Camera tool is your way of creating visual reference in an excel sheet. It is one of the useful and hidden features of excel. Here is how it works. You specify a rectangular area in your workbook and camera tool creates a mirror image of that area as a drawing object. You can move it or resize it. And whenever the contents of original rectangular area changes (charts, drawings or cell values) the mirror image changes too.
How to add camera tool to standard toolbar?
In order to use camera tool, you must add the tool to a tool bar in excel menu area. Here is how you can do that:
- Go to menu > tools > customize
- In the dialog go to “Commands” tab and select “tools” in categories.
- Scroll down in the commands area until you see a little camera tool
- Now drag and drop this in your tool bar as shown below
How to use excel camera tool?
We will use camera tool to create a micro-chart in excel.
- First make a normal chart.
- Now select the cells surrounding the chart
- Click on camera tool
- Now click any where in the worksheet and excel places a snapshot of the range you have selected
- Resize it until you get the microchart effect.
- Bingo !
- Btw, excel adds a border to the camera tool output. You can remove it by using drawing tool bar
Bonus tip: Alternatives to camera tool
Another alternative to camera tool is to use the image and indirect references technique we have learned in conditionally hide or show charts post.
Read earlier spreadcheats as well.