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Image in the Background of a Worksheet


Inserting an image into the background of an Excel Worksheet
Office 2007 version

You can make your own practice worksheet to help students review a concept. If you have an interactive whiteboard the elements you draw onto the worksheet could be dragged into place by students in a review activity.

For this explanation we have chosen to use the four quadrants of the Cartesian coordinate plane. Any image that you find could be used for this activity. Caution! If you select an image whose copyright is owned by someone other than yourself you should not post your work on the web for all to see, or transmit the worksheet to someone else. Use this worksheet for practice in your own classroom. Because of that concern, I created my own image to use for a background.

Find an image that your students could label. If you can find contact information for the copyright owner of the image, make contact explaining how you want to use the image. Make sure the entire image can be seen on your screen and then capture a screen shot of your desktop. That is done by pressing the Print Screen key, found just to the right of the F12 key on many windows based computers.

To make modifications to the image, paste into Paint . I used the select key to draw a box around the part of the image that you see below.

In Paint I used the eraser to remove everything that was outside the heavy black box around the four quadrants.

While you are still in Paint the coordinate plane, or whatever image you are using, needs to be saved as in image. You can not copy the plane and paste it into Excel as a background. The worksheet needs to locate an image stored on your computer to insert into the background of a sheet. If you are using Windows Vista the Paint application has a Crop option. Using the Select tool, draw a box around the image. Leave white space around the image and save it. I saved mine to the Desktop so I could find it easily. If you are using any other version of Paint, use the Select tool to draw a box around the image, leaving white space around all four sides. Copy the selected object. From the File menu get a new paint window and do not maximize the window. Paste the image into the new window. Save this image where you can find it.

Open an Excel workbook. Before putting the image in the background, remove the gridlines. In the Sheet Options area of the Page Layout tab deselect View under the heading Gridlines . The sheet is now solid white. Your worksheet still has cells, but the grid lines are not visible.

After removing the gridlines go to the Page Setup area which is also on the Page Layout tab, click on the Background button in the and then select Picture. Navigate to the location where you saved the image you made in Paint and click select. The background will tile from one end of the worksheet to the other, producing thousands of coordinate planes

One way to use a background like this is to draw small circles, color them and move them onto the coordinate plane for students to identify the ordered pair.

Download - Excel Workbook using the coordinate plane as a background

Let us know if you have any other ideas for using this feature of Excel.

Internet4classrooms is a collaborative effort by Susan Brooks and Bill Byles.




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