12 Replies Latest reply on Aug 12, 2017 12:49 PM by Ronald Keller

    Designing an Excel doc

    ShakeyDesign Level 1

      On a Mac and have been trying to find the best method for designing an Excel document a client gave me. There doesn't seem to be anyway to import the doc into Photoshop while retaining all of the math functions and such that are built into it.

       

      I'm not 100% comfortable in Excel, so any Adobe product or execution suggestion(s) to help me achieve an easier design experience would be much appreciated!

        • 1. Re: Designing an Excel doc
          postrophe Level 4

          Hi

           

          Well, In my book, you will need to accelerate your Excel proficiency, that's not so hard (ton's of online tutorials).

          Or try Apple Numbers

           

          Pierre

          • 2. Re: Designing an Excel doc
            ShakeyDesign Level 1

            Thanks for the response postophe. I'm a web designer for a video game company. Been designing for over 15 years now and can count how many time I've needed to open Excel on one hand. I've looked into Numbers as well. Will definitely be trying it out.

             

            Just mainly seeing how other Mac users have handled designing Excel documents. Especially these existing one's that appear to be from the late 80's. I don't get how users can stare at some of these color combos and font choices. Yikes!

            • 3. Re: Designing an Excel doc
              postrophe Level 4

              Hi

               

              Yeah, I feel your pain. I'v been a professional designer (all categories) for more than 30 + years. But, I have my own studio and can pick my clients/jobs as I wish. Only if the budget is OK, will I tackle an old 80's Excel file, to get it par with this decade. (that would be one of my staff punition). lol.

               

              But, adding images to Excel is not hard.

               

              Pierre

              • 4. Re: Designing an Excel doc
                Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                ShakeyDesign  wrote

                 

                There doesn't seem to be anyway to import the doc into Photoshop while retaining all of the math functions and such that are built into it.

                That seems to read as if you would like the Excel sheet to function as an Excel sheet inside Photoshop.  That's not possible.  Separate out the graphic content of the Excel sheet, and work on that separately. That's as simple as right clicking the image inside the Excel document, and choosing Change Picture

                 

                I'm kind of thinking that you must have known all that, but that is the way I am reading your question.

                • 5. Re: Designing an Excel doc
                  Test Screen Name Most Valuable Participant

                  There's no magic to do this, just as you can't turn Excel into a great photo editor. Make the graphics in Photoshop and place In Excel. Or retype everything in Photoshop If you have infinite time and patience. Look into saving a finished product from Excel as PDF. Photoshop can help you turn the PDF to web graphics if you must.

                  • 6. Re: Designing an Excel doc
                    Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                    There doesn't seem to be anyway to import the doc into Photoshop while retaining all of the math functions and such that are built into it.

                    That's like expecting PS to do your laundry as well. Excel in itself is just as complex as PS, only in a different way. Different tools for different tasks. At best you can hope that any program that is able to import Excel files will be able to retain the appearance or the functionality, but I know of no way to get both and clearly even if such a thing existed your client wouldn't appreciate having to buy some obscure piece of software he has to learn or sign up to some annoying web service. You just have to learn to work within the limitations of Excel and adapt your workflow. It's not at all impossible to create pretty fancy spreadsheets and charts, it just takes quite a bit of work.

                     

                    Mylenium

                    • 7. Re: Designing an Excel doc
                      Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                      We'd really like to help if we can, but it comes down to guessing without being able to see what you are trying to match to what.  Excel has a snap feature for graphics, so I'd start with a Photoshop graphic if adequate resolution, but you would need to get the aspect ratio right.  I'd maybe make a series of reference guides on the graphic, save and load it into the Excel sheet, and modify the graphic in Photoshop using those reference guides to place things.

                       

                      Then save out the JPG or PNG to a different file name, and use the right click > change picture, to swap to the updated graphic.

                       

                      This to consider are that with Excel's snap to feature, you could break up the graphic into multiple parts, and they would join seamlessly in Excel because of the snap.  Another approach would be to make use of transparent backgrounds with PNG files, which Excel recognises.  So if you lay down your graphics and turn off the background layer, and save out to PNG

                      Then place the PNG in Excel and it honours the transparency.  That's going to open up your options.

                      With the graphic inserted, select it and go Format > Align > Snap to grid and it can be locked to grid lines.  You can mess with the aspect ratio when doing this if it looks OK.

                      Note, that changing cell width and/or height will break the graphic alignment, but I bet your can lock the graphic to the grid if you look into it.  Hmmm...  I just had a wee look and it might or might not work for you, as it looks like you lock images to a whole cell, or merged cells.  That is fine if you do not want a live window inside the graphic boundary, but you could get round that by breaking up the gaphic into multiple parts.  A bit awkward, but you'd only need to do it the once.

                       

                      http://www.solveyourtech.com/lock-image-cell-excel-2010/

                       

                      I imagine that if you asked about this in an Excel forum, the experts there will say easy peasy, you just do this..... 

                       

                      Good luck, and do please show us what you make if it is not commercially sensitive.

                      • 8. Re: Designing an Excel doc
                        jane-e Adobe Community Professional

                        ShakeyDesign  wrote

                         

                        I'm not 100% comfortable in Excel, so any Adobe product or execution suggestion(s) to help me achieve an easier design experience would be much appreciated!

                         

                         


                        Now that you have several Photoshop answers, I will offer an Adobe alternative:

                         

                        You can place an Excel file directly into InDesign, with or without formatting. You can place it linked to the Excel sheet or not linked. If it is linked, it is required that you use styles without overrides. (Paragraph styles are embedded in Cell styles; Cell styles are embedded in a Table style.) You can put pictures into a table cell and it becomes a graphic cell. It is awesome! These details are brief, but that's the gist of it. For details, ask in the InDesign forum.

                         

                        InDesign does not do math, but if you place it as a linked file and use styles, you can update the link when the Excel sheet changes. This works like a charm when you get the steps down. All the formatting is in InDesign.

                        • 9. Re: Designing an Excel doc
                          jane-e Adobe Community Professional

                          https://forums.adobe.com/people/Test+Screen+Name  wrote

                           

                          There's no magic to do this, just as you can't turn Excel into a great photo editor.

                          ...unless you are Tatsuo Horiuchi. It's is incredible what he did in Excel. His artwork is available for download. The rest of us will use Photoshop and Illustrator.

                           

                          http://www.spoon-tamago.com/2013/05/28/tatsuo-horiuchi-excel-spreadsheet-artist/

                          • 10. Re: Designing an Excel doc
                            Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                            Good answer Jane.  I wonder if that's what the OP was thinking of without knowing the precise details?

                            • 11. Re: Designing an Excel doc
                              jane-e Adobe Community Professional

                              Hahaha, Trevor! I tried to figure out how Tatsuo did this in Excel, and was able to pick apart some of the individual pieces. I thought I knew Excel until I saw his artwork.    

                              • 12. Re: Designing an Excel doc
                                Ronald Keller Level 4

                                I second that. Couldn't believe it at first... Amazing!