Dot Paper Excel Template

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  • January 3, 2022 Updated
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table of content

This is a type of cartesian coordinate grid system using dots, instead of grid lines. You can use this graph paper as you would use graph paper with grid lines - the difference is a less prominent background.

Template Contents

1 Dot Per Inch Portrait

Graph paper at 1 dot per inch scale in portrait orientation.

1 Dot Per Inch Landscape

Graph paper at 1 dot per inch scale in landscape orientation.

2 Dots Per Inch Portrait

Graph paper at 2 dots per inch scale in portrait orientation.

2 Dots Per Inch Landscape

Graph paper at 2 dots per inch scale in landscape orientation.

4 Dots Per Inch Portrait

Graph paper at 4 dots per inch scale in portrait orientation.

4 Dots Per Inch Landscape

Graph paper at 4 dots per inch scale in landscape orientation.

Using The Template

Personalize and Print

Add a personal touch! Each worksheet has a built-in header. Use the header to include information, such as name, title, and date.

Dot Paper Template Personalize


If you prefer to draw by hand, just hit print - each tab is configured to print in its appropriate orientation type.

Handwriting and Creativity

As our technology becomes more advanced, handwriting is quickly becoming a lost art. To keep it alive, teach your young ones the art of writing by hand. Print out the dot graph paper and use the dots to make neat, handwritten notes by keeping the letters inside the dot grid. Practicing this type of writing may spark other creativity, as well as promote a slower, less hectic, way of doing things.

Idea: Make a neat to-do list by drawing boxes through the dots.

Dot Paper Template Boxes

Dot graph paper is also useful for engaging young adults in writing mathematics, suggests blogger, Nick Higham.

Dot Paper Template Mathematics


Image credit: Nick Higham

Working in Excel

Drawing and Importing Shapes

You may choose to work with the graph paper in Excel. For example, linear objects can be inserted to help with plots and drawings. To use linear objects, select “Illustrations”, and then select “Shapes”, under the “Insert” menu. This gives you the option to include lines or shapes with greater precision by using the graph.

Example. Insert linear objects and shapes.

Insert Linear Objects Shapes

For example, you can easily create shapes with precise measurements by inserting lines and then using the lines to connect the dots into a shape.

Dot Paper Template Shapes

Traditional shapes like cubes can be selected from the “Basic Shapes” menu, inserted into the graph, and then be made to fit into the grid by expanding or collapsing the shape. To fit the shape to the dots on grid, click on any corner circle outlining the shape and drag.

Dot Paper Template Drag

Create Basic Charts and Graphs

You can create a line chart using dot graph paper the same way you would using a graph paper with grid lines. First, create a Y-axis and X-axis. This can be done by drawing a border line for the Y-axis and another for the X-axis, and then numbering the axis.

Under “Home” menu, select “Borders”, then “Line Style”, and you’re ready to draw a line.

Dot Paper Template Line Style

Example. Number the Y-axis and X-axis by manually entering numbers in increments of your choice.

Dot Paper Template Increments

To plot coordinates, pick a shape from the “Insert” menu to represent each coordinate and then use the labeled axis to plot out each coordinate. Next, use the same menu to insert a line to link the coordinates.

Example. A line chart with plot points created using “Insert” menu.

Dot Paper Template Plot


Create External Labels

Time to go outside the box – literally! As an example, for purposes of working with customized coordinates, you can create labels outside of the predetermined dot grid in any worksheet in this template. Simply insert a row (at the top of the grid) and a column (on the left side of the grid). Then, manually input numbers, letter, or a combination of the two.

Example. Numerical labels created outside of dot grid by inserting a row and a column.

Dot Paper Template Labels

Add Some Color

You might be wondering why all the dots disappear if you try to change the background color with the “Fill Color” tool. This is because the dot grid in our Excel template is configured using a checker pattern of black and white cells. Below is an example of the pattern when cells are expanded.

Dot Paper Template Black White

If you must have a different color dot grid, there is a way! First, highlight all cells and use the “Fill Color” tool to choose a color.

Dot Paper Template Fill Color

Next, use your mouse or keyboard to find any “dot” cell that is covered in a different color. Fill that hidden dot cell with black color using the Fill Color tool. Finally, copy and paste the remaining dots to recreate the dot grid pattern. Copying and pasting shouldn’t take long once you have one row completed.

Change Color Scheme

Dot Paper Template Colors

We hope this article was helpful.

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