Creating a linked image in Excel is relatively simple to do, and not sure how many people really know the power behind this little feature. Sure, you the description does exactly what it says it will do. Create an image linked to another image, so when the root image changes, so does the copy on your spreadsheet. But why use it?

Excel Linked ImageOk, so here is one of my favorite examples on how to use this. For instance, if you have ever put together a dashboard of metrics, it is easy to realize that formatting all of the rows and columns can be quite cumbersome. So why not use the linked image function? All you have to do is copy the cells you want and use paste special, then paste as image link and Excel will create an image of the cells you copied. The image will be an exact replica of the cells you pasted as an image, opening the door for a lot of functionality.

Once the image is linked to the cells, you can then place the image any place you want in the workbook. So remember all the funky cell formatting and aligning trying to get all the widget metrics in to a single dashboard? Gone! By using this you can simply take snippets from all the different tabs in the workbook and place them in to a single tab and format from there.

How to Create the Linked Image

    Excel Linked Image
  • Open Excel…hehe
  • Highlight the cells you want to create a linked image
  • Copy the cells (ctrl+c)
  • Go to the Home ribbon, or right-click and select Paste Special
  • From the Paste Special menu select Linked Picture
  • Excel will create a picture of the cells you copied
So there you have it, pretty simple right? Endless possibilities? Yup…