5 Excel Alternatives That You Should Know By Now

Excel alternativeExcel is an essential software, highly required in any business toolbox. Given its sheer versatility, it has dominated the market for years. However, plenty of users tend to explore decent Excel alternatives.

From organizing and managing data, Excel allows users to analyze and also make forecasts. Visual representations can also be made quite easily using Excel spreadsheet tools, making it very user-friendly. However, the only drawback that Microsoft Excel has is that it fails to connect several users at the same time. This is because users cannot access the same document and collaborate in real-time. This individuality is perhaps the only shortcoming that this spreadsheet software has, which has opened the market for other companies to make their mark.

Since Excel is only set on individual computers, to transfer data, users have to email files back and forth, which can be an inconvenience. You might lose track of the latest version.

Nonetheless, this is where the Excel alternatives come into play. Unlike the Microsoft Office Suite, these platforms are mostly cloud-based, meaning your team can access the same file in real-time and work together.

In this article, we talk about the top 5 Excel alternatives, so you can easily make your pick.

1. Google Sheets – the most popular Excel alternative

Google Sheets

Google Sheets is undoubtedly the most prominent Excel alternative in the world. Having almost the same interface and functionality, the transition from Excel to Google Sheets is almost unnoticeable. This is also made smoother as Microsoft Excel files can be simply converted to Google Sheets and vice versa.

Anyone with a Google account can easily log in to Google Sheets and use its tools for the same work that is done in Excel. Just like the Microsoft software, its Google competition provides the same features and similar tools for graphing and charting data, calculations using built-in formulas, arranges tables, and has other formatting features.

Google Sheets is free spreadsheet software and all the data is stored in the cloud. This means you don’t have to worry about losing anything or backing up or about finding cloud services to store files like WeTransfer and its alternatives. As long as you have an internet connection, you have access to your files.

Since the changes are saved instantly and automatically, users who are collaborating in real-time can see the edits their partners make. The pre-designed and presentation-friendly templates mean users can set up their free spreadsheet in no time.

OS: Web-based
Licensing: Free
Our Rating: 10 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Easy to comply with
  • Part of Google Workspace
  • Various templates
  • Requires Google account

2. LibreOffice Calc – open source Excel alternative

LibreOffice Calc

A product of LibreOffice, LibreOffice Calc is another Excel alternative software that is open-sourced, making it highly flexible to work with. We previously reviewed the suit in the article dedicated to the best open source software. Optimized for Windows, macOS, and Linux users, this free Excel version, however, lacks the beauty and flash which other Excel alternatives tend to provide.

Regardless, the open-sourced spreadsheet software allows users the luxury to customize almost everything. In case someone doesn’t want to start with a blank document, there are free templates to get started with. Users can customize the appearance to display the necessary tools and features only. The keyboard shortcuts ensure rapid navigation across the interface.

This Microsoft Excel free version has native support for Excel documents. Visual data representations from given files can be created using the built-in wizard. The advanced features make the tools convenient for new and expert users alike.

A new tool, DataPilot, offers the privilege to import raw data from any external database and manipulate it in the file. The robust free spreadsheet software allows flexible cell formats and various other options to make your work neatly organized and presented.

Unfortunately, the multiuser collaboration feature isn’t as efficient as the ones provided in other Excel alternatives.

OS: Windows, MacOS, Linux
Licensing: Open-source
Our Rating: 10 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Customization options
  • Built-in wizard
  • Almost no learning curve
  • Multi-user support could have been more intuitive

3. WPS Office Spreadsheets – paid Excel alternative

WPS Office Spreadsheets

WPS Office Spreadsheets is another Excel alternative that looks and functions just like its competition. Not only does WPS Office Spreadsheets look alike in terms of layout, it also processes the same file formats. This means users can interchange files between the two software without any issue.

WPS Office Spreadsheets is available on all platforms, including Android and iOS, and the web. However, on the web, it is available as the whole suite. Anyone wishing to use only Spreadsheets software will have to get the entire suite.

The interface looks quite modern. With over 50 keyboard shortcuts, it is fairly easy to navigate within the interface. A commenting option is present, and the program supports track changes. The multiuser collaboration feature enables users to connect with WPS and Office users.

There are over a hundred formulas built-in in this alternative to Excel, and the what-if analysis feature allows users to analyze a plethora of data and find solutions to a complex problem. This is definitely a great productivity tool to use.

With a subscription of $29.99 a year, users can opt for a Premium upgrade, which will get rid of ads and acquire cloud storage. This package also allows users to access the software on 9 devices, in contrast to the free plan which offers usage on 3 devices.

OS: Windows
Licensing: Trialware
Our Rating: 9 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Plenty of features via user-friendly interface
  • Offers Excel to PDF converter
  • 30 days free trial only

4. Zoho Sheet – online Excel alternative

Zoho Sheet

Zoho Office Sheet is an Excel alternative that has an AI-powered data analysis feature called Zia. Zia can analyze data and provide insight for better comprehension. Zia also minimizes a user’s errors by erasing duplicate values and eradicating inconsistencies. This AI can also conjure charts and pivot tables for the user’s convenience which can be added to the spreadsheet. Just like how WPS Office Spreadsheet provides answers to complex problems, Zia can also analyze data after a user places filters for analysis, to find a solution.

Zoho free Excel alternative accommodates up to 25 users for real-time collaboration. With the audit trail tool, anyone can keep track of who made edits to the documents and when. The document is also backed up automatically, hence, there is no progress loss. The data is stored in the cloud and therefore, can be accessed from anywhere.

Users can lock an entire document or particular cells with passwords and allow access options such as read-only or give edit permission to other users while publishing their work online. There is nothing more important today than online safety so this Excel alternative nails it. With over 350 functions at its disposal, the software can automate a lot of tasks. It can also collect data via forms and import data from external sources.

OS: Web-based, Android and iOS apps
Licensing: Free
Our Rating: 9 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Advanced integration options
  • Great intuitive interface
  • Requires signing up for an account

5. Sheetster – free Excel alternative

Sheetster Excel alternative

Sheetster is another open-source free spreadsheet software that offers a wide range of formats, along with other functions similar to the Excel alternatives mentioned above. Users can import and export files from Sheetster to Excel as the software supports the same file formats.

With various built-in formulas and features, Sheetster is a suitable alternative to Excel for many developers who wish to integrate the software into their webs. A server-side API is provided for document storage connectors. On the other hand, a rich REST API is offered for working on open spreadsheets.

OS: Web-based
Licensing: Open-source
Our Rating: 8 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Easy to integrate into web
  • Not that easy in use
  • Targeted mostly at developers

Despite how great Excel is, it fails to deliver project management features. So you need to first discuss something with your colleagues on Zoom or Skype, bring the changes to your file and then share the file itself. Users cannot collaborate in real-time, nor track changes. Therefore, if you are looking for more flexible software for your team, try these Excel alternatives mentioned in the article.

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