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Inserting pictures in spreadsheets

With Typinator, you can insert pictures in documents, as if you pasted them from the clipboard. However, this does not work as expected when you type an abbreviation for a picture expansion in a spreadsheet cell. The reason for this is that pictures are normally not allowed inside a cell, but when you type the abbreviation, the focus is inside a cell.

The solution is similar to the Inserting multiple spreadsheet cells tip. You first need to “escape” from the current cell by simulating the esc key with the {esc} marker. To do so, create a “Formatted Text” expansion that starts with {esc}. Then paste the picture right after the {esc} marker. The abbreviation should look like this: TYP-PT_InsertingSpreadsheetPictures1.png This technique works fine in Numbers. The result is a spreadsheet cell that contains the picture: TYP-PT_InsertingSpreadsheetPictures2.png Unfortunately, this does not work in Excel, since Excel does not support pictures inside cells (only on top of spreadsheets). As a workaround for Excel, put the picture into Typinator’s “Includes” folder (see Typinator’s User’s Guide, chapter “Markers in the {…} menu”).

For example, you could put the smiley picture as a PNG file in a subfolder called “Pictures”. Then create a plain text expansion, start with {esc}, then click the {…} pop-up and select the picture from the “Pictures” submenu. The complete expansion will then look like this:


When you type the corresponding abbreviation in an Excel cell, the {esc} marker first exits the current cell, and then Typinator pastes the picture into the spreadsheet document. The picture appears with handles, so you can now move and resize it: TYP-PT_InsertingSpreadsheetPictures3.png BTW, this second technique also works for Numbers, but it also puts the picture in a layer on top of the spreadsheet rather than inside a cell.