Ninja Excel BlogTraining for CompaniesMicrosoft Excel vs. Google Sheets: This is the comparison you should read

Microsoft Excel vs. Google Sheets: This is the comparison you should read

This is an example of graphs that you can make in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets

Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. Two spreadsheets, two ways to use and work with data. These are fundamental tools in organizations and companies that are the most used that offer different functionalities and features. All of this will depend on what you need to use. 

This is why at Ninja Excel we want to compare both tools. In this article, We will explain the differences between Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets in functionalities, formulas and functions, graphics, security and prices. By understanding these differences, we will have enough information to make an informed decision about which spreadsheet you should use. 

Let's get started! 

What is Microsoft Excel?

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet tool created by Microsoft in 1985.. It is part of the productivity suite known as Microsoft Office. Excel is used in businesses, educational institutions, and on a personal level to perform a variety of tasks related to numerical data processing and analysis.

The application allows users to create spreadsheets consisting of rows and columns. This is how you can form cells in which data, numbers, formulas and mathematical functions can be entered. 

What features does Microsoft Excel have? 

Microsoft Excel features consist of the following

  1. Offers online and offline access.
  2. The Excel Quick Access Toolbar can be customized according to the user's needs. For example, you can pin any buttons you want, such as Form, Format, etc.
  3. It offers a wide variety of advanced feature add-ons supported by Microsoft, such as Power Query, Power Pivot, and Power BI.

What is Google Sheets?

Google Sheets is the spreadsheet that is integrated within Google Drive. which is part of Google Workspace. With it, you can create and collaborate on spreadsheets online in real time and from any device

What features does Google Sheets have?

  1. Real-time collaboration- You can share and edit spreadsheets with others in real time. 
  2. Integrated intelligence- Assisted features like Smart Fill and formula suggestions. 
  3. Seamless connection with other Google applications- You can easily analyze Google Forms data in Sheets or insert Sheets charts into Google Slides and Docs. 
  4. Excel file support: You can edit Microsoft Excel files online without converting them and take advantage of the improved support and collaboration features of Sheets. 

Now that we know the characteristics of each spreadsheet, we can make the comparison. Let's get started!

Online or offline: Microsoft Excel vs Google Sheets

Microsoft Excel

It is installed on the local device. That is why files can be stored on the hard drive without having an internet connection, being useful in areas with limited network access or in situations where working offline is required. In addition, it can be a safe option for companies to take care of their data. However, thanks to Microsoft 365, there is the option to Save the file to a OneDrive. 

Google Sheets

This tool is cloud based that works online. You need an internet connection to access and work on your spreadsheets. However, this also offers the advantage of real-time collaboration, allowing multiple users to edit and work on the same spreadsheet simultaneously.

Data Recording Capability: Microsoft Excel vs. Google Sheets

Microsoft Excel

It offers massive and broader data logging capability compared to Google Sheets. You can work with 17,179,869,184 million cells. Incredible!

Google Sheets

Although it has improved in terms of capacity in recent years, it still has limitations in the number of rows and columns that can be used in a spreadsheet. At the moment with Google Sheets you can work with 5 million cells. 

Spreadsheet functions: Microsoft Excel vs. Google Sheets

Microsoft Excel

It has a wide variety of formulas, functions and complex features that allow detailed analysis and complex calculations. Additionally, Microsoft continually releases new features that you can see them here, reaching more than 450 functions. It also has functions that are only in this tool such as XLOOP or XLOOKUP

Google Sheets

It has similar features of Excel in terms of advanced features. However, it does not have a large library of functions like Excel does. Yes, it includes some Exclusive features only applicable to Sheets such as GOOGLEFINANCE, GOOGLETRANSLATE, ARRAYFORMULA and SPARKLINE. 

Data analysis: Microsoft Excel vs. Google Sheets

Microsoft Excel

Excels at analyzing complex data and creating advanced statistical models. It is the preferred option for those working in finance, engineering, data science and other areas where deep data analysis is required. For example, with Microsoft Excel, you can make Hypothesis Analysis to test the Scenario Manager. This allows you to test scenarios using advanced Excel formulas.

Google Sheets

It also allows data analysis, but may be better suited for less complex tasks or those that do not require advanced analysis features. For example, Google Sheets can generate pivot tables, but it doesn't allow you to manipulate or visualize data with advanced pivot table features.

Ease of use: Microsoft Excel vs. Google Sheets

Microsoft Excel

It is characterized by having several tabs with many functions represented by icons that can help in its understanding. Although so many options may seem overwhelming, when you hover over a tool, Excel will tell you its usefulness.

Google Sheets

The Google Spreadsheet is characterized by being more minimalist in its options and includes tabs organized in drop-down menus. Unlike Excel, it doesn't leave all its features on the toolbar. For users who are using a spreadsheet for the first time, it is easier and more intuitive to navigate between the options. Additionally, since it is hosted in the cloud, the data log is saved automatically. 

Charts: Microsoft Excel vs. Google Sheets

Microsoft Excel

Offers a wide variety of chart options and customization tools. This way you can create complex, custom charts with ease, making it ideal for professional presentations or detailed reports.. Excel has the “Recommended Charts” option, which presents logical ways you could present data elements, such as units and unit costs over time. 

Google Sheets

Has a solid selection of graphics options. It may have limitations in terms of customization and complexity compared to Excel. Sheets does include types of scatter charts, the classic bar, pie, or column charts. However, it has no options dynamic charts or chart suggestions according to the data like Excel. 

Security: Microsoft Excel vs. Google Sheets

Microsoft Excel

As a locally installed tool, the security of your data depends largely on the measures you take to protect your device and your files. Therefore, it is important to implement security practices and make regular backups.

Google Sheets

As a cloud-based tool, Google takes care of the security of the data stored on its servers. Google uses encryption and authentication to protect user information. 

Cost and prices

Microsoft Excel

It is part of the Microsoft Office suite, meaning it is usually purchased through a subscription or a one-time license. Depending on the version and plan you choose, costs may vary.

Google Sheets

It is a free tool for any user with a Google account. However, Google also offers paid plans for businesses that want access to additional features and larger storage capacities.

Comparative table Microsoft Excel Vs. Google Sheets

CategoryMicrosoft ExcelGoogle Sheets
Developed byMicrosoft Corporation developed Microsoft Excel.Google LLC developed Google Sheets.
Released as a packageInside the Microsoft 365 packageThey launched Google Sheets as a G Suite package.
Release year19872006
Supported languagesExcel is available in 91 languages.Google Sheets are available in 83 languages.
Work with dataIdeal for large volumes of data.Excellent for low data volumes (less than 400,000) cells.
How do you collaborate?Users must have a One Drive account to use Microsoft Excel Online, although it does not have the same features as the desktop tool.Google Sheets is one of the preferred applications for collaboration.
Statistical analysis and visualization toolsExcel is a superior product in the case of statistical analysis and visualization.If you want to perform any analysis, you must do it manually.
Online-offlineWe can use Excel in offline and online mode through One Drive We can use the file online and offline. 
ChatExcel does not have this source function. Waiting for CopilotIn Sheets, there is a chat feature available in the sidebars.
ScriptsVBAScript Apps
Price$8.25/users per monthFree for individuals. $5/user/month for business.
Cloud storage driveOneDriveGoogle Drive

You must use Microsoft Excel if:

  • You need to do complex calculations
  • You must create visual representations of data
  • You need to organize large amounts of information
  • You work with the Microsoft 365 suite
  • You must identify trends and organize data into specific categories
  • If you are a professional in finance and accounting 
  • If you are a professional working in human resources 

You should use Google Sheets if: 

  • You have or belong to teams where many members collaborate on the same spreadsheet
  • You are looking for a spreadsheet with basic and free options
  • Are you looking for a feature with real-time chat and a free option for individuals?
  • You work with Google Workspace


In conclusion, both Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets are powerful and versatile tools with different strengths and weaknesses.. Choosing one or the other will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you work with complex data and need a wide range of advanced functionality, Excel is your choice.

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