Picture: BrianAJackson, Getty Photos/iStockphoto

Spreadsheets are a part of the fashionable enterprise world, and which means sometime you are going to have to take a look at one. The sorts of options you want out of your spreadsheet software can differ, although, with many customers by no means coming near needing the sturdy options of Microsoft Workplace’s Excel.

For these of us who aren’t accountants crunching numbers day-after-day, Microsoft Workplace, which incorporates Excel, might be prohibitively costly. You are paying not less than $5 per 30 days for one enterprise license, paid in full for a yr up entrance, $6.99 a month for dwelling use, or $149.99 for an Workplace Residence and Pupil 2019 license.

If you do not have that form of cash, or do not want all of Excel’s options, or just need to save money, there are many viable options to Microsoft Excel which might be obtainable within the cloud and put in in your pc. Better of all, these options to Excel are free.

Google Sheets


Google Sheets
Picture: Google

Google Sheets is Google’s cloud-based reply to Microsoft Excel, and it is able to doing the overwhelming majority of what the typical Excel consumer wants. It is also hosted within the cloud and runs in an online browser, so it is platform impartial and might be run on Home windows, macOS, and Linux programs.

You by no means have to fret about shedding a single calculation, either–Google Sheets saves all the things in Google Drive, making a crashed pc of no concern to your essential information. As with Google’s different workplace instruments, Sheets options real-time collaboration that enables a number of customers to edit a doc on the identical time. Customers can see the cursor place of different folks within the doc, see what they’re doing as they’re doing it, and chat proper within the doc window.

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Superior options that some Excel customers want are lacking, although, so when you’re an Excel energy consumer, it is a good suggestion to search out out if the options you want can be found earlier than migrating. There have additionally been reported problems with formulation in Excel spreadsheets breaking after they’re uploaded to Google Sheets, so remember that you might run into points transferring .xls or .xlsx recordsdata out of your pc to Sheets. On the plus facet, scripting continues to be obtainable in Google Sheets, although it is JavaScript based mostly and never Visible Primary for Purposes.


Microsoft Workplace Excel On-line


Microsoft Workplace Excel On-line

To not be outdone by Google, Microsoft has created its personal on-line model of Workplace, which features a stripped-down model of Excel that’s nearer to Google Sheets than to the desktop model of Excel. It is to not say that Excel On-line is unusable or not price your time–it’s undoubtedly extra like Excel than Google Sheets, so when you favor a well-recognized interface, chances are you’ll need to go for Excel On-line as a substitute of going the Google route.

Recommending Excel On-line to the typical Excel consumer is fine–it does all of the fundamentals of the desktop model whereas including computerized cloud saving in OneDrive, and it has real-time collaboration instruments that Workplace 365 and Workplace 2019 lack. Excel energy customers could need to keep away from Excel On-line. A lot of the options Excel energy customers depend on are gone, restricted, or read-only–there’s no VBA scripting, no creating exterior information connections, no discover and substitute, and no superior charting options. All of these capabilities exist in Excel On-line, however they’re read-only.

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Apache OpenOffice Calc


Apache OpenOffice Calc
Picture: Apache

After I discuss to Home windows customers who hate the look of Microsoft Workplace’s post-2007 interface, I all the time suggest Apache OpenOffice. Calc, OpenOffice’s Excel different, does a great job of feeling and looking identical to Workplace 2003, which is nice when you’d favor a time earlier than the Workplace ribbon.

Previous to the arrival of the cloud and the dominance of Google’s on-line workplace instruments, OpenOffice reigned supreme amongst these in search of a free Microsoft Workplace different. There may be one main disadvantage to OpenOffice, which is a matter with different free platforms: A scarcity of cloud help. There is no native cloud connection or real-time collaboration for Calc, so if that is a deal-breaker, chances are you’ll need to keep away from this one.


LibreOffice Calc


LibreOffice Calc
Picture: The Doc Basis

Like OpenOffice, LibreOffice is a free workplace suite that features its personal Excel different, additionally referred to as Calc. It runs into the identical restrictions as OpenOffice in that LibreOffice Calc lacks cloud help and real-time collaboration. What LibreOffice does have is a surprisingly sturdy listing of options, a lot of which are not current in Excel.

LibreOffice has extra capabilities than Excel, can examine two separate spreadsheet recordsdata, has extra cell formatting choices, and it will possibly even deal with imports of legacy spreadsheets from retired functions (Microsoft Works, Lotus 1-2-3, BeagleWorks, Claris Resolve, and so forth.) previously obtainable on Home windows and macOS. There are additionally good causes to skip LibreOffice, which embrace: It has restricted macro recording talents, it will possibly’t deal with outdoors information sources, it lacks the power to show many superior kinds of charts, and it will possibly’t export paperwork as generic XML. So, earlier than making an attempt LibreOffice, learn the options listing to make certain your necessities are included.

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The Doc Basis

WPS Workplace Spreadsheets


WPS Workplace Spreadsheets
Picture: WPS Workplace Software program

On the subject of sturdy options which might be a real competitors for Excel, WPS Workplace Spreadsheets can’t be beat and with good purpose: It is the one freemium product on this listing. WPS Workplace is definitely a paid product, nevertheless it does include a fully-featured free model with one catch–it’s advert supported.

Do not let that flip you off from giving WPS Spreadsheets a try–the advertisements are fast (typically lasting about 10 seconds), and solely pop up if you attempt to print, save to PDF, or use a few of its different extra particular instruments; when you watch an advert, that characteristic is unlocked for half-hour. In case you resolve you need to eliminate the advertisements in WPS Workplace, you have to pay $29.99 a yr, or $119.99 for a lifetime license. 

WPS Workplace Software program

Editor’s observe: This text was up to date to incorporate the most recent details about these Excel options.

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