Skip to main content
Microsoft 365

Creative and unexpected uses of Excel

One of the things that is incredibly satisfying about working on the Excel team is seeing how people use Excel in unbelievably cool and unexpected ways for work and for fun. There have been a few great examples of this floating around the internet and the news recently, and I thought I’d share a few of my favorites.

Pixel spreadsheet

The bright minds over at Think Maths have developed a tool that lets you turn a digital photo into an Excel spreadsheet with the clever use of the conditional formatting feature in Excel.  If you ever wanted to convert your photo collection into Excel pixel art, now you can!

Excel logo pixel art

To learn more, visit Think Maths.

Slaying dragons like an Excel boss

Accountant Cary Walkin from Canada built an entire role playing game (RPG) leveraging the power of macros in Excel.  You can download the game and even modify it for free here.   The game has over 2,000 enemies, a variety of weapons, and even spells.

ArenaXlsm Game

Learn more about the game at

Excel art

We have certainly seen a lot of Excel art over the years, but Tatsuo Horiuchi in Japan creates some very impressive pieces leveraging shapes and illustrations tools built into Excel.  Imagine what you could do for your next budget review!

Tatsuo Horiuchi Excel art

Take a look at some Horiuchi creations here.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles come to the rescue

One of my favorite cartoons growing up is now available within Excel.  Reddit user Hoguemr had some downtime at work and created this awesome Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animation by leveraging VBA and Macros in Excel.  Cowabunga!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in Excel

See an animated GIF with the beloved TMNT here.  You can also download the original file from SkyDrive.

Let us know in the comments what other cool and creative uses for Excel you have seen or invented!

–Carlos Otero, Excel Program Manager