When I’m working in Excel, I find that I sometimes want to view information from one worksheet while I’m working on another.  Jeff wrote a very useful post about viewing two Excel spreadsheets at once, but this limits how much you can see of each, and may not be ideal.  The other day I learned about another option – the Camera tool.

The Camera tool allows you to capture an image of one worksheet and view it in another worksheet.  The image of the first worksheet will behave just like any other image inserted into a worksheet.  You can move it, resize it, and rotate it (althought I’m not sure that you would want to).  You will not be able to change data in the image, but if you go back to the source and change data there, the image in the second worksheet will automatically update.  Then, when you’re finished with it, you can just select it and press Backspace or Delete.

The Camera tool can’t be found on the ribbon in 2007, or on the menu or toolbar in 2003, so you’ll have to add it.

Add the Camera Tool in Excel 2007

  1. Click on the Office button.
  2. Click on Excel Options in the bottom right corner of the menu.
  3. In the left column, click on Customize.
  4. Click the drop down arrow in the Choose commands from box and select Commands Not in the Ribbon.
  5. Select Camera from the list below.
  6. Click the Add button to the right.
  7. Click OK.

The Camera button will now appear on your Quick Access Toolbar.

Add the Camera Tool in Excel 2003

  1. Go to the Tools menu and select Customize.
  2. Click on the Commands tab.
  3. In the Categories list, select Tools.
  4. Find Camera in the Commands column on the right (you may need to scroll down).
  5. Click on Camera, drag it to a location on the toolbar, and release it.

Use the Camera tool in Excel 2007 and Excel 2003

  1. Select the cells you want a snapshot of.
  2. Click the Camera button on the toolbar (or Quick Access Toolbar).
  3. Go to the other worksheet where you want to view the snapshot and click to place it there.

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