Google spreadsheet vs Excel pros and cons

Is Excel really really much more powerful than Google spreadsheet? if yes, will Google ever catch up?  Here are the pros and cons of Google spreadsheet vs Microsoft Excel.  I don’t think Google is close to Excel yet.

Google spreadsheet vs Microsoft Excel


Google Spreadsheets main advantage is the ability to collaborate. Most people use Excel to manage simple lists of data, utilizing only 1-5% of Excel’s true potential (formulas, filtering, tables, macros, etc). When we were required to share simple numbers with 10 different people in a group, the collaboration feature of Google Spreadsheets far out-weighs the whole e-mailing Excel files back and forth between people. Additionally, most Excel keyboard shortcuts around navigation and selection (think CTRL+Arrow keys, CTRL+SHIFT+Arrow keys) all work in Google Spreadsheets. This simplifies things quite a bit. There are a few one-off shortcuts around navigation Google Spreadsheets had to create specifically for the tool since it was built on Javascript. For instance, flipping through spreadsheets in Google Spreadsheets is more complicated than the traditional CTRL+PAGE UP/PAGE DOWN (PC) or FN+COMMAND+UP/DOWN (Mac).


All the Excel keyboard shortcuts around formatting and filtering are essentially left out. This means building financial models or anything requiring more than just listing out numbers requires Microsoft Excel. For these kind of files, you normally don’t share or collaborate that much on them, nor do you need 10 people to see the numbers (perhaps you may need a management of team to see the final output, but that’s further downstream). Things also load faster in Excel if you have a lot of data in your worksheets. Google Spreadsheets also lacks a lot of the extra features of Excel like Goal Seek, add-ins, etc. Google Spreadsheets is slowly catching up with their version of PivotTables, but it’s still nowhere as fast and functional as Excel.

As an aside, an easy way to learn Excel keyboard shortcuts for the Mac is this Excel keyboard cover produced by KeyCuts: thekeycuts.comExcel keyboard cover with keyboard shortcuts for Mac Excel • KeyCuts