How to make Pixel paintings with Google Spreadsheets

This simple tute by Geeker Magazine will help you learn the ropes to creating effective and professional-looking pixel paintings using a Google Spreadsheet with just a little effort and time.

Most of us use a Google Spreadsheet for the tasks it was conventionally meant to perform, i.e. for project management and budgeting. However, barely you would have thought that it can also be used in a really cool creative way to create eye-catching pixel paintings in a matter of minutes! Yes, it sure can help you do that.

Not long age Google published a post revealing a bright and magnificent wall mural created by two illustrators.

In an astounding venture that started with a casual connection on Google Hangouts, Marina and Mallory started up with the intent to sketch out ideas that were basically focused on hacking Sheets to create a pixel artwork. Here’s what the process structure looked like:

  • resize Sheets cells to thousands of pixel-type squares
  • merge cells for creating colored blocks
  • create vivid gradients of different colors using cell values and conditional formatting

The concept had a few more ideas in mind, all with ‘no’ idea on how to do it with Google Sheets.

The idea, however, is really straightforward. Each Sheets cell corresponds to a pixel in the artwork. You just need to choose the color of the pixel and set it as the background color of the equivalent cell in the Spreadsheet. You can later modify the size of the spreadsheet with accuracy to ensure each cell is a tiny perfect square; and there you go, your painting will look just picture-perfect and identical to the original one.

How to paint in Spreadsheets

You too can create a splendid artwork with Google Spreadsheets. And for those who just can’t bear the time and effort it might take to cautiously paint each Spreadsheet cell manually, here’s a sweet and simple workaround. You can make use of a readily available Google Script to convert any vector art or picture into bitmap file in Sheets.

Have a look at this simple step by step tutorial:

How to Paint with Google Spreadsheets

Here’s how to create pixel painting with Google Sheets:

With Google Sheet, all it takes is a few simple steps to create an artwork in pixels. You can also make use of free pictures, though you must ensure the free images you take are 300px or less – it will ensure optimal performance.

  1. Open the spreadsheet template and, copy-paste it to your Google Drive.
  2. Now from Spreadsheet Art menu, select “Image Upload” and choose the image that you downloaded in step one.
  3. The spreadsheet will parse each pixel of your picture to write its conforming hex color codes in the Sheets cells.
  4. Choose ‘Apply Code’ for the Script to set each cell’s background color in line with its set cell value.

The spreadsheet cells are rectangle while the pixels have a perfect square shape. Using step 3 you can rescale each rectangular spreadsheet cell into a square.

And that is it. Your spreadsheet painting is now ready. You can either download the picture as a pdf file on your system or save it in the MS Excel format itself.