"Excel spreadsheets" and "beautiful" don't often go together, but in some special cases, they do.
Mashable rounded up several impressive projects done in Excel, from intricate Japanese digital paintings I've mentioned here before to a role-playing game you can play in an Excel workbook.
It looks like it requires a great deal of patience (and programming know-how, in some cases), but you can make maps and beautiful charts in Excel, as these examples demonstrate:
Olympic medal counts by idvsolutions
Breathing city by Dark Horse Analytics
You can see more of them on Mashable, including maps made from pivot tables.
I'm just happy when my spreadsheets don't get that circular reference error; other people aim for higher in Excel.
Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.