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3. Set Up Your Grid and Choose Colors For Your Art

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In this video, you will change the size of the cells in your spreadsheet so they look like squares.

Then, you will use a spreadsheet tool called conditional formatting to add color to your project.

You will set up your spreadsheet so the squares change color when you type in specific numbers, creating the pixels for your artwork.

To begin, set up your spreadsheet to form a grid.

Each cell will be like a single dot, or pixel, in your artwork.

Select all of the cells in the sheet.

Move the border between any two columns to change the size of all the cells.

Slide the border over until the cells are squares -- they don’t have to be perfect.

Once your cells are square-shaped, click anywhere in the sheet to deselect the cells.

Next, add conditional formatting to select your project’s first color.

Frida Kahlo used bright shades of red, green, yellow, orange and blue in her paintings -- colors that she saw every day in her native Mexico.

Her use of color was also intended to create emotional effects -- she often associated certain colors with a specific mood she was feeling at the time.

Think about the colors that matter to you. They could be your favorite colors, or colors that relate to your life experiences, your own culture, or that communicate a mood or feeling.

To add color to your project, you make “rules” for cells.

The rules change how a cell looks based on what you type in it.

In this example, conditional formatting is added to a sheet that changes how cells look if the number 1 is typed.

A value is the number or text in a cell.

The conditional formatting says that if the “value” is 1, fill the cell with a color -- in this case, red. After the conditional formatting rule is made, every time the number 1 is typed in a cell, the cell turns red.

You will use this process to fill cells with different colors for your pixel art.

To begin, select all the cells in your spreadsheet. Then, open conditional formatting.

Next, check the “range” to make sure the conditional formatting rule you make will affect all the cells.

That way, when you type a specific number anywhere in your spreadsheet, the cell will change to the right color.

A range is a group or block of cells.

In this case, the range should start with the first cell in the sheet, cell A1.

The range should end with Z1000, the last cell in the sheet.

Since you selected all the cells, the range should apply to the entire sheet.

If it doesn’t, exit the conditional formatting and try again.

If the range is correct, you can make your first rule.

There are many types of conditional formatting rules you can make to change how cells look based on the value typed in them.

For this project, select “Is equal to”.

That tells the spreadsheet to fill a cell with a color when the value equals a specific number.

Enter a number and select a fill color of your choice for that value.

Then test the rule in your sheet by typing the number into several cells.

Great! Your first color is ready to use in your artwork.

Now, it’s your turn.

Resize all spreadsheet cells to form squares, Select all the cells in your spreadsheet, Open conditional formatting, Create a rule for your first color, And test your rule.


  1. Resize all spreadsheet cells to form squares.
  2. Select all the cells in your spreadsheet.
  3. Open conditional formatting.
  4. Create a rule for your first color.
  5. Test your rule.