How to Create a Tornado Screw Pattern in Microsoft Excel

Four Parts:Previous Lessons LearnedThe TutorialExplanatory Charts, Diagrams, PhotosHelpful Guidance

In this article you'll learn to make the "tornado / screw" pattern and image below, and the dozens of variations the file permits therefrom.

Part 1
Previous Lessons Learned

  1. 1
  2. 2
    This article relies on the previous accomplishment of the two articles preceding it:
  3. 3
    Please complete those first before attempting this article. This one's followed by the 12 articles in the Related wikiHows at the bottom of the page.

Part 2
The Tutorial

  1. 1
    Start a new workbook by saving the old workbook under a new name. Save the workbook into a logical file folder.
  2. 2
    Insert a new column at Column A. Enter "=ROUND(1440/S_COUNT,1)" into cell A1. Format Cell Number Number Custom "Rrs" 0. Insert Name Define name Rrs to cell $A$1.
    • Enter the formula "=ROUND(1440/Rrs,0)" into cell A2.
    • Enter On=0,Off=1 into cell A3.
    • Enter 1 into cell A4.
    • Edit Go To cell range A7:A1447 and with A7 active, enter the formula without quotes or spaces "=IF(OR( AND((ROW()-7)>Rrs,(ROW()-7)<=Rrs*2), AND((ROW()-7)>Rrs*4,(ROW()-7)<=Rrs*5),

AND((ROW()-7)>Rrs*7,(ROW()-7)<=Rrs*8), AND((ROW()-7)>Rrs*10,(ROW()-7)<=Rrs*11), AND((ROW()-7)>Rrs*13,(ROW()-7)<=Rrs*14), AND((ROW()-7)>Rrs*16,(ROW()-7)<=Rrs*17), AND((ROW()-7)>Rrs*19,(ROW()-7)<=Rrs*20), AND((ROW()-7)>Rrs*22,(ROW()-7)<=Rrs*23), AND((ROW()-7)>Rrs*25,(ROW()-7)<=Rrs*26)),0,1)+On_0_Off_1"

  1. 1
    Insert Name Define Name Divisor into cell $E$3 and enter 1000. Format Cell Fill Yellow Font bold and Number Number Custom "Divisor" 0.00 with quotes.
  2. 2
    Insert Name Define Name AAA into cell $D$5 and enter .000004. Format Cell Fill Yellow Font bold and Number Number Custom "AAA" +.00000000;"AAA" -.00000000 with quotes.
  3. 3
    Enter 12 into cell B2, TURNS. Enter 24 into S's Count cell C1 for Spheroids (the example chart uses 25 but the pairs come out better with 24). Enter 968277 into cell D3, top. Enter .61 into cell H1 and .78 into cell J1.
  4. 4
    Check the formulas in the columns:
    • B7: "=IF(EVEN(S_COUNT)=S_COUNT,ROUND((-B4*PI())+(Adj),0),TOP)" w/o quotes for this and all of this step's formulas.
    • B8:B1447: "=((B7+(-TOP*2)/(AdjRows)))*$B$1"
    • C7: "=ROUND(-EXP((PI()^2)+(Cc*-(db))),0)+Designer"
    • C8:C1447: "=C7"
    • NEW: D7:D1447: "=IF(A7=0,D6,COS((ROW()-7)*Factor*PI()/(180))*((ROW()-7)/Divisor))"
    • NEW: E7:E1447: "=IF(A7=0,E6,DEGREES((ROW()-7))/41500)" This uses the DEGREES() function for the first time. See Tips below and Excel Help under Home > Function References > Math and Trigonometry Functions.
    • NEW: F7:F1447: "=IF(A7=0,F6,((PI())*((SIN(B7/(C7*2))*GMLL*COS(B7)*GMLL*(COS(B7/(C7*2)))*GMLL)+D7)))"
    • NEW: G7:G1447: "=IF(A7=0,G6,((PI())*((SIN(B7/(C7*2))*GMLL*SIN(B7)*GMLL*(COS(B7/(C7*2)))*GMLL)+E7)))"
    • H7:H1447: "=F7*GMLL*Sync1"
    • I7:I1447: ""=G7*GMLL*Sync1"
    • J7:J1447: "=F7*GMSL*Sync2"
    • K7:K1447: "=G7*GMSL*Sync2"
  5. 5
    The various Lookup Tables have not changed since "Create a Flower Pattern in Microsoft Excel" or "Create Special Designs and Patterns 02". Here below is an image of my header rows and data to check against your own and the previous file's (*02" for short) original formulas. There should be no errors. Make sure there is a formula in cell A7.

Part 3
Explanatory Charts, Diagrams, Photos

  • (dependent upon the tutorial data above)
  1. 1
    The charting is left to the imagination of the reader, given Excel's new capabilities for shadow and glow, reflection and so forth. Refer to the prior article for any basic problems with charting. Basically, chart the last 3 pairs of columns as individually paired sets of {x,y}'s for a threesome effect.
  2. 2
    Final image #

Part 4
Helpful Guidance

  1. 1
    Make use of helper articles when proceeding through this tutorial:


  • A....................................B
  • Here is the design with On=0,Off=1 set to 0:
    Spcl Design 03a
  • DEGREES function
  • Converts radians into degrees.
  • Syntax
  • DEGREES(angle)
  • Argument................Description
  • angle.......The angle in radians that you want to convert.
  • Example
  • To make the following example easier to understand, you can copy the data to a blank sheet and then enter the function underneath the data. Do not select the row or column headings (1, 2, 3... A, B, C...) when you copy the sample data to a blank sheet.
  • 1 Formula...................Description (Result)
  • 2 =DEGREES(PI( )).......Degrees of pi radians (180)


  • ERRORS: If you have errors or error values, either the sheet in incomplete and needs further input or Lookup Tables for critical variables or perhaps you've made a mistake somewhere along the line. If the instructions have been completed and there are still errors, select the cell that has the error value that is furthest left and topmost first. Look for a typo in a formula or unmatched parentheses. Possibly, a Defined Name is wrong -- they need to be input into the formulas exactly as they were defined. Do Insert Name Define to check. If you have DIV/0!, I do not, so look for a variable that somehow did not get filled in with a value perhaps. At any rate, what you want to do is select the cell with the error, and after checking all those typical errors, do Tools Auditing Trace Precedents and/or Trace Error. If fixing all the topmost leftmost errors does not fix the rest of your errors on your worksheet, you may need to do it the hard way, from the bottom right upwards then leftwards; that is the slow but sure way to fix all errors.
  • Also, errors in your chart data will most likely plot as zeroes. This may be acceptable or desirable even. However, if too many lines (or curves) are returning to 0, it may indicate a logical flaw in the data -- or too many tiny values and then perhaps rescaling the chart is needed by inspecting the horizontal and vertical axes and changing them to zero in on the problem. Hover over or click on a data marker on the series plot and then do a search in the proper column by value for that value, and identify its precedents.

Sources and Citations

  • This article used the file "Garthwaite LINE06.xlsx" as its primary reference source.

Article Info

Categories: Graphics | Microsoft Excel Imagery