You all are aware of Google Sheets and Excel. Both are Excellent spreadsheet tools and both are going to develop more in the coming years.
In this article, we are going to talk about Excel vs Google Sheets comparison.
First, let me tell you why I have picked this topic?
Like me you might be having multiple questions like which one is better, are Google Sheets secure or not, what are the benefits of both spreadsheet tools, what are the major differences in both, and much more.
So, let’s have a look at the same.
Comparison Tools – Excel Vs Google Sheets
Here we have an easy-to-understand flowchart to compare Excel vs Google Sheets. You can easily understand the difference between Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets.
Source – spreadsheetpoint.com
Cost Of Microsoft Excel And Google Sheets
The cost of any tool is generally the primary and most important element. While making a selection between Excel and Google Sheets cost plays a major role.
If you are planning to use Microsoft Excel then you should know that there is a cost associated with it. Also, you can buy Microsoft 365 subscription or Excel as a standalone tool. However, in either case, you need to pay monthly or yearly for it.
Yes, Microsoft offers a free version of Excel now, but you are not going to get 100% features in it. However, if you can buy a yearly subscription of $70 or complete access by making a one-time payment of $140, then you can enjoy all the features in your Excel spreadsheet.
If we talk about Google Sheets, you will be surprised to know that it is 100% free to use.
So, if you are having a Google account then you can easily access Google Sheets.
And if you are not having a Google account, you can create one for free.
Google also offers paid G-Suite services, but the good thing is you can enjoy similar functionality in the free version also.
This is the main reason why various small companies & freelancers prefer Google Sheets over Excel.
So, Google Sheets can be used by small companies, teachers, students, and people who don’t want to pay for Microsoft Excel but want to enjoy similar features.
Conclusion – For cost criteria – Google Sheets is the winner.
Functionalities And Features
Microsoft Excel is a tool that needs to be downloaded on your system, so you can use comparatively more features than Sheets.
This is because Microsoft Excel relies on the processing power of your system and Google Sheets uses an internet connection and the server on Google to do the same things. This makes Google Sheets a bit slower as compared to Excel.
Conclusion – Microsoft Excel will have better functionality, however, Google Sheets will be comparatively slow and you may not be able to use many functionalities.
Also, Microsoft Excel is much older than Google Sheets, so you are going to find more feedback from its users.
Collaboration – Excel Vs Google Sheets
I agree that Google Sheets is a web-based tool and which is a major drawback of it, however, when it comes to collaboration, nothing can beat Google Sheets.
The level of collaboration you can do on Google Sheets is way ahead of Microsoft Excel.
We all know that Microsoft Excel is working hard in enabling collaboration and making it easy for its users, however, till now it is not as smooth as compared to Google Sheets.
Example – If you want to collaborate with a person using Excel then the files need to be saved on SharePoint or OneDrive.
On contrary, Collaboration in Google Sheets can be done effortlessly as multiple people can edit the same Google Sheets from different devices.
The best thing about Google Sheets is, the document in the sheet is saved in real-time, so there is no worry of losing data.
You can also get the same feature in Microsoft Excel, but only in new versions.
Conclusion – When it comes to Collaboration, Google Sheets is a clear winner.
Formulas – Excel Vs Google Sheets
Spreadsheets are nothing if you won’t do any calculation on them.
Now, the question is which is going to win the race when it comes to formulas.
Both the spreadsheet tools will give you wonderful performance in terms of formulas as both tools are made to do calculations.
Generally, Google Sheets holds more formulas in comparison to Microsoft Excel. The reason is, Google Sheets has various formulas that work with the web.
Example – Google Sheets has a special formula “IMAGE in Google Sheets” where you can directly insert an image in Google Sheets cell using a specific URL.
Video Source – YouTube
IF compared with Excel, Google Sheets has introduced various dynamic formulas like UNIQUE, FILTER, and SORT way before Excel.
Microsoft 365 users can also have access to these formulas, however, if you are using an older version of Excel, then you cannot experience these formulas.
But, if there is any update for Google Sheets, then everyone can enjoy that update as it is a web-based tool.
Excel is working hard to catch up in the area of formulas, and recently they have started coming up with formulas that do not exist in Google Sheets like LET, and LOOKUP.
Mouse And Keyboard Shortcuts
When it comes to keyboard shortcuts, Microsoft Excel is 100% the winner here. It is one of the areas where having a stand-alone application helps.
When you are using Google Sheets in the Google Chrome tab or in any other browser you can use keyboard shortcuts that are specific to Google Sheets only.
They cannot have any keyboard shortcuts which will conflict with your browser or any other web application that limits their options.
On the other hand, Excel does not have any issues.
Microsoft Excel also has various keyboard shortcuts which are quite useful and Google Sheets lacks it.
Example – There is no such shortcut in Google Sheets for pasting data as value or removing filters.
Google Sheets also allows various keyboard shortcuts which are available and they are also in Excel.
So, if you are planning to switch from Microsoft Excel to Google Sheets and you have a habit to use keyboard shortcuts, be ready to be frustrated.
Data Analysis – Excel Vs Google Sheets
To be very honest, Google Sheets are not made for data analysis.
Surely you will have a few hundred or thousand data points which you can work with Google Sheets, however, anything over and above that, you will be miserable.
When you will open a Google Sheets document, you will see that it only has 1000 rows to start with. And for adding more rows you need to do it manually.
This will make clear sense for the target audience who rely on Google Sheets only for recording basic transactions, project timelines, or many other things.
However, if you are using data that need thousands of rows, you should better switch to a better tool like Microsoft Excel.
Note – Microsoft Excel is made to handle big data.
You will get a similar inbuilt chart type in both Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel.
Google Sheets has more chart types line Timeline charts, Guage Charts, however, charts in Excel are easy to customize.
Along with this, both Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel have various interactive control options like checkboxes and dropdowns, which can be easily combined with charts to make powerful interactivity.
Conclusion – There is no such winner when it comes to charts in Google Sheets and Excel.
Automation – Excel Vs Google Sheets
In the area of automation, you will find a huge difference between Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets.
If we compare both, then VBA (Visual Basics for Applications) is much easier than Google Apps Script. Also, VBA is limited to only MS applications like PowerPoint, Word, and Excel.
So, if you are looking to automate your spreadsheet only using these applications, then VBA is the perfect option for you.
However, if you want to automate things, you need to interact with multiple other applications like web applications and databases, as here you will find VBA to be restrictive.
But you should keep in mind that Google Sheets is mostly used by freelancers, small businesses, students, and teachers. So, you cannot overly reliant on automation when compared to the population who used MS Excel.
Also, a lot of automation in Google Sheets is done with the help of third-party tools like Zapier.
Advanced Functionalities (Add-Ins)
Microsoft Excel is pushing hard on adding various new functionalities like Power BI, Power Pivot, and Power Query (Get & Transform).
With the help of these advanced functionalities, Microsoft Excel can extract a huge amount of data, clean it, transforms it, and then load it back to Microsoft Excel.
With the help of Power BI, you can connect it to various databases and can make advanced dashboards where users can host online. With the help of this MS Excel can compete with tools like Tableau.
Now, if we compare this with Google Sheets, then Google Sheets is not putting any effort in adding these advanced data analysis functionalities in a tool. It also makes sense as the target audience does not require it.
On the other hand, Google Sheets also support lots of third-party add-ins, however, they are not powerful as compared to MS Excel.
Conclusion – If you need strong add-ins and advanced functionalities, you should better go with MS Excel.
Updates – Excel Vs Google Sheets
If you want to know that how both spreadsheet tools release new functionalities and functions for their audience, here I have good information for you.
If you are using MS Excel 2016 or any previous version, the only way to jump on to the latest version is to upgrade to it, which simply means, that you need to pay for the latest version of Excel.
However, with the release of Excel 365, Microsoft has decided to walk on the footprints on Google Sheets.
Similar to Google Sheets, now Excel will also be releasing real-time updates. So, as soon as a new advanced function is released, users can experience it in the same version.
This process is extremely seamless in Google Sheets, and I am pretty much sure, it will be similar in MS Excel in the next few months.
However, if you are still using an older version of MS Excel, then unfortunately there is no way to get new functions until you pay for the latest Microsoft Excel 365.
Is Google Sheets Better Than Excel?
If you are looking for an answer for “Is Google Sheets better than Excel” then you should check out the below comparison table from where you can conclude yourself, which one is better.
|S.No.||Comparison Points||Excel||Google Sheets|
|1||Developed By||Microsoft Corporation||Google LLC|
|2||Launched as a pack of||MS Office||G Suite|
|4||Supporting Languages||91 Languages||Officially available in 83 languages|
|5||Large Data set||Excel is ideal for the large data set and such data set can be easily manipulated using Excel||With the increase in data size, it will slow down. Hence it is more suitable for small data sets.|
|6||Chatting facility||Not available||Available in the sidebar|
|7||Track Changes||Includes feature of track changes, but it needs to be enabled, else change in data can’t be tracked||Track changes are always enabled (By default). The best thing is, it is available on a real-time basis.|
|8||Online Offline usability||Can be used in offline mode only||Can be used in both offline and online mode only|
|9||Cell Quantum||Around 17 billion cells are available||Maximum 2 million cells are available|
|10||Number of functions||Supports around 400 functions in various categories||Supports limited functions|
|11||Usage in the computer at a given point in time||Can be used in a single computer at a given point in time, and after that, it needs to be shared with other users for further data editing||Can be used in multiple systems via the internet on a real-time basis|
|12||Cheap/Expensive||Very expensive as the entire MS Office package needs to be subscribed||It is free or cost is negligible|
|13||Linkage/Sink with external Data||Data needs to be imported from external sources like the internet or manually. Automatic linage based on functions is not available.||Works under the direct environment of Google. Can directly import data from Google by using functions.|
|14||Advanced||Advanced version of spreadsheet with best data storage capacity and analytics tools.||Not advanced and has limited functionality and is still in the developing stage.|
In this article, I have tried to compare Excel vs Google Sheets. I have focused on the things which matter to the users.
So, if you are searching for a good enough tool then you should start with Google Sheets as it is going to give you the best experience with advanced functionalities.
However, if you are in a position to invest a few bucks to avail more data analysis and powerful functionalities, you should go for Microsoft 365.
Kindly note, I have written this article based on my experience. I do not claim to know all the things about both spreadsheet tools, as every day I am learning new things about Excel vs Google Sheets.