Uncover the most effective free options to Microsoft Excel: highly effective, feature-packed options that can assist you work smarter and sooner with the power to create complete spreadsheets and analyze information.
Spreadsheets are a part of the trendy enterprise world, that means sometime you’ll have to take a look at one. The sorts of options you want out of your spreadsheet software can range, although, with many customers by no means coming near needing the sturdy options of Microsoft Workplace’s Excel.
For these of us who aren’t accountants crunching numbers day by day, Microsoft Workplace, together with Excel, will be prohibitively costly. You’re taking a look at paying at the least $6 per 30 days for one enterprise license, paid in full for a yr upfront; $6.99 a month for residence use; or $149.99 for an Workplace House and Scholar 2021 license.
SEE: Discover these free options to Microsoft Phrase.
For those who don’t have that type of cash, don’t want all of Excel’s options or just wish to save money, there are many viable options to Microsoft Excel out there within the cloud to be put in in your pc. Better of all, these options to Excel are free.
Prime free Microsoft Excel options comparability
|Software program||Greatest for||On-line collaboration||Supported file codecs||Offline modifying||Export to PDF||Standout characteristic|
|Google Sheets||Offline modifying and collaboration||Sure||.xlsx, .xls, .xlsm, .xlt, .xltx, .xltxm, .ods, .csv and .tsv||Sure||Sure||Sharing and collaboration|
|Zoho Sheet||Automation||Sure||.xls, .xlsx, .xlsm, .tsv, .csv, .ods and .sxc||No||Sure||AI-powered insights|
|Microsoft Office Excel Online||Customers preferring the standard Excel desktop interface||Sure||.xls, .xlsx, .xlsm, .xlsb, .csv and .ods||Sure||Sure||Energy BI integration|
|Apache OpenOffice Calc||Customization||No||.odf and .xlsx||No; customers should obtain it on their system manually||Sure||Pure language formulation|
|LibreOffice Calc||Options||No||.xls and .xlsx||Customers can obtain and set up it on their system||Sure||Situation supervisor|
|WPS Office Spreadsheets||Ease of use||Sure||.lsm, .xltm, .xlsb, .ets, .et, .ett, .xls, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltx and .csv||Sure||Sure||Information evaluation and visualization|
Google Sheets: Greatest for offline modifying and collaboration
Google Sheets is Google’s cloud-based reply to Microsoft Excel, and it’s able to doing the overwhelming majority of what the typical Excel consumer wants. It’s additionally hosted within the cloud and runs in an online browser, so it’s platform unbiased and will be run on Home windows, macOS and Linux methods.
You by no means have to fret about shedding a single calculation, both — Google Sheets saves all the pieces in Google Drive, making a crashed pc of no concern to your essential information. As with Google’s different workplace instruments, Sheets options real-time collaboration that permits a number of customers to edit a doc on the identical time (Determine A). Customers can see the cursor place of different individuals within the doc, see what they’re doing as they’re doing it and chat proper within the doc window.
- Offline modifying functionality.
- Assist of file codecs, together with .xlsx, .xls, .xlsm, .xlt, .xltx, .xltxm, .ods, .csv and .tsv.
- Information evaluation and visualization.
- Sharing and collaboration.
- Model historical past characteristic, which helps you to see all of the adjustments you and others have made to the spreadsheet or revert to earlier variations.
- Template gallery.
- Capability for customers to obtain their information in numerous codecs, together with .pdf, .html, .ods, .xlsx and .tsv.
- Customizability — customers can add hyperlinks, feedback, charts, filters or features.
- Capability for customers to automate repetitive duties with macros.
- Actual-time collaboration.
- Lags when engaged on giant information.
- Troublesome to pinpoint who edited the spreadsheet.
Zoho Sheet: Greatest for automation
Zoho Sheet is a spreadsheet software program that features collaboration, information visualization and automation options that assist groups get work achieved sooner. Zoho Sheet is a free, cloud-based spreadsheet instrument that helps a number of file sorts, together with Excel (.xls), .csv, .ods and .tsv codecs to maneuver your present sheets into Zoho Sheet simply.
Collaboration in Zoho Sheet is simple, with real-time updates on the sheet degree for any customers within the doc (Determine B). You need to use macros and even VBA code to automate updates and velocity up work.
Collaborators can use Information cleansing to catch errors shortly or roll again to a earlier iteration with Model Historical past. And Zoho Sheet can simply be used through the cell app or revealed to the net with granular controls over embedded information manipulation.
Zoho Sheet is a part of the bigger Zoho household of apps, which implies that extensions and integrations are straightforward and quick. Use Zoho Varieties to shortly consolidate info in a single Sheet, and Zoho’s AI, Zia, will assist groups visualize information with pivot tables, charts or graphs.
- Multi-language help, together with Polish, Bulgarian, Dutch, Chinese language (Simplified), German, English, Spanish, French, Croatian, Turkish, Japanese, Hungarian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish and Italian.
- Assist for over 350 predefined features.
- Capability for customers to export .html and .pdf codecs.
- Customized and user-defined features.
- Picture-to-sheet characteristic, which permits customers to scan books, receipts and invoices and routinely convert them to spreadsheets.
- Simple to be taught and use.
- AI-powered insights.
- Information cleansing — duplicates, inconsistencies and lacking worth removing.
- Integration with different Zoho apps.
- Lacks information connections, evaluation and modeling functionality.
- Lacks offline help.
- Takes a very long time to load spreadsheets.
Microsoft Workplace Excel On-line: Greatest for customers preferring Excel’s interface
To not be outdone by Google, Microsoft has created its personal on-line model of Workplace, which features a stripped-down model of Excel that’s nearer to Google Sheets than to the desktop model of Microsoft Office’s Excel (Determine C). It’s to not say that Excel On-line is unusable or not price your time — it’s undoubtedly extra like Excel than Google Sheets, so if you happen to favor a well-recognized interface, chances are you’ll go for Excel On-line as a substitute of going the Google route.
Recommending Excel On-line to the typical Excel consumer is ok; it does all of the fundamentals of the desktop model whereas including computerized cloud saving in OneDrive, and it has real-time collaboration instruments that Workplace 365 and Workplace 2019 lack.
Excel energy customers could wish to avoid Excel On-line. Most of the options Excel energy customers depend on are gone, restricted or read-only — there’s no VBA scripting, no creating exterior information connections, no discover and change, and no superior charting options. All of these capabilities exist in Excel On-line, however they’re read-only.
- Energy BI integration.
- Assist of many file codecs, together with .docm, .docx, .pptm, .pptx, .xlsm and .xlsx.
- Copilot in Excel, which works with you to investigate and discover your information.
- Capability for customers to visualise information in charts and graphs.
- Collaboration functionality.
- Macros to automate common duties.
- In depth vary of features and formulation, which allow customers to carry out complicated calculations and information evaluation simply.
- Consumer-friendly interface.
- Will get sluggish when working with giant information units.
- Requires web connectivity.
Apache OpenOffice Calc: Greatest for personalization
Once I discuss to Home windows customers who hate the look of Microsoft Workplace’s post-2007 interface, I all the time advocate Apache OpenOffice. Calc, OpenOffice’s Excel different, appears and appears like Workplace 2003, which is nice if you happen to’d favor a time earlier than the Workplace ribbon (Determine D). Previous to the appearance of the cloud and the dominance of Google’s on-line workplace instruments, OpenOffice reigned supreme amongst these searching for a free Microsoft Workplace different.
Apache OpenOffice’s Calc serves varied userbases together with freelancers, giant enterprises, midsize companies, non-profits, public administrations and small companies.
- Pure language formulation, which permit customers to create formulation utilizing phrases.
- Prepared-made templates repository.
- Situation supervisor with help for “what if” evaluation.
- Capability for customers to export paperwork in varied codecs, together with .pdf, .odt, .doc and .html.
- Massive consumer group.
- Obtainable as open supply.
- Customized backgrounds to allow customers to create spreadsheets in line with particular person preferences.
- Lacks real-time on-line collaboration.
- Must be up to date extra ceaselessly.
LibreOffice Calc: Greatest Excel different for options
Like OpenOffice, LibreOffice is a free workplace suite that features its personal Excel different, additionally referred to as Calc. It has the identical restrictions as OpenOffice in that LibreOffice’s Calc lacks cloud help and real-time collaboration. What LibreOffice does have is a surprisingly sturdy checklist of options, lots of which aren’t current in Excel (Determine E).
LibreOffice has extra features than Excel, can evaluate two separate spreadsheet information, has extra cell formatting choices and may even deal with imports of legacy spreadsheets from retired purposes (Microsoft Works, Lotus 1-2-3, BeagleWorks, Claris Resolve, and so forth.) previously out there on Home windows and macOS.
- Situation supervisor that permits “what if …” evaluation.
- Capability for customers to export to .pdf.
- Desktop apps for Home windows, macOS and Linux.
- Open supply.
- Function wealthy.
- Capability to learn .xlsx information created with Microsoft Workplace for Home windows and macOS.
- Has restricted macro recording talents.
- Lacks the power to show many superior forms of charts.
- Lacks real-time on-line collaboration options.
WPS Workplace Spreadsheets: Greatest Excel different for ease of use
In the case of sturdy options which are a real competitors for Excel, WPS Workplace Spreadsheets can’t be crushed, and with good motive: It’s the one freemium product on this checklist. WPS Workplace is a paid product, but it surely comes with a fully-featured free model with one catch — it’s ad-supported (Determine F).
Don’t let that flip you off from giving WPS Spreadsheets a attempt; the adverts are fast, typically lasting about 10 seconds, and solely pop up once you attempt to print, save to PDF or use a few of its different extra particular instruments. When you watch an advert, that characteristic is unlocked for half-hour. For those who resolve you wish to eliminate the adverts in WPS Workplace, you’ll want to pay $9.99 for 3 months or $29.99 a yr.
- Information evaluation and visualization.
- Templates to handle charts, observe budgets and analyze private or enterprise funds.
- Compatibility with frequent file codecs resembling .xls, .xlsx, .xlsm, .xlt and .csv.
- Capability for customers to edit Excel information on cell units, computer systems or net pages.
- Compatibility with workplace suites resembling Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, LibreOffice Calc and OpenOffice Calc.
- Intuitive consumer interface.
- Ease of use.
- Assist for 13 languages on PC and 46 languages on cell.
- Free model has adverts.
- Occasionally freezes.
Selecting a free different to Microsoft Excel
Whereas all of the instruments outlined on this information are note-worthy free options to Microsoft Excel, the most suitable choice for you is dependent upon your particular wants and preferences. For those who want an answer to allow you and your crew to seamlessly collaborate on sheets, select Google Sheets. For those who’d wish to automate repetitive processes, Zoho could also be your best choice.
These seeking to customise their sheets and combine it through API with their present system fare would profit from Apache OpenOffice calc. WPS Workplace Spreadsheet is good for people or firms extra concerned with usability, whereas LibreOffice is the most suitable choice for these searching for a feature-rich answer. In case you are an enormous Microsoft Excel fan and solely want cloud functionality or favor the desktop Excel interface, Microsoft Excel On-line is the most suitable choice for you.
To pick out the most suitable choice for you, take into account your wants, choose the highest three instruments that stand out for you, consider their options and capabilities, and select the instrument that fulfills your wants and use circumstances.
Editor’s observe: This text was up to date to incorporate the newest details about these Excel options.