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How can we improve Excel for Mobile Devices

Take picture and insert/link into sheet on the fly

I was once asked to make/find the following app: allow a person to input data and have calculated results appear instantly AND be able to easily take pictures and link them to the data on the fly. I never made/found such an app. Fortunately, Excel for the iPhone satisfies the first condition.

The person using the app is checking equipment, so they enter data and take a picture and move on to the next equipment. It is impractical to import all of the pictures afterwards, since they all have similar default names, so you have to check each picture for the right one. It is also impractical to always have to switch between Excel and the camera. Lastly, even a single import is a pain.

Excel for the iPhone could be a powerful auditing program if it allowed users to take and insert/link pictures directly from Excel. It might even help if pictures could be cell comments.

46 votes
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Kenneth Barber shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
Accepting Votes  ·  Scott Ruble (PM MSFT) responded  · 

Interesting idea. Thanks for the feedback. We’ll definitely consider this in our next round of planning. In the mean time, please continue to vote on this feature idea.

Scott [MSFT]


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  • Andrew Chapman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I know that this is an older post but I have also been looking for this functionality in excel. I did not come up with a solution, but have found an alternative...

    In Google sheets you can take up to 3 snapshots and inert the best one directly in to the cell. This image will be re-sized to fit inside the target cell.

    Here is how: Insert > image > image in cell > Take a snapshot.

    Its pretty intuitive and simple but can be a little laggy depending on your tablet and internet speed due to the nature of google sheets auto save function.

    Not sure if this will answer your question, but hopefully Microsoft will follow suit and add this functionality.

  • Roy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Has anyone taken this further so that you can insert a visual command "Take a photo" into a cell, click on it, it opens the camera, you take the picture and it inserts the picture in the cell?

  • Max commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I'd like to add the following regarding linked pictures:

    Looking up linked images in a desktop version works like a charm. But this functionality "insert as linked image" does not seem to work on the iPad.

    My background is the following: Me, doing my random management accounting work, I set up a spreadsheet as a "sales tool" for our sales staff. They can select products via a drop down menu, insert prices etc. to calculate customer profitability. Now I was asked to implement not only the product text but also a picture.

    This would be actually a great addition!

  • Kenneth Barber commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi James,

    That was exactly what I was looking for! Is this a feature that came out after about May/June 2015 or was it there the whole time and I just missed it?

    Also, can you please mark this post as completed?

    Thanks for your help!


  • James Spotanski (Microsoft Excel) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi Kenneth,
    I believe the functionality you are asking for is available from the Insert tab, by clicking on the Camera button - this will open up the Camera app from within Excel and allow you to insert a picture directly. There's currently no way to link the image to a specific cell (in any version of Excel, desktop or mobile), but it will be inserted into the spreadsheet and viewable anywhere you open the file.

    Hope this helps!
    James Spotanski

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