The Differences Between Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel

The function of spreadsheets is to make businesses’ processes run smoothly with little effort from the user.

Many businesses have relied on Microsoft Excel as their go-to application for spreadsheets. Though it’s not intuitive, it was, for a time, the best the market offered. However, Google’s innovative spreadsheet software gives companies an option when it comes to figuring out budgets, client contacts, and more.

Switching to Google Sheets gives you access to a whole family of innovative software and features that you can’t find anywhere else.


Sleek Functionality

Like all its applications and products, Google offers impeccable design. Google Sheets is no exception, providing an easy interface that doesn’t sacrifice features.

Google Sheets is simpler to use for beginners, keeping the most frequently used options and functions close at hand. Excel reveals many possible selections; such information can actually be confusing to a new user – particularly if they’re using only the basic functionality of the spreadsheets.

You can see much more of your information when you’re using Sheets, too. On default settings, the first 21 rows are fully visible when using the Google version of the software. There are only 18 rows, however, on the Excel interface. Being able to see more of your work is crucial when dealing with large amounts of information.


The Benefits of Born-in-the-Cloud Technology

There are collaboration options for the online version of Excel, but they’re standard in Google Sheets. With Google, you can add collaborators, track live changes, reply to or add comments, and chat within the spreadsheet in real-time, which is not an option in Excel.

You can also share and control your files with a greater degree of flexibly with Google Apps for Work. Excel Online allows you to email copies as attachments, share links in email or chats, and publish on the web. You can also share directly in Sheets, insert the complete file in an email, and publish it online using Google Sites.

Once your content is shared to your collaborators, Sheets provides double the permissions options as well. Both platforms allow recipients to either view or edit, but Google’s option also gives users the opportunity to comment and receive full ownership. Having extra choices is especially advantageous when you’re working with large groups of people and giving them separate jobs.

Because data can be breached so easily, keeping your content safe is crucial. Google Sheets offers more protection for your valuable data, in addition to disabling download, copy, printing, and sharing functions.

Being able to select specific levels of visibility ensures the people who need to see your document will – without the intrusion of anyone else. Desktop Excel provides no control over visibility, and the online version offers only three selections. Any time you use Google Sheets, you have the following five ways to collaborate:

  • Anyone with the link

  • Specific people or Google groups

  • Public on the web (content is searchable)

  • Anyone in your domain with the link

  • Anyone in your domain

Version control is vital when you have teams working on the same project. Excel, when used on your desktop, can only rename or replace different editions of a document. It’s wildly inconvenient, but it can also lead to confusion, overlaps, and missing information entirely.

Sheets always shows a chronological history for each document. You can also see who made which changes to get the best picture of the workload.


How Sheets Does More

Google has redefined the way spreadsheet software works, in many ways. In addition to these built-in features for streamlined performance, this program has the power and intelligence to do more, and with a more intuitive interface.

Polls and surveys, for example, show you responses from your team in real-time. When you use Google Forms to create them, you can create a Sheet for immediate responses. You’ll also easily be able to filter responses, just like any other data you use in the application.

If you make the switch to Google Apps for Work, you’ll never have to pay the hefty price for Microsoft software or subscriptions again. Google has unbeatable cross-compatibility for all of its document services, from Docs to Slides and beyond. In addition to saving you money, a switch to Google shaves downtime, too. When all your apps are online and at your fingertips, you’ll spend less time moving back and forth between software applications and Windows.


Top Tips for Using Sheets

There are all sorts of incredible ways to use the Apps for Work, but some tips are handier than others are. Some of the most useful hints include:

  • Inserting images. Using the formula “=image(“url”)” places pictures right into your Sheets. You can also scale the image to fit the Sheet, stretch it to fill it, show in its original size, and show in a custom size.

  • Using templates. Google offers a wide array of premade pages, ready for you to fill. They cut downtime for your work, making effective finished pages in a snap. Create New > From Template, and you’ve got the blueprint at hand.

  • Using conditional formatting. Color coding cells is super useful and makes it easier to read while working and after it’s finished. All you need to do is select a cell or group of cells, click the arrow to the right of the header, and then “Conditional Formatting.” From there, simply insert your rules and save them.

  • Inserting Sheets into Docs. Instead of having to create new graphs, use Charts to drop Sheets data in. It will load and place the data instantly through Charts > Load Data > Insert.  


With the power and functionality of the Google Apps for Work, it’s easy to see why more people than ever are making the switch.
Sheets offers more features and tools than Word, but without the high operating costs of the Microsoft suite. When you’re ready to improve performance, take the dive and work with Google.