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Making maps in Excel

Making maps in Excel

Update, September 9th, 2011: The images are gone since I'm deleting everything off of my photobucket account - I like imgur far better. I'm lazy, and thus haven't uploaded the images to imgur. Please let me know if you require the images, and I'll upload them again at that point.

A fellow Weaver has asked me to make a guide for him to make maps in Excel. Alright, perhaps not in so many words, but I might as well make a long, complex guide.

Note that these are only my preferences, and that many a step could be changed to suit your own likings. Things which are my own preference, they will be in blue and bolded. Sometimes, if all of the parts of a step are personal preference, it will be denoted with ==OPTIONAL==. In this case, none of the text within will be blue or bolded; it will be assumed to be.
All parameters are also personal preferences, but for your sanity, I will not make blue or bold them.
Note that this is assumed you are using a Windows computer.

Setting Up

Making The Map

Making Objects And People

For this, I'll make a table, a monster, an NPC, and a player.

Posting The Map

And...You're Done! *Phew*

Anything I've forgotten? Questions? Comments? Feel free to post away, or hit me with a PM.

I think this should be a sticky.

Also, there's a similiar technique you can use if you want an ascii map, just put all the characters you one into their cells, save it as a UTF-16 (.txt) file. Then go in your .txt file, run a "find and replace all" on the tab characters, replace them with spaces, and now you have a nice mono-spaced file that you can copy-and-paste the map into code blocks on myth-weavers.

It's been flagged as an Article, which will help. Throw a personal sticky on it if you want, but the only sticky threads are the core Workshop stuff.

Useful guide.

I have a preference for colouring the cells themselves (like step 9), rather than placing objects. It strikes me as easier and neater, although it's less flexible - can't use shapes or images.

I've been using paint.NET which is a free, open source, photo editing software (similar to photoshop) and could not be happier with it so far.
I'm a fan of randomly generated anything (dungeons, treasure, magical items, so on and so forth) so I don't show favoritism. What I've found to be most efficient so far is using myth-weavers random dungeon generator along with paint.NET to add in a few details. I run a D&D 3.5E game and in the back of the Dungeon Masters guide there are some pictures of walls, floors, alters, coins and the like that DO have permission to be photocopied and used.
First I randomly generate a dungeon, then copy and paste that into paint.NET
Scan in an example of a set of floor tiles out of the DM's guide
copy and paste that onto the floor plan
Do the same for walls
Add in icons for PC's and enemies and voila.
If you're familiar with using layers you can make a pretty mean looking map.

I've seen some totally awesome looking maps out there, but I like the way mine have gone so far because it's quick, easy to use, and I can make changes without having to redo anything.
I've got no problem with writing a TUT is anyone is interested in the finer details.

Numbed Icons are enemies, dashed arrows indicate the direction it SOUNDS like they're moving. Lettered tokens are the first initial of the PC's involved.

EDIT: Just now noticed this topic was just for making maps in EXCEL. My bad.

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