Wednesday, 17 Jul 2024
Technology

10 Best Microsoft Excel Alternative Tools

Microsoft Excel is undoubtedly one of the most popular programs with over a billion users worldwide. It offers a range of features for creating tables, charts, reports, and managing data. However, Excel does have its drawbacks, such as its high cost and limited availability on all platforms. Additionally, it lacks reliable collaboration and customization options.

But fear not! Microsoft Excel is not the only option out there. In fact, there are several alternative tools available that can be a great replacement for Excel in certain situations. Whether you’re looking for free or paid options, online or offline tools, there’s something for everyone. To help you in your search for the best Excel alternative, we have compiled a list of the top 10 office suites with Excel alternatives.

Best Excel Alternatives

1. Google Sheets

Google Sheets

Google Sheets is a powerful and free online alternative to Excel. It offers similar features to Excel, with the added advantage of great collaboration tools, cloud storage, and real-time data saving. Multiple users can edit a sheet simultaneously, and all changes are saved and synced in real-time. Google Sheets also allows you to open, edit, and save Excel files. With its user-friendly interface and extensive functionality, Google Sheets is a fantastic alternative to Excel.

  • Key Features: Collaboration tools, auto-save and sync, completely free to use.
  • Pricing: Free.
  • Type: Online spreadsheet with offline access through Google Chrome.
  • Compatibility: Web-based, offline version for Windows, Mac OS X, and dedicated apps for Android & iOS platforms.
  • Get Google Sheets

2. Numbers

Numbers

If you’re an iOS or Mac user, Numbers is an excellent alternative to Microsoft Excel. This free built-in spreadsheet tool by Apple offers a different approach and interface compared to Excel. Instead of rows and columns, Numbers provides various templates to choose from, making it easy to create charts and tables tailored to your needs. With collaboration tools and a wide range of customization options, Numbers is suitable for both beginners and power users.

  • Key Features: Collaboration tools, great customization ability, and free to use.
  • Type: Offline spreadsheet tool with some features that require an internet connection.
  • Compatibility: iOS and Mac OS X.
  • Get Numbers
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3. Microsoft Office Online (Excel)

Microsoft Office Online (Excel)

Microsoft Office Online, a web-based suite of office applications, offers a free alternative to Microsoft Excel. Although it lacks some power user features of the desktop app, it provides good collaboration tools and real-time saving and syncing to OneDrive or Dropbox. However, it requires an internet connection and does not have an offline version. If you’re looking for a web-based alternative to Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Office Online is worth considering.

  • Key Features: Similar to desktop Microsoft Excel, real-time save and sync to OneDrive, free and reliable collaboration tools.
  • Pricing: Free.
  • Type: Online spreadsheets program.
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Android.
  • Get Microsoft Office Online

4. Zoho Sheets

Zoho Sheets

Zoho Sheets, part of the Zoho Docs office suite, offers an alternative to Excel with both offline and online clients. While it may not be as feature-rich as Microsoft Excel, Zoho Sheets provides robust collaboration tools and saves and syncs sheets to Zoho’s cloud storage. The free version offers all the necessary features along with 1 GB of storage, but additional storage and collaboration features are available at a cost.

  • Key Features: Simple interface, reliable collaboration tools, and both web and desktop clients.
  • Pricing: Free with limitations, and paid plans starting at $5/month.
  • Type: Offline and online spreadsheet tool.
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Android.
  • Get Zoho Sheets

5. Smartsheet

Smartsheet

Smartsheet is an excellent online alternative to Excel, particularly for power users and companies. While it is not a free tool, it offers a 30-day trial to test its features before committing to a subscription. Smartsheet provides almost all the capabilities of Excel, with added control and customization options. It also offers features such as Gantt and Calendar views, discussion and file attachment on tasks, scheduling, and custom reports.

  • Key Features: Online access to sheets, tons of customization options, and great collaboration tools.
  • Pricing: Starting from $16/month.
  • Type: Online spreadsheet tool.
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Android.
  • Get Smartsheet
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6. Apache OpenOffice Calc

Apache OpenOffice Calc

If you prefer open-source software, Apache OpenOffice Calc is a great free alternative to Excel. As part of the full Apache OpenOffice suite, Calc offers all the features you need without any limitations. While it may not be as powerful as Excel, Calc provides a clean interface, extensive features such as templates, mail merge, and style manager, and excellent compatibility with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

  • Key Features: Free and open-source, desktop client just like Excel, and comes with a clean interface.
  • Pricing: Free.
  • Type: Offline desktop spreadsheet tool.
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
  • Get OpenOffice

7. LibreOffice Calc

LibreOffice Calc

LibreOffice Calc, based on the same source code as OpenOffice, offers another free and open-source Excel alternative. With its powerful features and compatibility with various document formats, LibreOffice Calc is a worthy contender. It also offers a portable version, different macros language, multi-platform support, extensions, and import graphics formats.

  • Key Features: Open-source and free, powerful features for a free software, desktop client for easier offline working.
  • Pricing: Free.
  • Type: Offline desktop-based spreadsheet tool.
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Android viewing app.
  • Get LibreOffice

8. Gnumeric

Gnumeric

Gnumeric is a free and open-source tool that specializes in handling numeric data and calculations. If you mainly use Excel for managing accounts and similar tasks, Gnumeric offers a faster and lighter alternative. It’s a simple desktop program that’s extremely light on PC resources, allowing you to process thousands of entries without any lag. Gnumeric also provides accurate calculations and offers a user-friendly interface.

  • Key Features: Light and accurate, simple interface, and open-source.
  • Pricing: Free.
  • Type: Offline desktop-based spreadsheet tool.
  • Compatibility: Unix.
  • Get Gnumeric

9. PlanMaker

PlanMaker

PlanMaker is designed to be a cheaper alternative to Excel, making it an excellent choice for users on a budget. Although it may not be as feature-rich as Excel, it offers good compatibility with Excel documents and ensures the data structure remains intact when moving from Excel to PlanMaker. With a similar interface to Excel, PlanMaker provides a familiar user experience.

  • Key Features: Interacts well with Excel sheets, a cheaper alternative to Excel, and makes Excel users feel at home.
  • Pricing: Free trial available, with paid versions starting at €69.99.
  • Type: Offline desktop and tablet-based spreadsheet tool.
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Android.
  • Get PlanMaker
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10. WPS Office Suite

WPS Office Suite

If you frequently edit spreadsheets on your smartphone, WPS Office Suite is worth exploring. This free Excel alternative for smartphones offers a clean and intuitive design, making it easy to make quick edits on the go. It integrates with Dropbox for seamless document storage and syncing across devices. Best of all, it doesn’t require any account setup.

  • Key Features: Intuitive interface, free, doesn’t require an account, and simplifies editing on smartphones.
  • Pricing: Free.
  • Type: Online smartphone-based spreadsheet app.
  • Compatibility: Android, iOS, and Linux.
  • Get WPS Office Suite

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are these alternatives as good as Microsoft Excel?
A: While these alternatives may not be on par with the full functionality of Microsoft Excel, many come close or offer unique features that Excel lacks.

Q: Are these alternatives free?
A: Some of the alternatives mentioned in this list are free, while others offer free trials or have paid versions with additional features.

Q: Can I open and edit Excel files with these alternatives?
A: Yes, most of these alternatives allow you to open, edit, and save Excel files, ensuring compatibility with Excel documents.

Q: Are these alternatives compatible with multiple platforms?
A: Yes, most of these alternatives are compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and some even have dedicated apps for Android and iOS platforms.

Conclusion

While Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool, there are many alternatives available that can meet your specific needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a free option like Google Sheets or an offline desktop program like Apache OpenOffice Calc, you have plenty of choices. Consider the features, compatibility, and pricing of each alternative to find the best fit for your requirements.

So, why stick to Excel when you have a variety of alternatives at your fingertips? Try out one of these options and see how it enhances your spreadsheet experience!

SEE ALSO: 5 Best Google Docs Alternatives