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Inserting from a Camera or Scanner

You would be right to never consider Excel as a graphics program--it's not one, by any stretch o the imagination. However, Excel does provide some tools normally associated with graphics programs. One such tool is one that allows you to import a graphic image from either a camera or a scanner. To use this tool, choose Insert | Picture | From Scanner or Camera. Excel shows what devices are available and you can select how you want the image imported. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Insert Picture from Scanner or Camera dialog box.

In reality, inserting pictures in this way works only if the camera or scanner is a TWAIN device. TWAIN is a protocol that allows images to be communicated from a source device (the camera or scanner) to a target device (in this case, Excel). For it to work properly, your scanner or camera must have the proper TWAIN drivers installed on your system.

Most scanners come with TWAIN drivers, but a growing number of today's digital cameras do not. Instead, the non-TWAIN cameras connect to a PC via a USB connector, and are then seen by Windows as just another disk drive accessible from the computer. If your camera uses a USB connection, then you can insert a picture into Excel by using Insert | Picture | From File and selecting the picture from the camera itself.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3001) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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