New Excel Based Apple II Graphics Tool

Modern Apple ][ software development involves using modern tools like emulators, modern IDE, 6502 assemblers, etc.

One thing I haven’t found yet is a way to create sprites for the Apple ][ on a modern computer.

I’d like to share a tool I wrote that allows you to create hires sprites/bitmaps for Apple ][ using Excel (it also works with OpenOffice and LibreOffice).

This Excel spreadsheet features 4 different editors that let you virtually turn on/off bits of the hires screen and see the results directly in Excel, and yes, it even takes into account the weird way the Apple ][ handles hires colors. That is: one pixel is colored, two adjacent pixels are white, and two pixels separated by one unlit pixel creates three colored pixels. The editors are pretty much the same except they display pixels differently on the spreadsheet (color, NTSC color, monochrome white on black, and monochrome black on white).

Thanks to the copy/paste features of your spreadsheet software, it is easy to create sprites AND their pre-shifted versions within minutes.

The spreadsheet also produces Applesoft POKEs lines to copy/paste into your favorite emulator if you don’t like the rendering in Excel itself.

But it also allows you to copy/paste the bytes’ hex values into your favorite 6502 editor.

Full instructions are included in the spreadsheet.

I think it’s a neat tool that saved me a lot of time trying to design stuff directly with an old Apple ][ software and getting it back in my own software.

I hope you’ll enjoy it. The file is here:

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About the Author

François Vander Linden