Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Taking Pictures.

Taking Pictures

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 2, 2017)


Excel allows you to capture "pictures" of your worksheets that you can use in other worksheets. This may sound odd, but it is quite helpful at times. You capture pictures by using the Camera tool. This tool is not available on the various Excel ribbons; you need to add it to the Quick Access toolbar using the techniques covered in other issues of ExcelTips.

With the Camera tool in place, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cells or range of which you want a picture taken.
  2. Click on the Camera tool (the one added to the Quick Access toolbar). The mouse pointer changes to a large plus sign.
  3. Change to a different worksheet.
  4. Click where you want the top left-hand corner of the picture to appear. The picture is inserted as a graphic on the worksheet.

Now you can manipulate the picture the same as you would any other graphic—stretch it, resize it, crop it, move it, or whatever. The really cool thing, however, is that the picture is dynamic. This means that if you change the information in the original range (that you selected in step 1), then the information in the picture changes as well.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8111) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Taking Pictures.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is 3 + 8?

2017-06-08 21:02:57


I was not aware of camera. Always used the Snipping Tool. Camera is better. Thanks!
Of interest I use the Sniping Tool to copy account data from my accounts in my bank website to excel. (Their download feature is not satisfactory). Is there a better way to do it that anyone is aware of?

2017-06-08 09:02:42


Other Excel versions are similar, but in 2013 RtClk the Quick Access Toolbar and select Customize Quick Access Toolbar, then in left upper pulldown select All Commands. Click in the lower window and type the letter C to reach alphabetically closer to Camera; find camera and 2xClk it to place it in the right hand window where your current QAT tools are. Use up & down arrow buttons to fine tune its location. Click OK to finalize. By the way, the Modify button at right is your friend too!

2017-06-07 18:20:37


I can't seem to locate the original instructions to "add it to the Quick Access toolbar using the techniques covered in other issues of ExcelTips."
I keep looping back around to this message. Any chance you could link it please? I would like to play with that bad boy!

2017-06-03 06:06:39

Jeffrey P

@ Shandor... I can't wait to try that . Thank You!!

2017-06-02 10:45:45

David Gardner

That's easier than using a formula that references each of the cells.

2017-06-02 10:16:22


Jeffrey, to stop the camera picture from being dynamic, i.e., linked to the original cells' values, place it where you want it, then RtClk and Cut, then paste as Picture. It'll be a bare unlinked graphic then. Remember, the image can be rotated to any desired angle too, which is super. The camera tool is one of Excel's most fabulous features!

2017-06-02 08:03:02

Jeffrey P

What if I don't want the picture to be dynamic? Right now I am using screen capture and Paint to create instructions. It would be so nice if I could cut out the middle operation.

2017-06-02 02:41:01

Nenad Stevanović

You can do this using copy/ paste special (Picture). Handy with coping static Excel data in Word.

2014-02-22 21:13:13

Charlie G.

WOW! I could have used this many times before. I now have it on my Quick Access tool bar.

2013-04-15 09:26:44

Shreepad S M Gandhi

Did not knew about how to use this. It's no doubt wonderful. Excel is really is one of the best software products developed by Microsoft. I have been enjoying using Excel since version Excel 2003.

2013-04-14 15:30:13


I didn't know about this feature, thanks a lot!

2013-04-13 09:01:03


Interesting. Seems to work for a completely new workbook as well, not just a worksheet in the same book.

I notice the "picture" can also be pasted into an Outlook email or a Word document, but then it doesn't retain the dynamic function.

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