How to format a data table like a picture using the camera tool

Since the camera tool is not on the standard ribbon, most people don’t know it is there.  However, with it, you can turn this chart:before

into this without needing PowerPoint or Word etc:  Even better, when you adjust the original data, the “picture” taken with the camera, also updates!


The spreadsheet containing the data we’ll be using can be downloaded here.

Step 1: Show the camera tool on the ribbon

  1. Click on File > Options > Customize Ribbon.customise ribbon
  2. In the dialog box that appears (above), click on the drop down box in the top left hand corner to Choose commands from “Commands not in the ribbon”
  3. The list will be in alphabetical order.
  4. Scroll down until you can see the Camera tool (if it is not visible already).
  5. Since the command is not currently in the ribbon, we need to create a customized tab and group.  Click on the New Tab button at the bottom right.
  6. Then click on the New Group button.
  7. You can rename each as you wish.  My new tab is called “Tools” and my group “Camera”.
  8. Drag and drop the Camera command below the newly created group.
  9. Press the OK button.
  10. The ribbon should update automatically.New ribbon

Step 2: Create the Camera Image

  1. Create your data table and / or graph / chart etc.
  2. Select the cells containing the data or chart you wish to create the image from. Note: You cannot use the camera tool directly on graphs, only on the cells behind them.  This is why I have selected cells E1:L15 as shown cells
  3. Click on the camera tool on the ribbon.
  4. Draw the shape (by left clicking and dragging the cursor across the screen) where you want the camera image to appear.  It automatically creates a square shape, but this is adjusted automatically based on the shape of the cells you have selected.
  5. The image will appear once you let go of the left mouse button.

Step 3: Format the image

  1. Click on the camera image and the picture toolbar will appear. Picture toolbar 
  2. You can choose one of the presets, or press Ctrl+1 and format the image as you wish.imageimage 2


Alesandra Blakeston

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