. However, there are some drawbacks: There may be a short time lag whilst the image refreshes If you use VBA macros then switching off ScreenUpdating will not affect the image updates. Also, VBA related you cannot access the Camera Tool when trying to record a macro
The Excel Camera Tool

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What is the Excel Camera Tool?

Excel's Camera tool is a little known Excel tool that enables you to select a range of cells and make a live picture that you can place anywhere in your workbook. Since it makes a picture, it does not have to fit into worksheet row/columns, a great help in building dashboard type reports. Since it's a live picture, any changes to the source range are automatically updated in the picture. In addition clicking on the image will allow the user to “drill down” to the data The Camera tool can significantly improve your Excel dashboard quality quickly and easily. The pasted snapshot can be formatted and resized using Excel’s picture tools. They can also be copied and pasted into Word and PowerPoint documents as well.

Enabling the Camera Tool

The Camera Tool button does not show up on any default toolbars or Ribbon Group, so you'll need to add it yourself. It only takes a few steps, and it is well worth it, so heres how to add it. The best way is to add a button to the Quick Access ToolBar or QAT . When you have done this you will have a new button on the QAT which is a camera icon.

How to use the Excel Camera Tool

Using the Excel camera tool is very easy. There are basically 3 steps: 1 . Select the cell or range where you want to create the picture 2 . Click on the Excel Camera tool icon on the Quick Access Toolbar 3 . Select anywhere on your worksheet to display the picture. This could be in a different WorkBook, Word or PowerPoint. You can resize the picture using the resize handles or move it by clicking on the picture and dragging it to another location. It is worth noting that Excel adds a border to the image. You can remove this border using the drawing toolbar.

Advantages of using the Excel Camera Tool

There are many ways you can use the Excel Camera tool improve your workbook Create Dashboards and Reports. If you have a large workbook which contains data in pivot tables, charts and tables you can create a summary sheet or dashboard and display critical information by using the camera tool and group these together on one page. If the user wants to drill down on the data then they can double click on the picture so they can view the original data. Create Linked Images that Update Based on User Selection. If you have a drop down list of items and you want an image to update based on what the user has selected then you can use the Camera tool to create a linked image. Make your Spreadsheet More Presentable. The camera tool allows you to reate dynamic views of charts, data, etc. You can make these images stand out even more by applying special layouts just like with normal pictures using the Tools in the Picture Tools tab . You can rotate the image or format it using the different built in Excel formats in the Picture Tools tab. You can apply different brightness or contrast, maybe put a shadow or glow to the picture. There are many ways you can apply special formatting to your picture to make it look better and more presentable. Remember taht you cannott apply these special formatting effects to a normal Excel chart. Help When Working with Large Data Sets. If you are working with a large workbook with many different worksheets and each worksheet is linked to another with formulas then using the Camera tool can help you. For example, if the user changes values in one sheet and it affects the values in a different sheet then you can take a snapshot of the data in the other sheet and see how it changes when you change the values in the sheet that you are working in. You can even use the image when you don’t want to allow access to the original data.

Conclusion.

The Camera Tool can be a great tool to enhance your Excel workbooks. However, there are some drawbacks: There may be a short time lag whilst the image refreshes If you use VBA macros then switching off ScreenUpdating will not affect the image updates. Also, VBA related you cannot access the Camera Tool when trying to record a macro
The Excel Camera Tool

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