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Google Spreadsheets – Now better than Excel December 7, 2006

Posted by sk in Computers & Internet, Google, Microsoft, Technology and Software.

Yesterday a friend of mine suddenly pinged me and asked me if I had taken a look at Google Spreadsheets lately. I said I had looked at it once earlier but wasn’t really impressed. So this friend asked me to take a look at it again. She said it had everything that is present in Excel. I grudgingly decided to take a look at it. Grudgingly because I’m not the biggest fan of Google’s products. Yes, the search engine is awesome and I use it exclusively. No, I don’t like GMail. I use it for these useless websites that ask you to give out your e-mail address to register and then send you spam mails everyday. GTalk? It’s okay. Not a big fan of that either. Anyway, you already knew this, right?

I checked out Google Spreadsheets again last night and I must say I was very very impressed. It features the Excel type user interface with some added functionality. It has all the functions that one would normally use – math, statistical, financial, etc. So what if it doesn’t do charts (this could be because I used IE instead of FF? Maybe Microsoft intentionally kills some of the features?)? That’s so 19th century? So what if it doesn’t have the equivalent of VBA? Who uses that anyway? An interesting feature that’s absent in Excel is collaboration. You can collaborate with others while working on the spreadsheet. There’s also a chat window for sending love notes. I collaborated with my friend and created a new spreadsheet with three columns . Yaaaay!! I was able to save it to my computer as a pdf file. This too is something that’s missing in Excel 2003 without third party addons. This person suggested an easy method to convert Excel files to pdf format – create your file in  Excel, copy and paste the data to Google Spreadsheets, and save as pdf – simple, see? So, on the whole, it was a great experience using Google Spreadsheets and as an Engineer I definitely found it to be more useful than Microsoft Excel. But that got me thinking – why do people within Google use Microsoft Excel? Anyone?



1. parmanu - December 8, 2006

I still find Google spreadsheet bit clumsy, though I love the idea of online office (which I agrued for like hell in past and i still maintain my stand..)..Its easier than refreshing my flash drive everytime..

problem with google spreadhset (which i find and may be its because i didnt use it right)
1)No dragging of formulas like excel over a row or column. Its surprising that they dont have that feature. without which even excel wouldnt have been as popular as it is…or may be they do and i didnt find it..

2) Not compatible with excel or word table. This is really stupid. I had to copy a table from word so that it fits right into spreadhseet, it didnt. Instead entire table was in one cell..
same thing worked much better in open office calc…

2. ashcbit - December 8, 2006

After reading what parmanu had written about dragging of formulas, I tried it out myself. That totally sucks, like you said, most of the ppl use dragging in excel and thats what it makes it so popular. However, there is a work around. Write the formula in the first column. Select the number of columns where you want that formula and copy that formula in those columns…I know its not the nicest way to do, however, it works.

3. planetsk - December 8, 2006

I haven’t used Google spreadsheets yet…actually, I didnt find the requirement.. The features I’ve been using recently in Excel are VBA Macros….they make complicated and annoying things simpler. I dont know how many of you use them..but macros made my life easier.. btw, i used google forms to crack a few problems in VBA Macros.

4. sk - December 9, 2006

VBA Macros are amazing. That’s actually the reason they use Excel at Google too. This person (mentioned in the article) actually thought that it was because Google, being the do-gooder company that it is, wanted to help Microsoft make some money. By the way, one Google application that I’m starting to really like is Google Maps.

5. Cotton - December 10, 2006


You are so soo smart!! Your intelligence is radiating all the way to my blog 🙂 Take a look- my blog is shining with all your sparky-ness!

6. sk - December 13, 2006

Cotton, are you all right?

7. Cotton - December 14, 2006

Not quite..why do you think that I am still visiting this blog?! 😉 Just kidding!

I just noticed that cricket written in hindi in your categories as I type this- cool job!

8. aaron - August 18, 2008

how about selective filtering…great feature in Excel 2007. Makes sorting data way easier by setting multiple points within a column to filter on.

9. WakHibraikirm - December 1, 2008

Уважаемый юморист

10. Kivan - September 15, 2010

I must disagree on VBA. It took me about 30 hours to learn VBA and code a couple dozen formulas and macro I needed for my job and it saved me around 175 hours in the first year alone. I am a fan of Google Search\Gmail\Earth\Docs\Calendar\Sync\Code etc. etc. etc; but i still use Ms Excel a lot because of VBA.

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