How to Create Your Own Masterpiece on a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet

How to Create Your Own Excel Art

Step one: Select a reference image for tracing. In this case, we’re using the My Modern Met logo. (Check out our list of websites for free stock photos for inspiration).

Step two: Go to “Page Layout” -> “Background” and select your image.

Step three: Select the entire spreadsheet, right-click and adjust the row height and column width into smaller cells. This is where you will add your colors. So, the smaller the cells, the more detail you can add.


Excel artStep four: Set the zoom level of the spreadsheet to around 60%.

Step five: Use the paint bucket icon to fill the cells with the appropriate colors. Play around with different shades to achieve more detail.

Excel artExcel artExcel art

(Here's a quick look at how we filled in the cells.)

Excel artStep six: Delete the background image, and voilà!

Excel art


Tip: If you’re creating pixel art for quick personal use, you can cheat and save on time by checking out software such as ExcelArt. Flickr user Amit Agarwal used the plugin to create these incredibly detailed excel artworks within seconds! (But remember: great original art requires time and patience!)

Excel Art

Photo: Amit Agarwal (CC BY 2.0)

Excel Art

Photo: Amit Agarwal (CC BY 2.0)

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
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