Microsoft Excel, a part of Microsoft Office suite, has won the trust of countless users around the world. If your job involves number crunching then chances are that you are already using Microsoft Excel or at least you have heard about Microsoft Excel. Just like other tools, you first need to learn the basics of Excel in order to use it.
There is no doubt that Microsoft Excel is a great tool and those who have mastered it can do almost anything in it such as creating charts, generating reports etc. But, there are also some problems which people face while using Microsoft Excel.
This is why people start looking for tools other than Microsoft Excel. Some of you may think that Microsoft Excel is the only tool of its kind which is not true. There are other worksheet creation tools and some of them offer better and improved features than Microsoft Excel.
If you are looking for best Microsoft Word alternatives, try these apps and software to create your documents online or offline easily and quickly.
Now we will tell you about the tools which you can use instead of Microsoft Excel. There are different kinds of tools, some of them are free and others are paid. We will tell you about the features of these tools making it easy for you to decide which tool you want to use. Let’s start.
Related Article: Learn how to open your Microsoft Office documents online
Similar Apps and Software Like Microsoft Excel
Presenting the most popular alternatives to Microsoft Excel you can use online and offline to create your spreadsheets and presentations
1. Google Sheets
Google Sheets tops our list. It is a free tool. It is the best tool to create, edit and save spreadsheets online. If you use Google Sheets you will find that most of its features are the same as in Microsoft Excel. Remember, Google Sheets is a browser-based tool. Microsoft Excel has some collaboration issues but that is not the case with Google Sheets. You and your colleagues can work on Google Sheet at the same time and there will be no issues.
We recommend Google Sheets because your data will be saved and synced in real time thanks to its great sync features. One more thing Google Sheets also offer cloud storage. As stated above, it is a web-based tool so whatever you do it will be saved in Google Drive. You should know that files stored in Google Drive are accessible from anywhere through any device. There is a way to enhance the functionality of Google Sheets. For this purpose, you will be using ‘Google scripts’. You can do different things using ‘Google scripts’ such as customizing the menu, adding extra sidebars etc. Last but not the least you can also edit Excel files using Google Sheets but you can do so using Chrome extension.
Popular Article: If you want to view your Docs online then read this step by step guide and tools to open your documents online.
2. Microsoft Office Online (Excel)
As we said above that Microsoft Excel comes as a part of Microsoft Office suite so you don’t have to pay for it separately. But have you heard about Microsoft Office Online? As the name suggests, it is just like Microsoft Office but you can also access it online anywhere and anytime. Microsoft Office Online also has Excel and most of the features are the same as the desktop app We included Microsoft Office Online on our list just to let you know that there is a way you can use Microsoft Office (and Excel) for free.
It is an online tool, so your work will be saved to Microsoft’s OneDrive. You must have a stable Internet connection to use Microsoft Office Online (Excel). There is no way you can use it without an Internet connection. It is a web-based tool so be patient when loading huge data. Microsoft Office Online is available for Windows, Linux, Android and Mac OS X.
3. Zoho Sheets
Next alternative to Microsoft Excel is Zoho Sheets. Some of you may already have used Zoho Sheet because it has established itself as a reliable spreadsheet creating tool. Excel has more features than Zoho but it has some really good features.
There is a free version of Zoho Sheets available which you can use. You can work on Zoho sheets as long as you want to and your work will be saved to their cloud storage. If you find Zoho Sheets useful then you can go ahead and pay for the paid version which offers extra security and collaboration features. You can also buy storage. You will have to pay $5 and $8 per month to get 50GB and 100GB of storage. Zoho Sheet is compatible with Android, Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
Smartsheet has some amazing features. We have seen that most of the spreadsheet creating tools copy the interface of Excel but that is not the case with Smartsheet. It has its own Interface and when you first use it you feel like using a completely different tool. Those who have been using Excel for years will surely take some time to get used to with Smartsheet.
In the beginning, you may find it difficult to use Smartsheet but there are video tutorials available which you will find very helpful. Smartsheet is a paid tool but they also offer a free trial. So go for the free trial and see if Smartsheet has those features you are looking for. Smartsheet has many features some of which are scheduling, file attachment etc. Currently, there are three Smartsheet plans which are Basic, Team Plan and Customized Plan and these plans will cost you $16/mo, 50/mo and 270/mo respectively.
Those who use Apple products may already be familiar with Numbers. Apple developed Numbers for its own devices. Google Sheets looks very much like Excel but Numbers is different from both Excel and Google Sheets. We think about rows and columns when we think about a spreadsheet creating tool but that is not the case with Numbers.
Apple’s Numbers offers multiple templates allowing you to choose one of them. Creating tables and charts in Numbers is different from doing the same in Excel. You will love the collaboration features of Numbers. It allows up to twenty people work on the document at the same time. It is a seamless process and you will not face any kind of collaboration issues. If you are new to ‘Numbers’ you can quickly learn how to use the tool. It is a free tool and only available for iOS and Mac OS X.
6. Apache OpenOffice Calc
The name ‘Apache OpenOffice Calc’ suggests that it is open source software. And the good thing about it is that it is free. Basically, it is just like Microsoft Office Suite of which Excel is a part. OpenOffice Calc is a part of full office suite It is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS.
You will love using OpenOffice Calc. It has countless statistical and scientific functions. You can include tables as well as charts. There were some issues in the tools and users used to find it difficult but now OpenOffice Calc is a perfect and you can use it without any hesitation. Currently, more than one hundred thousand people use Apache OpenOffice Calc per day. The tool was first released in 2012 and currently, it is available in more than thirty-five languages.
Some people say that LibreOffice is just like Apache OpenOffice. It is an open source office suite and it is available for free. Basically, they say so because both are based on same source code. LibreOffice has a lot to offer. When you first look at the LibreOffice interface you think of older versions of MS Office. But LibreOffice has some really cool features which you will love.
As we said above that it is a complete office suite just like MS Office. So, MS Office has Excel and LibreOffice has Calc. LibreOffice is available for Windows, Linux, and Android. Remember that LibreOffice is free software and you can download it for free. Currently, LibreOffice is available in more than one hundred languages. It is free but has some really amazing features.
We have included many free and open source tools in our list because a majority of users looks for a free and open source tool. Gnumeric is also free and open source. The name of the tool gives you some idea about the type of things it can do. Gnumeric is a perfect app for handling numeric data.
Gnumeric is a very light program and you can use it on your PC. Excel is a very good tool but the problem with Excel is that it stars lagging when there are thousands of entries to process. But if you are using Gnumeric, you will not have to face this issue because Gnumeric is faster and better than Excel. If you are in a kind of work in which you use Excel then you should give Gnumeric a try. A few years back, people used only Microsoft Office suite. Now we have plenty of options to choose from. Gnumeric can open the older versions of MS Office documents which we don’t use anymore.
9. Plan Maker
Plan Maker is not a free tool but it will cost you much less than Excel. It is a part of Soft Maker Office which is a complete office suite. Soft Maker advertises Plan Maker as fast, powerful and compatible. Plan Maker is also compatible with Excel file formats lie .xls and .xlsx. Currently, Plan Maker is not as good as Excel but it is expected that in near future it will be.
You will be surprised to know that Plan Maker has around one million rows per worksheet. Plan Maker is easy to use because it has the same interface as Excel. As we said above that Plan Maker is a paid tool but they also offer a free trial. It is a one-month free trial. If you cannot decide then you should go for the one-month free trial. Currently, there are two versions of Plan Maker available Standard and Professional which will cost you €70 and €90 respectively. Plan Maker is compatible with Android, Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
10. WPS Office Suite
Last but not the least is WPS Office Suite which is a tool like Microsoft Excel. It is available for Windows, Android, Linux, and iOS. WPS Office Suite is a complete office suite which contains Writer, Spreadsheets, and Presentation. It also has a built-in PDF reader so you don’t have to install a PDF reader separately.
You can use WPS Office Suite on almost all the versions of Windows such as Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7/8/10. There are countless free templates which you will find very helpful in creating spreadsheets. Using templates will save a lot of your time. You can select the template you want to use from the Docer library. Switching between documents is also easy and you can switch between documents by pressing Ctrl+Tab.
It is a free tool and available for Android, iOS, and Linux.
Now you know about the tools you can use if you don’t want to use Microsoft Excel for some reasons. Above, we gave you a brief introduction of about 10 spreadsheet creating tools and some of them are free. If you think it is a time to try something new then go ahead. Please don’t forget to share your views about Microsoft Excel alternative apps and software in the comments.