Saturday, 8 February 2014

Excel is really good for page layout and photo collages

Inserting pictures and logos into a Word document is usually a right old faff, because they keep disappearing off the page, resizing themselves and re-formatting themselves.

I had to help my little girl put five photos on a page for her geography homework project, we downloaded five suitable ones from the Internet and did a nice layout using Excel in the space of five minutes; we set all column widths and row heights to one centimetre as a guide, and used the cells beneath the photos to type in the captions.


Here's a screenshot, the gridlines don't print off:


Bayard said...

I've always been of the opinion that Excel is the best bit of software Microsoft ever produced (purloined?) and that Word was one of the worst, against some pretty stiff competition.

The Stigler said...


Used to work with someone who knew developers at Microsoft and they reckoned the Excel team was one of the best.

I prefer Google docs to Word, or just writing with a text editor and then putting it into Word to do the styling.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, TS, you're almost certainly right.

Conditional formatting, pivot tables and all that, awesome, it's just a question of realising you are in a situation where you might need them and then how to apply them. I'm sure most of us (including me) only use about 1% of Excel's myriad functions and add-ons.

Bayard said...

Excel is the only thing I miss after leaving Microsoft. The open-source alternatives just aren't as good.

A K Haart said...

I use Excel for pictures too. As you say, Word is hopeless, the pictures don't even stay put.

In fact Excel is the main reason I still have MS Office, otherwise I'd have moved to a freebie version years ago.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, AKH, good, it's not just me then.

Derek said...

Yep, not just you. Spreadsheets in general are great. Good ones, like Excel, can be used for word processing, database work, calculation, programming and layout. If I was only allowed one piece of software on my computer, I would choose a spreadsheet.

Mark Wadsworth said...

D, true, now they've got all those data filters and stuff, they make excellent databases providing it's not too complicated.