Excel Tutorial: How To Make Mario In Excel


Excel is a powerful tool that can be used for much more than just number crunching and data analysis. In this tutorial, we will explore how to create everyone's favorite Italian plumber, Mario, using only the features of Microsoft Excel. The purpose of this tutorial is to demonstrate the creative potential of Excel and show that it can be used for fun, artistic projects in addition to its traditional business applications.

Key Takeaways

  • Excel can be used for creative and artistic projects beyond traditional data analysis.
  • Understanding the basics of Excel, such as functions and formulas, is essential for creating unique designs.
  • Planning and sketching out the design beforehand helps in identifying the shapes, colors, and layout needed for the project.
  • Utilizing Excel's shape tools and animation features can bring the design to life with motion and interactivity.
  • Encourage readers to explore their own creativity and share their Excel creations with others.

Understanding Excel basics

A. Overview of the Excel interface

Before delving into the creation of Mario in Excel, it’s important to have a good understanding of the Excel interface. Take a look at the various tabs such as Home, Insert, Formulas, Data, Review, and View. Familiarize yourself with the different commands and options available in each tab.

B. Explanation of basic functions and formulas

Excel offers a wide range of functions and formulas that can be used to perform various calculations and manipulations of data. It’s important to grasp the basic concepts such as SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT, and IF functions, as well as how to create simple formulas to perform calculations.

C. How to navigate through Excel sheets

In order to create Mario in Excel, you’ll need to know how to effectively navigate through Excel sheets. Understand how to switch between different sheets, navigate to specific cells, and use the scroll bars to move around the sheet.

Planning the Mario design:

Before creating Mario in Excel, it's important to plan out the design to ensure a successful outcome. Here are some steps to follow when planning the Mario character:

A. Sketch out the design on paper

Begin by sketching out the Mario character on paper. This will help you visualize the design and identify the different elements that make up the character.

B. Identify the shapes and colors needed for the design

Once you have the sketch, identify the shapes and colors needed to create the character. This could include rectangles for the body, circles for the head, and various colors for different parts of the character.

C. Decide on the size and layout of the Mario character

Determine the size and layout of the Mario character within the Excel worksheet. Consider how much space you want to allocate for the character and how it will fit into the overall design of your Excel project.

Creating Mario's sprite:

When it comes to creating Mario in Excel, the first step is to create his iconic sprite. This can be achieved by using Excel's shape tools and adding details to bring him to life.

A. Using Excel's shape tools to create Mario's head, body, and limbs

To begin, use the shape tools in Excel to create Mario's head, body, and limbs. Start by inserting an oval shape for his head, a larger oval for his body, and smaller ovals for his arms and legs. Use the resize and rotate options to adjust the shapes as needed to resemble Mario's proportions.

B. Coloring the shapes to match Mario's iconic red and blue outfit

Once the basic shapes are in place, use the fill and outline options in Excel to color the shapes to match Mario's iconic red and blue outfit. Use a bright red for his hat and shirt, and a deep blue for his overalls. Don't forget to add yellow buttons on his overalls and white gloves.

C. Adding details such as eyes, mustache, and gloves

To finish off Mario's sprite, add details such as his eyes, mustache, and gloves. Use additional shapes and lines to create his facial features, and make sure to use the appropriate colors to bring him to life. Pay attention to the placement and proportions of these details to ensure they accurately represent Mario.

Animating Mario's movement

Creating an animated Mario in Excel can bring a fun and creative element to your spreadsheet. By utilizing Excel's animation features, you can bring Mario to life with walking or jumping motion, linked sprites for smooth animation, and adjustments to timing and sequence.

A. Utilizing Excel's animation features to create walking or jumping motion

  • 1. Inserting shapes and images:

    Begin by inserting shapes and images to represent Mario and the background. Use basic shapes to create Mario's body, head, and limbs, and import images of Mario in different poses for walking or jumping motion.
  • 2. Using the "Animation" feature:

    Excel's "Animation" feature allows you to add movement to your shapes and images. You can set the start and end positions for each element and adjust the duration and timing of the animation to create a realistic walking or jumping motion for Mario.

B. Linking different sprites to create a smooth animation

  • 1. Creating sprite sheets:

    Compile different images of Mario in various poses into a sprite sheet. This will allow you to cycle through the different poses seamlessly to create a smooth animation.
  • 2. Using VBA macros:

    Link the different sprites together using VBA macros to create a continuous and fluid movement for Mario. By cycling through the sprites at the right timing, you can achieve a convincing animation of Mario walking or jumping.

C. Adjusting the timing and sequence of the animation frames

  • 1. Fine-tuning the animation:

    Experiment with the timing and sequence of the animation frames to refine Mario's movement. You can adjust the duration of each frame, the transition between frames, and the order of the frames to create a natural and lifelike animation.
  • 2. Testing and iteration:

    Test the animation and make adjustments as needed to ensure that Mario's movement looks fluid and realistic. By iterating on the timing and sequence of the animation frames, you can perfect the overall animation of Mario.

Adding interactive elements

When creating a Mario game in Excel, adding interactive elements is crucial to make the game engaging and fun for the user. In this section, we will explore how to incorporate keyboard shortcuts, obstacles, enemies, and sound effects to enhance the gaming experience.

A. Incorporating keyboard shortcuts to move Mario within the Excel sheet
  • 1. Setting up key assignments

  • 2. Assigning macro functions to keys

  • 3. Testing and refining the movement controls

B. Creating obstacles or enemies for Mario to interact with
  • 1. Designing obstacles using shapes and objects

  • 2. Implementing collision detection with obstacles

  • 3. Adding movement patterns to enemies

C. Incorporating sound effects using Excel's audio features
  • 1. Inserting audio files for background music

  • 2. Triggering sound effects with in-game events

  • 3. Adjusting volume and playback settings


A. In this tutorial, we covered the step-by-step process of creating a pixel art version of Mario using Excel. From setting up the grid to using conditional formatting for coloring, we've seen how Excel can be used for more than just number crunching.

B. It's important to remember that Excel is a versatile tool that can be used for creative and fun projects. The potential for creating unconventional art and designs is only limited by your imagination.

C. We encourage you to share your own Excel creations with us and others. Whether it's pixel art, mazes, or even interactive games, there's so much more to Excel than meets the eye. Let's unleash our creativity and have fun with this powerful tool!

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