Flexible Dashboard Technique for reports

A Camera technique in Excel

It’s easy to move and re-size charts on a sheet. It’s a different story when you want to include small reports on a dashboard. Reports are affected by the existing row heights and column widths.

Excel has a feature that gives you complete flexibility in placing table-based reports on dashboards.

The feature is called Paste Picture Link and it creates a linked picture of a range and it allows you to move and re-size that picture just like a chart.

There is an icon you can add to your Quick Access Toolbar to make the process as easy as select, click and draw.

The icon you need is the Camera icon (image from Excel 2010).

To add the Camera icon do the following depending on your version.

Excel 2003

Right click the Toolbar and select Customize. See image below find the Camera tool then click hold and drag the icon to a place on your toolbar and release the mouse. Click OK

Excel 2007 + 2010

Right click the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) it’s either above or below the Ribbon and select Customize the Quick Access Toolbar. See images below. Select the Camera option and click the Add button and then click OK.

To use the Camera first select a range then click the Camera icon. Use your mouse to draw with the cross hairs on the sheet and the picture is paste linked automatically. This is a picture that can be re-sized and moved wherever you want. See image below where the image has been re-sized and is below the original report.

Any changes, including formats, to the source range will be automatically updated in the picture.

Problems can arise if you insert columns or rows within the source range. Simply repeat the capture process to create a new picture.

Happy snapping!

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