The desktop version of Excel has long been king of the hill when it comes to spreadsheet apps, but Google is challenging it for the title with Sheets, the spreadsheet tool included in Google Apps. Does he have a viable claim to the throne? Or is it a hollow imitation of Excel? Both have their advantages; Here's why you might want to use one or the other.
Google was very ambitious in trying to release a spreadsheet program that would (eventually) catch up with Excel. And while he hasn't quite reached that level, Sheets has come a long way in the few years he's been around. And it has managed to develop some features that distinguish it from Excel.
You just can't beat Google Sheets on price. The entire Google Apps suite is free. And if you want an enterprise level subscription, you pay $5 per user per month. It's the same price as Office 365, Microsoft's new business model. An introduction to Office 365:Should you buy the new Office business model? An introduction to Office 365:Should you buy the new Office business model? Office 365 is a subscription-based suite that offers access to the latest Office desktop suite, Office Online, cloud storage, and premium mobile apps. Does Office 365 provide enough value to be worth the money? Read More For the desktop versions of Office, you'll need to pay $8.25 per user per month. Google gives you a slight discount for paying per year and stands firm ahead of the Office price. Even if you just bought Office for personal use, it will cost you a couple of hundred dollars.
The entire Google Drive suite of apps has a fantastic advantage in the ability to collaborate with others. Excel allows you to use the Track Changes feature, but Sheets allows simultaneous editing; lets you easily leave comments and communicate with your collaborators so you don't have to email back and forth about changes.
While you can save Excel spreadsheets to Skydrive or Dropbox, you can't beat Sheets for cloud storage. It's automatically saved to the cloud, attached to your Google account, and can be accessed from any computer with a browser. You don't have to worry about another computer having the same version of Excel as yours or switching between Windows and Mac.
If you want to use the power of Google or other websites in your spreadsheet, Sheets is the best way to go. In his article about cool things you can do with Google Sheets Do amazing things with these useful Google spreadsheet functions Do amazing things with these useful Google spreadsheet functions I'm embarrassed to admit that I recently decided to start experimenting with Google Spreadsheets, and What I discovered is that whatever or power Excel had over me because of the amazing things... Read More You can also use functions such as GOOGLEFINANCE(), which gets value information from Google Finance, and GOOGLETRANSLATE() to translate the contents of a cell. Taking data directly from Google forms to populate a spreadsheet is extremely useful. You can even create a map with Google Sheets data 7 Ways to Make a Google Map Using Google Spreadsheet Data 7 Ways to Make a Google Map Using Google Spreadsheet Data Yes You keep a lot of data in Google Spreadsheets, you've probably considered plotting it. on a google map. Well, you can, but doing this isn't as obvious as you might expect. Read more.
Excel works fine on a Mac, but Microsoft's focus has always been on Windows, which means Excel for Mac gets "little brother" status. Most of the time, that doesn't cause much trouble, but it can be problematic when creating macros with Visual Basic. How you can create your own simple application with VBA. How you can create your own simple application with VBA. If you'd really love to be able to write your own app, but have never written a single line of code before, I'll walk you through making your own... Read More If those macros were created on Windows, they may not work on a Mac and vice versa. With Google Sheets, no matter what platform you're on, it will work.
While you can save a bunch of different copies of a spreadsheet to create version history with Excel, Google Sheets has it built in. File> Revision history gives you a complete history of all changes made to the document, which is great for keeping track of how large spreadsheets have changed.
There's a reason Excel is the industry standard when it comes to spreadsheets, especially when it comes to fields like accounting and the hard sciences. This is where it shines.
While there is no hard and fast rule, many people find it quite difficult to work with Google Sheets after having 1,000 or so rows of data. It's just not built for that much information, and it tends to be very slow (I also see a bit of slow loading on much smaller spreadsheets on occasion). Excel, on the other hand, can get up to hundreds of thousands of rows before you have to consider using a different program.
You can do a crazy amount of amazing things with Excel formulas. 3 Crazy Excel Formulas That Do Amazing Things. Crazy Excel formulas that do amazing things. Conditional formatting formulas in Microsoft Excel can do amazing things. Here are some Excel formula productivity hacks. Read more, about doing your taxes Doing your taxes? 5 Excel formulas you should know doing your taxes? 5 Excel Formulas You Need to Know It's two days before your taxes are due and you don't want to pay another late filing fee. This is the time to harness the power of Excel to put everything in order. Learn more about managing your whole life. How to use Microsoft Excel to manage your life. How to use Microsoft Excel to manage your life. It's no secret that I'm a total fan of Excel. A lot of that comes from the fact that I enjoy writing VBA code, and Excel combined with VBA scripts opens up a whole world of possibilities... Read More If there's something you want to do with the data, Excel can almost certainly do it. Need the arctangent of a number? Use ACOT(). Do you need to use the Bessel equation for super scientific stuff? BESSELJ() and BESSELY() have you covered. Sheets is catching up, but if you need some really complex formulas to process your data, Excel is more likely to help.
If you spend a lot of time working with Excel, you probably do a lot of the same things on a regular basis. Customizing the Ribbon How to Modify the Windows and Office Ribbon Menu How to Modify the Windows and Office Ribbon Menu That annoying ribbon menu. Since its introduction in Office 2007, I have been struggling to come to terms with it. I much preferred Office 2000/2003's method of "hiding" tools you don't often use... Read More tools you need, saving you time. Potentially a long time, if these are things you do tens or dozens of times each day. While Google Sheets offers a host of keyboard shortcuts, it lacks the ability to customize.
While "it's the industry standard" doesn't seem like a good argument for agreement It's the industry standard, Excel's ubiquity is an advantage. Importing even the simplest of Excel spreadsheets into Google Sheets can result in weird formatting errors that you should take the time to fix. And since you've likely used Microsoft Office for years, familiarity with Excel means it won't take long to get up and running, even with a new version.
While Sheets is getting better at charting, Excel is the hands down champion here. With more chart types available, more options for formatting those charts, more options for error bar displays, and a plethora of options for quickly changing the layouts and styles of those charts, you just can't beat them. If you're going to give a big, high-stakes presentation, you want the professional-quality charts that Excel produces How to Create Attractive, Professional-Looking Charts Using the Charting Tools of MS Word 2010 How to Create Attractive, Professional-Looking Charts Using the Charting Tools of MS Word 2010 As an illustrated way of displaying boring facts and figures, MS Word 2010 graphics have always helped to grace professional Word documents. Charts help readers compare data and understand trends at a glance. But how to create ... Read more .
As you may have gathered from the discussion above, both Excel and Sheets have their advantages. Sheets' free price tag, the capabilities you get by being built for online use, and its emphasis on collaboration make it ideal for teams, the productive road warriors, the trail warriors - the essential gadgets, the warriors of the road:the essential gadgets. No major lifting is required when it comes to data processing.
Excel, on the other hand, will appeal to people who need the best when it comes to a powerful spreadsheet app. If you're working with hundreds of thousands of cells of data, you need world-class functions to perform complicated calculations, and you need to do it as quickly as possible. Excel is the way to go. Especially if you're working with other people who are Excel users.
For now, at least, Excel rules the professional world. However, Google Sheets is catching up. I have worked with two companies that use it to collaborate, make plans and track data. And students around the world certainly appreciate that it's free.
If you want to enjoy all the benefits of Google Sheets without having to use Google or pay for Excel, you can of course try Excel Online, which is free with Office Online Don't pay for Word! 5 reasons why you should use Office Online Don't pay for Word! 5 reasons why you should use Office Online Office Online is the free, cloud-connected version of Microsoft Office. The limitations are offset by features, useful even for desktop Office users. Best of all is your Read More and a Microsoft account. Similarly, Office Preview Excel Microsoft Office app launches into a new era with Touch First Apps and New Desktop Suite Microsoft Office launches into a new era with Touch First Apps and New Desktop Suite Office has been the gold standard for suites office for a long time. hour. Microsoft is working hard to keep it that way as it expands to new platforms and technology. Read More
In the end, it all comes down to your priorities.
What spreadsheet application do you use? What features do you find most advantageous? Share your thoughts below!