Dashboards and Reports: Find the Excel Camera Tool - dummies

Dashboards and Reports: Find the Excel Camera Tool

By Michael Alexander

Excel’s Camera tool is a valuable tool when building dashboards and reports. It enables you to take a live picture of a range of cells that updates dynamically while the data in that range updates. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t feel too bad. This nifty tool has been hidden away in the last few versions of Excel.

Although Microsoft has chosen not to include this tool on the mainstream Ribbon, it’s actually quite useful for those building dashboards and reports.

Before you can use the Camera tool, you have to find it and add it to your Quick Access toolbar.

The Quick Access toolbar is a customizable toolbar in which you can store frequently used commands so that they’re always accessible with just one click. You can add commands to the Quick Access toolbar by dragging them directly from the Ribbon or by going through the Customize menu.

Follow these steps to add the Camera tool to the Quick Access toolbar:

  1. Click the File button.

  2. Open the Excel Options dialog box by clicking the Options button.

  3. Click the Quick Access Toolbar button.

  4. In the Choose Commands From drop-down list, select Commands Not in the Ribbon.

  5. Scroll down the alphabetical list of commands shown in this figure and find Camera; double-click it to add it to the Quick Access toolbar.


  6. Click OK.

    When you’ve taken these steps, you’ll see the Camera tool in your Quick Access toolbar, as shown in this figure.