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What can't I do with Google Spreadsheet that I can do with Microsoft Excel?

Sheldon Reynolds's Profile

Excel vs Google Spreadsheet

Obviously the more advanced tools (like pivot tables and macros) are Excel only, but for basic spreadsheets, is Google on par with Excel?


Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

There are a whole host of add-on's (include Pivot Table) available (under Tools & Script Gallery).

Take a look and I guess try them to see if they a) work, b) work as you want them too.

Sarah Jackson
Title: Associate Editor
Company: Proformative
(Associate Editor, Proformative) |

This conversation has a lot of great insight into some of the differences:

Proformative also offers 400+ online business courses with free CPE, many on Excel.

Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

In my opinion no; however your needs are really what's important here.

Jason Chroman
Title: Finance Director
Company: Streetline, Inc.
(Finance Director, Streetline, Inc.) |

What are you trying to accomplish?
One of the best reasons to use Google is if you need to share a workbook with other so that you can all edit the document at he same time.
As Wayne points out, Google also has a range of scripts, graph types, web functions, and other doodads that Excel doesn't.
That said, you should also check out Microsoft's Excel Web App, on their / skydrive / 365 platform. I tend to prefer it to Google Spreadsheets, but again, it depends on what you are trying to achieve.

John Stanhaus
Title: President
Company: GRN Edgewater
LinkedIn Profile
(President, GRN Edgewater) |

I suggest that it is a question of value and effectiveness. I started using the full suite of Google programs about three years ago, and generally find that they can do everything I need them to do, and after a little bit of experience are easier to learn than some of the newer versions of the Microsoft products.

In an office environment, especially one which is new, or doesn't have a large installed base and institutional knowledge base on the Microsoft products, going with the Google suite of products might make the most sense, especially given the cloud based sharing mentioned above.

That being said, I still have at least one copy of Excel which I use for more complicated projects, because in my case, I have more experience with it, and I don't see the value in learning a new "language" especially since once a program is developed, I can generally convert it to Google Spreadsheet anyway, once it is "in production".

Topic Expert
Edward Abbati
Title: Vice President of Finance
Company: Location Labs
LinkedIn Profile
(Vice President of Finance, Location Labs) |

I would not recommend Google program since they are years behind in the functionality you need to develop models and share them. In all honesty, don't even waste your time.

Wray Rives
Company: Rives CPA PLLC

I find that in most cases these days a Google spreadsheet will do what an Excel spreadsheet will do. Google has made significant improvements in the past year or so in their app. I think is is actually better for collaboration than Excel. If I do anything out of the ordinary I still tend to go to Excel, but I think has more to do with 20+ years history using it. I am old enough to remember having to force myself to switch and use Excel, because Lotus 123 was so comfortable., but I could also see back then that Excel was the product of the future. I think Google is the product of the future today.

Chris Holtzer
Title: Senior Manager - Strategic Analysis
Company: Sargento
(Senior Manager - Strategic Analysis, Sargento) |

Google is a good tool depending on your Excel expertise.

Whenever I am asked to score myself 1-10 on excel proficiency (common question in interviews these days), I say that I am a 7-8, but will run circles around most folks who think they are 10's. In my last 3 companies I have worked for I have been the go-to guy for Excel questions, and one of them was an IT company.

The more you learn about Excel, the more you realize you don't know! Once you have become proficient in macros, lookups, embedded if's, etc., you can start to really unlock the power that is there. Excel also interfaces so well with so many other software options.

Google is a good interim for collaboration, but most documents need to start in Excel first.

Fletcher Riehl
Title: Owner
Company: Consulting COO
LinkedIn Profile
(Owner, Consulting COO) |

Oh man, where do I begin. Formatting, shortcuts, version control, macros, user experience.

That said, I use Google Docs to quickly share ideas. Never for formal presentations or even big decisions. Better to have something that looks good and functions.

(Controller) |

You can't access it if you're not connected to the internet or lost someone else's permission to access it (if it's not your document) and haven't already downloaded it.

Tansika Malar
Title: Programmer
Company: Hiox Softwares Pvt Ltd
(Programmer, Hiox Softwares Pvt Ltd) |

The main advantage of excel compared to Google Spreadsheeta is it is highly secure. The data which we enter into the excel sheet is completely secure with us.

The another important advantage is you can use it offline, there is no need of internet connection and there will be no interruption in our work due to network issues.

The options in Microsoft excel is good for all the users from beginners to experts.

The manipulation and loading speed will be fast if you have more data in the sheet.

Topic Expert
Edward Abbati
Title: Vice President of Finance
Company: Location Labs
LinkedIn Profile
(Vice President of Finance, Location Labs) |

I agree with those above. Google is very challenging at times even when you do have a good connection. Also, moving a file from Google to Excel can be problematic.

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