Google Sheets is the new Google Spreadsheets software. Google Sheets is available on all your devices and has all the features you come to expect from spreadsheet software. Sheets also allows you to collaborate with others in real time.
Last updated November 9, 2015. Please visit the official site for the most up-to-date information.
Before we had spreadsheet software, people spent hours calculating their personal budget or their company’s future earnings. If they wanted to change a single number, they’d better have a big eraser. This, of course, was extremely manual and error prone. In 1979, the first spreadsheet software was born. Then came Microsoft Excel, which became the gold standard in business tools. In 2007, Google launched Sheets.
You can, of course, use Sheets for traditional number-crunching. If you’re trying to figure out the budget for your upcoming family vacation, Sheets will do the job. But it can also do so much more, like create beautiful and informative charts and graphs automatically, organize information captured in forms, or act as a CRM for your business.
If you’re familiar with Excel, you’ll understand Sheets quickly. The app uses much of the same terminology (cells, columns, rows, ranges, and so on), and also supports formulas. Formulas can be used to calculate numbers, manipulate data, and more. Want to know the average amount you’ve spent on groceries over the past three years? Use the “AVERAGE” function to quickly find the answer. Or maybe you’ve got one spreadsheet with product price and another spreadsheet with product inventory levels—you need to combine the two datasets based on a key identifier like product name, and don’t want to waste time looking up, copying, and pasting the information. In this case, you can use the “VLOOKUP” function to find information in one spreadsheet and put it in the right row in another.
In addition to the standard formulas, Sheets also has many unique functions that leverage Google’s other tools and only work because it's an online spreadsheet app. For example, you can use the “GOOGLETRANSLATE” function to translate text from one language to another. Or “IMPORTFEED” to import an RSS or ATOM feed right into your spreadsheet.
You may use Sheets to create certain types of documents like schedules or time sheets. Google provides templates for common scenarios, meaning you don’t need to waste time setting up and formatting your spreadsheet. Choose your template, make any small tweaks you need, and start capturing your data.
One of the most attractive features of Sheets is that it’s hosted online, so you don’t need to download any software to use it. All the data contained in your spreadsheets is saved automatically, so you never lose changes. If you need to convert a spreadsheet to Excel before shipping it to someone else, you can do so easily. You can even download a Chrome plugin that’ll allow you to open, edit, and save Excel files without needing to do any conversion.
If you need to collaborate or share information with a family member or coworker, all you need is their Google email. You can give view-only or editing permissions to your collaborators, and see their updates and changes in real time—no more sending documents back and forth and losing the most up-to-date version. When working on a spreadsheet together, you can add comments to specific cells or chat right within the document. All communication stays in the spreadsheet and never gets lost.
Google Sheets has apps for iOS and Android, so you can get your work done anywhere. If you’re looking for a more productive way to crunch numbers, manipulate data, visualize information in charts and graphs, and easily collaborate with others, Sheets will certainly work for you.
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Want to learn more about Google Sheets? Check out our guides to Sheets' advanced features:
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