Excel: Office 365 Adds Cutout People and MoreBy
Office 365 subscribers now have access to hundreds of new icons, stickers, and nearly 2,500 poses of cutout people in Excel. Under the Icons feature on the Insert tab are menu selections for Stock Images, Cutout People, Icons, and Stickers—each searchable through either a search box or filter buttons.
In the Icons section, pay attention to the buttons for Analytics, Process, Graph, Technology, and Business. For variety, the sequence of the filter buttons is randomized each time you open the dialog. You might have to scroll through them to find Business.
In the Stickers section, a variety of cartoon animals performing various tasks are available. The stickers seem more appropriate for an elementary school instead of a business setting.
HUMAN FACES ATTRACT INTEREST
I’m intrigued most by the Cutout People addition. The analytics team at YouTube conducted a study of the most popular videos on the platform and found that 90% of the most-watched videos have a thumbnail that features a human face showing some emotion. If human faces work for attracting attention on the YouTube platform, they should also work for making someone stop and look at your next accounting report. Here’s a cutout person pointing at the main message in a report.
There are 2,490 poses of 19 people. Microsoft has named the people: Addison, Alexander, Angela, Arif, Babs, Carrie, Chantel, Charles, Ian, James, Kairy, Kevin, Noah, Rachel, Randy (shown above), Shao, Sherri, Tamara, and Ursula.
Each person has multiple poses, exhibiting different emotions. There are 270 poses of Chantel, described as a young female doctor. There are only 30 poses of Noah, who wears a headset and works in customer service.
Two of the people are children (Kairy and Shao). Only two of the people are older than 50 years old (Randy and Rachel). Overall, the cutouts skew toward younger ages. Alexander is described as a student. Addison, Angela, Carrie, Chantel, Charles, Tamara, and Ursula appear to be in their 20s. Arif, Ian, James, Noah, and Sherri are in their 30s. Only Babs (43), Kevin (56), Randy (64), and Rachel (76) represent the older demographic.
While you can search for people by name, you can also search by emotion or action. You can find people who are happy, excited, frustrated, pointing, or holding a sign. They’re also grouped by angle. Searching for “Profile” will find people facing to the side, for example, while searching for “Back” will find people facing away from you.
Each person can be downloaded and inserted into your Excel, Word, or PowerPoint file. You can resize as needed. As the name “Cutout People” describes, each photo includes a transparent background.
ADDING TEXT TO A SIGN
There are also poses where the cutout person is holding a blank sign. You can add text to the sign, like in this image of Angela:
Here are the steps for adding text to a sign and making it look natural:
- Use Insert, Icons, Cutout People, and search for “Sign.”
- Select a person and click Insert.
- Resize the person as needed to fit the situation.
- Click any cell outside of the picture to unselect the picture.
- Use Insert, Shapes, Textbox. Draw a text box that aligns closely with the sign.
The color of the sign and the default color of the white text box in Excel don’t match exactly. With the text box selected, go to Shape Format, Shape Fill, and choose No Fill. This will make the background of the text box transparent and match the color of the sign. On the same tab in the ribbon, choose Shape Outline and choose No Outline.
Type your text to appear on the sign. On the Home tab, use Increase Font, Center, Middle Align, Font Color, and Font to make the text on the sign stand out.
I keep picturing the photo shoot where these 19 people were put through the paces of being photographed with up to 270 different emotions. It had to be a tiring day. At the point where they asked people to hold a large blank sign, I doubt that anyone bothered to have a carpenter’s level handy to make sure the sign was completely level. In most cases, the sign is tilted by a few degrees.
Here is how to get your text box and the sign to be tilted at the same angle: Align the top of the text box with the top of the sign. Make sure the text box is selected. Go to the Shape Format tab in the ribbon and look for the Arrange group toward the right side. The last drop-down in that group is called Rotate. Open the drop-down menu and choose More Rotation Options. This opens the Format Shape task pane. The Rotation spin button allows you to rotate in 1-degree increments. Rotate using the spin button until the text box lines up with the sign.
Cutout People can express your surprise or frustration with your next accounting report.