Photo credit: Windell H. Oskay,
on creative engineering and new media art

Exquisite Corpse for Excel

December 29th, 2007

Exquisite Corpse for Excel (screenshot)

A cheap embarassing drink that hooks you up with senior dolls

Interactive creativity tool (2005).

Download Excuisite Corpse for Excel

The Exquisite Corpse for Excel is a creativity tool. It is a very crude random phrase generator. When you download it is loaded with words that will give ideas for silly installations or devices. The point is that it will suggest combinations you hadn’t thought of. Perhaps, every now and then, it will actually give you something that will give you a good idea. You can modify it with other words to change its domain, like using it to generate characters with random traits for stories, or why not a whole new cuisine.

The Exquisite Corpse is an old technique employed by the surrealists in the 1920′s.

It is inspired by an even older parlour game, sometimes knows as consequences, and similar to what is known as Mad Libs in the US. For more information, see (for example)

This version is a computer-based implementation of a version of the game. In the Exquisite Corpse, as played by the surrealists, one person would write a word on a piece of paper and give it to the next person. That person would write a second word and fold it over so that only the last word was visible, and then pass it to the third person, and so on. In this version you just fill in the columns with words and it generates new phrases randomly.

You can find the latest version at or try googling for “exquisite corpse for excel” If you have made a poetic, funny or even useful collection version, I’d be happy to see it – email to

Instructions for use
You can edit the words by simply filling in new words in the columns. You can also insert new lines if you need more space. You can also copy an entire column and paste it in to get more columns. There are a couple of hidden lines, don’t delete those or the thing won’t work. Oh, and fill in the columns from the top down. They can be any length, just avoid empty lines.

Excel version by Fredrik Bridell. This is inspired by the use of this method (on paper) in creative workshops at the Interactive Institute Smart Studio with Magnus Jonsson.

Download and license
Download Exquisite Corpse for Exce (It’s free!)

Creative Commons License

Exquisite Corpse for Excel by Fredrik Bridell is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 License.