Software

Create a Picture Link to keep an eye on Excel data

Take snapshots of Excel data so you can keep an eye on it while working in other areas of your workbook.

It's hard to keep an eye on data in Sheet A while you're working in Sheet B. You could jump back and forth between the two sheets, but that's inefficient. An easier method is to take a picture of the data you want to watch and insert it into Sheet B. While you're working in Sheet B, you can see the data in Sheet A. To copy the data from Sheet A as linked data do the following:

  1. Select the data and copy it to the Clipboard by pressing [Ctrl]+C.
  2. Move to the sheet where you want to paste a picture of the selected data. You don't have to worry about existing values. Excel will paste the link as a picture object, which you can move around. It won't overwrite existing data.
  3. Hold down the [Shift] key and choose Paste Picture Link from the Edit menu. In Excel 2007, click the Home tab and choose As Picture from the Paste drop-down list (in the Clipboard group). Then, choose Paste Picture Link.

If you want to simplify the process a bit for users, add Excel's Camera tool to a menu as follows:

  1. Choose Toolbars from the View menu and select Customize.
  2. Click the Commands tab.
  3. Select Tools in the Categories control.
  4. Drag and drop the Camera tool to a menu.

In Excel 2007, add the Camera tool to the Quick Access Toolbar. To use the Camera tool, select the existing data that you want to view as a linked picture and click the Camera icon. Then, click any other cell and Excel will automatically paste a linked picture object.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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