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Microsoft Excel: Revolutionary 3D Game Engine?

March 6, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 5 Next


Developers can choose between two rendering subsystems:

  1. Excel-native Cell Graphics (ECG)
  2. Office-level Graphics Abstraction Layer (OGAL)

Excel-native Cell Graphics

Forget for an instant that after starting Excel we can see a worksheet on the screen which consists of cells, and that the cells contain our data, texts and formulas. Consider this worksheet as the screen of the engine and the cells as the pixels of this screen. Based on this unusual approach:

Worksheet=Screen of the engine

No doubt it is an astounding approach, and it would only be proper to ask how these bulk rectangle-shaped cells can be considered as pixels -- but we will see that these rectangles are only demonstrating a unique feature of the cell graphics, in fact, and the usual small, old-school, square-shaped pixels can be used as well -- if required.

Put away your aversion and have a look at the ECG features:

Pixels can be resized, so if someone wants to travel back in time and would like to use the small, old-school square-sized pixels of the traditional 3D engines then he/she can do it easily (please see Figure 2 and 3).

Figure 2: Excel's default pixel

Figure 3: Resized (and tinted) pixels

It should be noted that this innovation is such an organic part of the system that it is possible to use pixels with different sizes in each row and column, as can be seen in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Pixel size can be set differently in each rows


Article Start Previous Page 2 of 5 Next

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