Google sheets is an online spreadsheets app that (mostly) mimics the functionality of Microsoft Excel. The app is completely free of charge. You only need a Google account, a web browser (Chrome is highly recommended) and an Internet connection. Even without an Internet connection, you save your spreadsheets offline if you already have the app loaded on your device. Among the many benefits of using Sheets (and all Google Docs apps) is that you get a plentiful amount of free cloud storage. Also, you can share spreadsheets over the Internet, allowing others to view and/or edit files. You can even let multiple users collaborate on a file in real time.
- Lets anyone create and edit spreadsheets directly in a web browser
- Lets users save spreadsheets offline if there is no Internet connection
- Let people share spreadsheets on the Internet, where others can view and/or edit them
- Lets multiple users edit a spreadsheet over the Internet at the same time
- Completely free to use
- Access to it is included with every Google Account
- Has all basic spreadsheet functionality
- Has excellent collaboration tools
- Comes with lots of free cloud storage
- Lacks the type of advanced functions found in Excel
- Lacks Excel's macro capabilities
- Offline editing is a bit of a pain and is limited to the Chrome browser
There is little not to like about Google Sheets. Those familiar with working with Excel will be up and running in seconds with this web app. It mimics all the basic functionality of Excel, and does all this for free. Even the file storage is free. It now also lets you work offline as well, and you can further save files to a device that can afterward be edited in both Excel and similar types of programs. Where Sheets really shines is in its sharing features. You can either keep a spreadsheet private or you can give access to it to either a select group of people or to the entire Internet. You can further restrict a file for reading only or let others edit the file. You can even let multiple people edit the same file at the same time, creating possibilities that would be unimaginable with Excel. This does not mean that Sheets is perfect. Offline editing is somewhat difficult to set up and use, and it is limited to those using a Chrome web browser. Also, much like Microsoft's online version of Excel, Sheets' functionality is somewhat limited. It does not have the type of advanced functions or macro capabilities that come with a native application such as Excel. This means that it is not appropriate for financial modeling and similar types of uses. But for normal spreadsheet use it really excels.