Excel Tip: Paste Picture Link

imageThis is a trick in Excel that will definitely come in handy.  I imagine a good many power users of Excel are familiar with this, but as it was new to me and pretty darn cool, I thought I’d share.

Situation: Working along in a spreadsheet and you have the format all set just they way you like it, columns and rows merged, widths perfectly adjusted and you want to insert a table of information.  What you could do is just re-align everything that you just spent hours, if not days, getting just so.  You could make new columns, new rows, adjusting everything.

New Solution: Create the table somewhere out of the way, either on another sheet in the workbook or somewhere way off to the side.  Then copy the region and paste it as a “Picture Link”. 

In Microsoft Excel 2007, after copying the desired region, on the Home tab of the ribbon, click the down arrow just below Paste and select As Picture > Paste Picture Link.

In Microsoft Excel 2003, copy as usual, then while holding shift, select Edit .. Paste Picture Link. 

Now you have an image that you can move around on the spreadsheet anywhere.  By using the Picture Link  you can also update the “out-of-the-way” table and it will update in this picture, as well.

By the way, there is a “Camera” tool in Excel that will also allow you to do the same thing.  Here’s a demo video of the Paste Picture Link tool.


HT: Joel (Father-in-law)

7 thoughts on “Excel Tip: Paste Picture Link

  1. Thanks very much, this helped me rotate some text in Excel upside down. I created the cell on sheet 2, copied it, and then pasted it as a picture (rather than a picture link).

    The only problem I had was that the cell I was copying was a perfect square 80x80px with a border, the copied image was not a perfect square and didn’t fit properly on top of the cell I was trying to rotate 180 degrees. So, to get around this I resized the ‘dummy cell’ on sheet 2 to 60×60, got rid of the border, copied that, pasted as a picture on sheet 1, rotated the picture, and placed it over top of the original text.

    Still after all this time it baffles me that Excel still cannot rotate text 180 degrees.



  2. Very cool trick. How do you do this for charts? When you go to ‘paste as picture’ in the paste menu (after selecting the chart and pressing ctrl+c), ‘Paste picture link’ is greyed out. You can paste it as a normal picture, just not with a link.

    I use excel 2007.


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