Microsoft Excel Vs Google Sheets

Hello, there! Glad you could visit our article on “Microsoft Excel Vs Google Sheets” from TeqTog. In this article, I will try to explain the major differences between these two programs, so it can help you decide which one to work with. 

People in their everyday lives need to manage huge volumes of data in the form of numbers for some reason or the other. Be it for the demands of one’s job, requirements for learning in any educational classes or something as simple as, keeping track of daily household expenses; numbers will always be there and, we need an effective way to work with them.

Since a very long time, both Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets have been the biggest spread sheet programs; where we can handle numbers and figures and maintain them in graphs, calculations and various charts.

Now, if we were to compare them both from a user’s perspective; we will get some important pros and cons for each of these spread sheet giants.

What They Are Explained

Let us first understand the basics about each of them.

Microsoft Excel is software which was developed by Microsoft. It was launched back in 1979 and it was then called, VisiCalc for Apple 2. Afterwards, it was launched again in the market individually.

Microsoft Excel forms a part of the entire Microsoft Office 365 package. Microsoft Excel can be applied using Windows and macOS.

Microsoft Excel had remained the leader in the spread sheets programs market without argue for a quite a while, until recently.

After going through a series of launches, re-launches collaborations and acquirements, Google Sheets was introduced in 2010. It is a purely online-based spread sheet program.

Google had offered its completely free Google Docs Editors suite which was web-based; a part of which is Google Sheets. This online service also includes, Google Docs, Google Drawings, Google Sites, Google Slides, Google Keep and Google Forms.

Users can operate Google Sheets as a website application, a mobile application available on Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows and as a desktop application through Google’s Chrome OS.

Excel vs Google Sheets at A Glance

Here are some basic notes on comparisons between Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets, to help the reader understand choose the spread sheet program which best caters to their needs and suits their required level of comfort.

Google SheetsMicrosoft Excel
Live collaboration amongst multiple owners of the spread sheetCollaboration by different individuals at separately
Share the spread sheet directly from SheetsShare using a medium such as, through email
File can be saved to Drive automaticallyFile can be saved using OneDrive or SharePoint
Keep track of different versions of the file with the help of “version history”Keep track of versions using “History”. Version history can also be applied in OneDrive
Formulae can be added as well as, formulae suggestions will pop up as the user enters textsFormulae can be added as well as, “Formula AutoComplete” will give out suggestions for completing a formula.
Google Apps Script can be applied or macros can be recorded.VBE can be utilized or macros can be recorded.
Filter and filter views can be madeFilters can be made
Charts can be made either manually or automatically with the help of ExploreCharts can be made manually
Notifications can be set in SheetsNotifications can be set in OneDrive
Pivot tables can be made either manually or automatically with ExplorePivot tables can be made either manually or selected from the options from “Insert”

Primary Differences Between MS Excel and Google Spreadsheets

Basis of Operation

If we are talking about our main comparison points between these two spread sheet programs, then the most obvious one would be the system of their applications.

Microsoft Excel is an offline service provided by the Microsoft Office. Therefore, the user will apply this program locally on their computer and an internet connection is not needed to create, utilize or save this file.

On the other hand, Google Sheets is an online service. This allows multiple users to edit the data on the file at the same time. This is a beneficial replacement of the fact that the user had to save a Microsoft Excel file and send then send it to relevant people through email or any other sharing system.

On top of that, regarding Google Sheets, each user of the file can view the respective modifications being made on the data in real time. Moreover, all the related users of Google Sheets can interact with each other on a chat window located on the sidebar.

Volume of Data

Microsoft Excel has been dominating the market for spread sheet programs for a significant period of time for a number of reasons; and, this is one of the main one. In terms of processing, altering and storing data, Microsoft Excel has the capacity to work on 17,179,869,184 cells altogether.

On the other hand, Google Sheets can manage a total of around 5,000,000 cells. A user will benefit much better with Microsoft Excel in terms of working with vast spreadsheets, complex formulae and dozens of tabs.

Data Presentation

It is important for the viewer to understand the relationship between the figures at a glance and, the trends they are indicating. This is mostly done by depicting visual images rather than showing results from implementing formulae. In terms of presenting data, Microsoft Excel has the upper hand; thanks to its long-term experience.

Microsoft Excel can form accurate and high-quality pie charts, graphs, diagrams, line charts and bar charts based on the input of sophisticated relationships between numbers and formulae; therefore, it may be a much reliable way to visually present data. Microsoft Excel also has options of ready-made diagrams to choose from.


There is not much of a major difference when it comes to the presence and applications of functions between Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. Most of the functions are more or less present in each program.

However, Microsoft Excel is still far ahead compared to Google Sheets in case of highly complex formulae designed for specific fields work. Excel offers the user functions; those of which are absent in Google Sheets. A few examples are given blow for you:

Name of functionMicrosoft ExcelGoogle Sheets
Tool for statistical analysisYesNo

Data Security

When it comes to protecting the file, both Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets have good security programs in place.

Excel for instance, has much upgraded security measures if connected through the OneDrive Cloud service. Also, given that the user has a trusted anti-virus installed it their computer, then no one can hack into the Excel file if it saved locally.

As we all know by now, Google Sheets perform solely through the cloud. All of its data are saved on the internet digitally. In theory, hackers could get their hands on it. However, what makes it reliable with data protection is that Google Sheets applies an HTTPS connection and a two-factor authentication.


Google Sheets wins our preference in this category, because, it is free of charge for individual users and, costs $5 per user every month for business purposes.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Excel charges $8.25 every month per user.

Google spreadsheet is the winner.

Microsoft Excel Vs Google Sheets: Advantages and Disadvantages Compared

Here, we will give you a closer look at the essential benefits and downsides of using each of these two programs.

Benefits of Microsoft Excel

  1. Let us start by acknowledging that Microsoft Excel has more developed functions available than Google Sheets.
  2. Excel has a more convenient toolbar which allows the user to make all necessary adjustments by simply presenting a single icon for each adjustment.
  3. Like we have discussed earlier in this article, Microsoft Excel has superiority over Google Sheets, when it comes to data storing capacity.
  4. Excel’s speed for application is relatively quick.
  5. Excel will hand out advanced and more number of options for data presentations.

Downsides of Microsoft Excel

  1. In case an Excel file goes into freeze mode, stops working, responding or hangs: it can be difficult at times to troubleshoot that Excel file.
  2. Various versions of the same Excel file may be saved; therefore, making it challenging for all them to be combined.
  3. Microsoft Excel files are saved locally on a particular computer. The user cannot open the file on any other computer if they were to be physically at a different place.

Benefits of Google Sheets

  1. Google Sheets are comparatively easier to utilize.
  2. One of the most amazing pros of Google Sheets is that multiple users can modifications on the same file.
  3. In terms of icons for different functions, Google Sheets tend to be simpler, thus not overwhelming the user with a plethora of features and being user-friendly.

Downside of Google Sheets

  1. Google Sheet has a limit on its capacity for data volume.
  2. Also, Google Sheets cannot offer a platter of options for data picturization.
  3. Functions are restricted to being basic to a certain extent. It may not cater the needs for different fields, such as, medical or logistics.

How to Work with Both Excel and Google Spreadsheets Program

We want to discuss the number or ways a user can switch from Microsoft Excel to Google Sheets according to when they need to. To learn about the different methods, have a look at the guide below:

How to Import a Excel sheet in a Google Sheet

Processing Excel Files in Google Drive by importing Excel files into Google Sheets. Here is how one can import data from an Excel file into Sheets

  • Open an existing spread sheet or create a new one in Google Sheets
  • Select File
  • Select Import from the drop-down menu
  • Then find the Excel file and select it
  • Select one of these Import options:
  • Create new
  • Insert new
  • Replace with a new spread sheet
  • Choose to import the data
  • Select on Open Now
Sharing a Google Sheet spread sheet as an Excel file

How to Convert Excel to Google Sheets

Here is a step by step guidance:

  • Go to Drive and double click to open an Excel file. By this, a preview of the Excel file will open up.
  • At the top left corner, choose “Open with Google Sheets”
  • Afterwards, save the file by going to File and selecting “Save as Google Sheets”
  • A user can edit their Excel data without having to convert the Excel file

This option is only for Chrome.

  • The Office Editing for Docs, Sheets and Slides extension should not be installed in the computer:

To do this open your Chrome browser click on “More Tools”. Then, select “More Tools” and “Extension” from the drop down menu. If you have the Office Editing installed, choose “Remove”.

Converting an Excel File into Google Sheets
  • Double click to open an Excel file in Drive. You will view a glimpse of your Excel file.
  • Select “Open with Google Sheets” from the top.

You can now, benefit from editing, sharing and viewing version histories, work with other users at the same time and, in real time. All the while, any modifications you will make will be saved on the original Microsoft Excel file.

How to Share a Google Spreadsheet as an Excel File

If a user is maintaining a spread sheet in Google Sheets, they can also email a copy of it in the format of an Excel file:

  • Open the file in Sheets
  • Select File and then select “Email as attachment” from the drop down menu.
  • From the options of “attach as”, choose Microsoft Excel.
  • After typing in the email address you wish to send it to, just press send on the email.
Sharing a Google Sheet spread sheet as an Excel file


Sharing a Google Sheet spread sheet as an Excel file as PDF or ms xl or office spreadsheet

Summary of MS XL Vs Google Sheets

To wrap it all up, maintaining numbers, crunching through complicated formula, working with statistics and trends can be difficult. Therefore, it always best to select the best spreadsheet program which suits the user’s requirements best.

To answer the age old question, who would win when it came to Microsoft Excel Vs Google Sheets, there is really not that much of a difference when it comes to essential, underlying features necessary to perform basic tasks in a spread sheet program. We have already discussed the primary differences and the pros and cons of both these programs earlier in this article from TeqTog.

Do give it a good read.

Lastly, here is a list of all the features for your convenience; which both Excel and Google Sheet have:

  1. Autofill options
  2. Suitable for Android, Windows, Mac OS X, and iOS
  3. Both have the auto-save feature. This means the user does not need to click “Ctrl+S” after intervals.

Check out few others TeqTog Google Sheets tutorials on:

Related More Articles

Leave a Comment