Microsoft Excel logo on a green background

If you have data from a physical source that you want to add to Excel, you have the option to snap a photo of it, save it to your computer, and upload the data into your sheet to save time.

The feature first introduced for Mac and mobile devices is now available in Excel 365 for Windows. It’s ideal for data in tables, receipts, or financials that you want to analyze and manipulate using Excel’s features. Rather than type the data in manually, let’s look at how to load it from a picture.

Load Data From a Picture

You can insert data from an image file saved to your device or available on your clipboard.

Picture with data for Excel

Select the sheet you want to use and head to the Data tab. Click the From Picture drop-down menu. To insert a saved image, choose “Picture From File” or to insert one from your clipboard, choose “Picture From Clipboard”.

Data From Picture insert options in Excel

If you choose a picture from your device, locate your image, select it, and pick “Insert.” If you choose one from your clipboard, it automatically begins loading.

Select and insert the picture

A sidebar should open on the right side of the spreadsheet showing the progress as the data is extracted.

Data From Picture sidebar with data loading

When complete, you’ll see the image at the top of the sidebar with the data beneath it.

Data from a picture in the sidebar

Review and Edit the Picture Data

You may need to make slight edits to the data if it didn’t import correctly. This can include certain sets of symbols or even letters and numbers. You’ll see these fields shaded in pink, but you can also edit those in gray as needed.

Data tips in the sidebar

When you select a field in the table, you’ll also see that section highlighted in your picture.

Choose a field in the table that you want to edit, make your change in the box that appears, and click “Accept” to adjust the data.

Reviewing one field from a picture

Alternatively, you can move through each field one at a time by clicking “Review.” You’ll then see each highlighted field open one-by-one for you to make your changes. Click “Accept” when you finish with each edit to move on to the next.

Reviewing all fields from a picture

Insert the Picture Data

When you have reviewed and edited all necessary data from the picture, you can select “Insert Data” in the sidebar to place the data in your spreadsheet. You may then see a prompt letting you know that you’re responsible for the accuracy of the data. Click “Insert Data” to continue.

Insert Data button in the sidebar

The data then appears in your spreadsheet and the sidebar closes. From there, you can manipulate or make any additional changes you want to the data in your sheet.

Data from a picture in an Excel sheet

Having the ability to load data from a picture into Excel is a terrific alternative to replicating the data manually.

For more ways to save time in Excel, look at how to use themes for colors and fonts or how to create chart templates you can reuse.

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
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