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.

The Differences between Google Docs and Microsoft Word

Current best business practices across the globe are using the reliability of document sharing. Digital files have essentially replaced paper versions of documents in most aspects of business and our personal lives.

Having said that, people may be under the impression that their Microsoft Word software still gives them the most benefits when it comes to sharing documents. Let’s explore a few differences between these two tools.

Layout and Design

The best thing about any document-sharing software is that it’s understandable and easy to use. The sleek and minimized design of Google Docs offers a fantastic environment for productivity, as well as all the tools you need to create a beautiful and functional document.

Google has invested hundreds of millions, if not billions, into material design to ensure all of their products have the same characteristic simplicity.

The clickable editing feature is one of the most efficient things about Google Docs. You can select any aspect of the document, whether it is the header or title, and change it without creating formatting issues.

You can do this even when naming your document. For a new document, just a click on Untitled Document lets you name the document without navigating through the toolbars.

The one less option in the toolbar than you’ll find in Word, but the selections are much simpler. By cutting down on unnecessary features and clutter, the bar is inherently easier to navigate and more familiar for most people. Each word produces a drop-down menu with all the selections you need. From left to right you’ll see:

  • File
  • Edit
  • View
  • Insert
  • Format
  • Tools
  • Table
  • Add-ons
  • Help

Word 2013, on the other hand, offers File, Home, Insert, Design, Page Layout, References, Mailings, Review, View, and Acrobat.

Selecting a new tab changes all the options in the toolbar, which can quickly become confusing. Google Docs works with you, instead of against you, by putting the most commonly used formats and features on a separate toolbar.

That means you’ll spend less time clicking through menus and more time creating your documents.  

Another benefit of Google Docs is the Research Tool. It will help you find the information you need for your document– including content, maps, pictures, and other media. Just one click can automatically format and insert a citation into the document.

As a matter of fact, with Google Docs, you can choose the appropriate style (Chicago, American Psychiatric Association, or the Modern Language Association) and it will insert the citation appropriately for that style. This is a considerable time-saver over the References tool available in Microsoft Word.

Features that Work

Even the prettiest software is only as good as its functionality.

Google Docs offer many unique features and benefits, from Document Sharing options to Version Control. Real-time collaboration, for example, offers many more options than the standard download version of Microsoft Word, which provides no live collaboration at all.

Working with others through Google Docs allows you to:

  • Add collaborators. Pull in members from your team at any stage; you’ll always have the people you need to get a document finished.
  • See changes as they occur. Watch what edits the others are making, as they make them. Always know who is responsible for which contributions throughout the project.
  • Add and reply to comments. Leave notes and ask questions that your team can respond to later.
  • Chat within the document in real-time. If it’s not enough to add a comment, you can communicate live with your collaborators. The built-in messaging means you can always reach out to anyone else who is working on the document.
  • Suggest edits. These suggestions can be attached to specific portions of text so others always know exactly what needs to be updated.

Using Google Docs also offers more ways to share content. You’re always able to email attachments with the desktop version of Word, but that’s it.

Google’s application gives you the freedom to email documents as attachments or insert them into emails entirely.

You can also share links in email or chat, publish to the web, send directly through Docs, and embed in Google Sites. Your content will always be available to your team.

Once you’ve shared your document with collaborators, you can also give them specific access levels. There are no sharing options in desktop Word, although Word Online offers viewing and editing. Google Docs has four separate permissions: can view, can edit, can comment, and is owner, which transfers complete ownership of the file in question.

A big plus is that you can also set their access to expire after x amount of days.

Docs that Do More

Another great feature of the Google Docs and Google Drive is that it allows you to edit any Microsoft Office document without purchasing expensive software or subscriptions.

You can work through spreadsheets, slideshows, and regular Word files in seconds.

You’re also able to create new content in these forms, because of the cross-compatibility that’s included in the applications. Clicking the menu from Google Doc’s Home shows the options for Sheets and Slides as well. You’ll save time when you don’t have to wait for separate programs to load. And, as an added bonus, you can transfer your files to Google Drive to keep them safe.

Tips for Google Docs

If you have a document that you need to translate, Google Docs makes it simpler than ever. Changing your file to a new language is literally just a click away. This element is crucial to any global business.

If you need to do some digging, don’t waste time filtering through internet results, especially if you’re going to be citing sources. The Research tool allows you to examine filtered results, such as images and quotes, quickly. You can also search with a “Scholarly” filter to only see scholarly sites and always have the most trustworthy and prevalent information.


Microsoft Word has been a technological game-changer, but its time is over. With smooth design, intelligent advancements, and increased user-experience, Google Docs is a beautiful and powerful tool. The flexibility that it offers is important for personal and business use.

7 Quick Google Docs Tricks

When using a tool like Google Docs, no matter how long you’ve used it, there’s always something you’ve not yet discovered, or there’s always new features being released and improved.

Of course with such an innovative company like Google, there are so many fun easter eggs in everything they develop. There are some popular ones, like the konami cheat code in both Docs and Hangouts.

And there are actual shortcuts and productivity hacks to Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, Chrome, and the like.

Which is what this article is about.

I wanted to share 7 super quick things I find really helpful in Google Docs. You may know some of them, but I hope one or two are new to you!

  1. Paint Format
    With the Paint Format button on the left side of your toolbar in Docs, you can copy the format from one block of text to another. It’s especially useful when you create a custom header style and you want to quickly apply it to other headings.
  2. Publish online
    You can publish a document online so it’s easily accessible for anyone. Your servers won’t have to host the document, and it will give you a shareable URL to the new doc online. In a document, go to File > Publish to the Web.
  3. Searching for Docs in Chrome
    You can search your Google Drive files directly from the Chrome address bar. In Chrome, Go to Settings > Manage search engines and set the default to Google Drive. It’s useful if you’re a heavy Google Docs user.
  4. Link Between Google Docs
    When you highlight a word or phrase and right click to insert a link, you’ll see a list of suggested URLs based on what you’re highlighting. The cool part is that it will also suggest any documents in your Drive that use that word or phrase in case you want to link between documents.
  5. Working offline
    Traveling somewhere without wifi access? Here are the steps to take to work offline with Google Apps. Most people know that it can be done, but most don’t know how to do it.
  6. Edit Images
    You don’t need a graphic designer to edit an image’s transparency, brightness, contrast, or to crop it. You can do it in Google Docs. Select the image and double click (or go to “image options” in the toolbar). You can edit the image with the functions in the sidebar.
  7. Clear formatting
    If you ever paste text from a different document, chances are that you’ve had to reformat it. To quickly dismiss this nasty formatting, highlight the text, select “Format” in the menu bar and click “Clear formatting.” You could also highlight the text and use the keyboard shortcut, Command + \.

Do you have a favorite shortcut or trick to Google Docs? We’d love to hear it, comment below!