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Last updated: December 8, 2006.

XCells Creative Art

I love the idea of using different cell formats as a graphic "engine" for Excel game. In Calculor's Dungeon I utilized Webdings/Wingdings fonts, custom color palette and nonstandard borders to produce interesting arcade graphics. My Snaked game demonstrates how to combine nonstandard fonts with worksheet background image to produce neat visual effects.

With very extensive formatting Excel, you could do even more. Below, you will find three examples of Excel creative art. All are based solely on formatting cells and spreadsheet background texture without any additional objects (shapes, embedded images and so on).

A map for Role Paying or Strategy game. Custom colors and thickness of borders simulate a simple 3D touch. Trees are made of card symbols, spades and clubs, which are available in any Excel standard font (Arial, Courier, Times and so on.)

Creative Art - Fields

If you like Roguelikes and Dungeon Crawlers, Excel Webdings and Windings fonts come handy - there are several characters to simulate items, monsters and special effects. Seamless background textures make prefect dungeons.

Creative Art - Cave

But if you prefer a futuristic environment, like Majestic Space Opera or Cyberpunk-style Techno-Thriller you are in even better situation. Webdings font incorporate many modern gadgets. Alien Webdings character is one of my favorites.

Creative Art - Space Station

Try it yourself! Excel has a internal limit of 4,000 different cell formats (Excel 2007: 64,000 formats) in a single workbook - this is not a serious obstacle to your creativity, but should be kept in mind. As a good source for background textures I could recommend GRSties. If you make a cool formatting art and want to share it, send me your workbook, and I will publish it on my Website.

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