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   04/4/2008 4:30 PM


Using Excel's Camera Tool  with Dashboards

Excel's Camera tool gives you the ability 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. The Camera tool can significantly increase your Excel dashboard quality quickly and easily.

1. Adding Camera Tool Icon to Toolbar

The Camera Tool button does not show up on any default toolbars, so you'll need to add it yourself. It only takes a few steps, and it is well worth it, so let's add it now.

  • Select View > Toolbars > Customize
  • Select Command Tab, On the Customize dialog
  • Scroll down to the Camera Icon
  • Drag the Camera icon to your target toolbar 

You now are ready to start using this powerful tool.

2. Using the Camera Tool

To make a live Camera picture of a source range:

  • Select a range to take your picture
  • Press Camera Icon, a + cursor appears
  • Move to destination location
  • Click mouse, live linked picture will be immediately placed at destination location
  • Move, manipulate your live picture as desired

Since your picture is live, any changes (data, format, formulas) in source cells will immediately appear in your picture.

Since your copy is a picture, you can move it anywhere you want, it floats over the rows/columns. This let's you be creative, mix and match charts and data pictures more freely than you ever could with just rows and columns.