Apple Numbers for Mac - The Ultimate Guide

January 12, 2024 992 views

In the world of macOS, mastering the Apple Numbers application can be a daunting task, especially for newcomers. We understand the need for a clear and detailed guide that simplifies the process of downloading and using Apple Numbers effectively. This guide aims to address these concerns and provide a step-by-step approach to help you harness the full potential of this software for all your spreadsheet needs.

Part 1: What is Apple Numbers?

Apple Numbers is a dynamic and versatile spreadsheet application designed exclusively for macOS users. It offers a wide array of features and advantages that make it a valuable tool for various tasks, from personal finance management to complex data analysis.

Key features and advantage

  1. Templates for Every Occasion: Apple Numbers provides an extensive collection of templates, allowing you to effortlessly create professional-looking spreadsheets. Whether you need a budget tracker, project planner, or a simple to-do list, there's a template to suit your needs.

  2. Formulas and Functions: Numbers is equipped with a powerful set of formulas and functions. You can perform complex calculations, analyze data, and generate insights with ease. From basic arithmetic to statistical analysis, Numbers has you covered.

  3. Interactive Charts and Graphs: Visualizing your data is a breeze with Numbers. You can create stunning charts and graphs to present your information effectively. Whether it's pie charts, bar graphs, or scatter plots, Numbers offers a variety of visualization options.

  4. Real-time Collaboration: If you're working on a project with others, Numbers supports real-time collaboration. You can invite colleagues or friends to collaborate on a spreadsheet, and everyone can edit and view changes simultaneously.

  5. Cross-Platform Compatibility: While Numbers is native to macOS, it is also available on iOS and even accessible via a web browser. This means you can work on your spreadsheets across multiple devices and platforms, making it convenient for users on the go.

  6. Cloud Integration: Numbers integrates seamlessly with iCloud, Apple's cloud storage service. This allows you to save your spreadsheets in the cloud and access them from any device with an internet connection. Your data is always at your fingertips.

  7. Ease of Use: Apple Numbers boasts an intuitive and user-friendly interface. Even if you're new to spreadsheet software, you'll find it easy to navigate and create documents. The drag-and-drop functionality simplifies the process.

System Requirements and Compatibility

Before diving into Numbers, it's essential to ensure that your Mac meets the necessary system requirements for a smooth experience. The software is designed to work seamlessly with macOS, but it's always a good practice to double-check.

Supported devices and platforms:

  • Mac: macOS 12.0 or later

  • iPad: iPadOS 15.0 or later

  • iPhone: iOS 15.0 or later

  • iPod touch: iOS 15.0 or later

Minimum system requirements:

  • Mac: 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage

  • iPad: 1GB of RAM and 64GB of storage

  • iPhone: 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage

  • iPod touch: 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage

Part 2: How to Download Apple Numbers For Mac?

Here are two ways to download Apple Numbers for Mac:

  1. Through the Mac App Store

  2. From Apple's website

To download Numbers through the Mac App Store:

Step 1: Open the Mac App Store.

Step 2: In the search bar, type "Numbers" and press Enter.

Step 3: Click on the Numbers app icon.

Step 4: Click on the Get button.

the Get button

Step 5: If you are not signed in to your Apple ID, you will be prompted to do so.

Step 6: Once you are signed in, click on the Install button.

Step 7: Numbers will be downloaded and installed on your Mac.

To download Numbers from Apple's website:

Step 1: Go to the Apple Numbers download page.

Step 2: Click on the Download button.

Step 3: If you are not signed in to your Apple ID, you will be prompted to do so.

Step 4: Once you are signed in, the Numbers installer file will be downloaded to your Mac.


  • If you are already using a previous version of Numbers on your Mac, the installer will automatically update it to the latest version.

  • If you are having trouble downloading or installing Numbers, you can contact Apple Support for assistance.

Part 3: How to Edit your spreadsheet in Apple Numbers?

Now that you've successfully downloaded Apple Numbers, it's time to dive into the exciting world of editing your spreadsheets. This section will guide you through the process of creating and modifying your documents.

Choosing a Template or Starting from Scratch

Step 1: Open Apple Numbers on your Mac by clicking on its icon in the Applications folder or Launchpad.

Apple Numbers icon

Step 2: You'll be presented with various template options to choose from. These templates are designed to suit different purposes, such as budgets, schedules, and more.

Personal Budget template


Step 3: Browse through the available templates and select the one that best matches your needs. If you prefer to create a spreadsheet from scratch, you can choose a blank document.

Step 4: Once you've made your selection, click on the chosen template or the "Blank" option.

Setting Up Document Preferences

Step 1: After selecting a template or starting with a blank document, you'll be taken to the main editing interface of Apple Numbers.

Step 2: Before you begin editing, it's essential to set up your document preferences to tailor your spreadsheet to your specific needs. To do this, navigate to the "Format" menu at the top of the screen.

Step 3: In the "Format" menu, you can customize various aspects of your document, including fonts, colors, and cell formats.

Step 4: Explore the options available in the "Format" menu to adjust your document's appearance and functionality as desired.

Editing Your Spreadsheet

Step 1: Now you're ready to start editing your spreadsheet. Click on any cell in the grid to enter data, numbers, or text.

Input the Income

Step 2: You can use the formulas and functions provided in Apple Numbers to perform calculations and manipulate data as needed.

Step 3: To enhance the visual representation of your data, you can create charts and graphs by selecting the data and choosing the "Chart" option from the "Insert" menu.

Step 4: Remember to save your progress regularly by clicking on the "File" menu and selecting "Save" or using the keyboard shortcut (Command + S).

Part 4: Best Free Alternative - WPS Office

WPS Office logo


While Apple Numbers is an excellent choice for Mac users, it's worth exploring a free alternative that offers compatibility with Microsoft Office files on both Windows and Mac. Enter WPS Office – a versatile and powerful suite of office applications.

WPS Office is a free, all-in-one office suite designed to open, create, edit, and save Microsoft Office files, including Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations. It's a compelling alternative for users who seek a comprehensive office suite without the price tag. Here's why WPS Office stands out:

Pros of WPS Office:

  1. Free Download and Use: One of the most significant advantages of WPS Office is that it's entirely free to download and use. You get full access to word processing, spreadsheet editing, and presentation creation without any upfront cost.

  2. Powerful PDF Toolkit: WPS Office goes beyond standard office software by offering a powerful PDF toolkit. You can create, edit, and convert PDF documents effortlessly, making it a versatile tool for managing your electronic documents.

  3. Rich Template Store: WPS Office provides a diverse collection of templates, making it easy to create professional and visually appealing documents. From business reports to personal resumes, you'll find a template for every occasion.

  4. Lightweight: WPS Office is known for its efficiency and low system resource usage. It's a lightweight application that won't slow down your computer, ensuring a smooth and responsive experience.

  5. Support for Online Documents: In today's interconnected world, collaborating and working on documents with others is essential. WPS Office supports online documents, allowing multiple users to collaborate in real-time, making it perfect for team projects and remote work.

How to Download WPS Office

If you're interested in experiencing the benefits of WPS Office, here's how to download it for your Mac:

Step 1: Visit the official WPS Office website at

Step 2: Once on the website, you'll find a prominent "Download" button. Click on it to begin the download process.

Download WPS


Step 3: Follow the on-screen instructions to install WPS Office on your Mac.

WPS installing


Step 4: Once the installation is complete, you can launch WPS Office and start enjoying the features and capabilities it offers.

WPS Office provides a cost-effective and feature-rich alternative to traditional office software, making it an excellent choice for those who require office productivity tools without the financial commitment. Downloading and installing WPS Office is a straightforward process, ensuring you can quickly get started with this powerful suite of office applications.

WPS Office- Free All-in-One Office Suite
  • Use Word, Excel, and PPT for FREE, No Ads.

  • Edit PDF files with the powerful PDF toolkit.

  • Microsoft-like interface. Easy to learn. 100% Compatibility.

  • Boost your productivity with WPS's abundant free Word, Excel, PPT, and CV templates.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the difference between Apple Numbers and Google Sheets? 

  • Collaboration: Google Sheets is known for its robust real-time collaboration features, making it a popular choice for team projects. Multiple users can edit a document simultaneously and leave comments in Google Sheets.

  • Accessibility: Google Sheets is cloud-based and accessible from any device with an internet connection. Apple Numbers is native to Apple devices and requires macOS or iOS to function.

  • Offline Use: Apple Numbers allows offline editing, while Google Sheets requires an internet connection to access documents unless you've set them to be available offline.

  • Integration: Apple Numbers is tightly integrated with the Apple ecosystem, making it seamless for users of Apple devices. Google Sheets offers integration with other Google Workspace apps, like Google Docs and Google Slides.

Is Apple Numbers as good as Excel? 

Apple Numbers and Microsoft Excel have similar capabilities for basic spreadsheet tasks. Excel, however, is known for its extensive set of advanced features and functions, making it a preferred choice for complex data analysis and advanced calculations. If you need advanced features, Excel might be the better choice. If you're looking for a free, user-friendly option with basic spreadsheet functions, Apple Numbers is a great choice.

Is there a free spreadsheet for Mac? 

Yes, Apple Numbers is a free spreadsheet application for Mac users. It's included with macOS and is available for download from the Mac App Store.

How much does Apple Numbers cost? 

Apple Numbers is free for macOS and iOS users. There is no additional cost to download and use the software on your Mac or iOS devices.

What is the limit for Apple Numbers?

Apple Numbers doesn't have a strict limit on the number of rows or columns in a spreadsheet. However, the practical limit may vary depending on your device's memory and processing power. For very large and complex spreadsheets, you might experience performance issues on older or less powerful Macs. It's best to try and see how your specific spreadsheets perform on your Mac.


In this comprehensive guide, we've explored Apple Numbers for Mac, from understanding its features and advantages to the step-by-step process of downloading and using it. We've also introduced the benefits of WPS Office as a free alternative and addressed common questions about Apple Numbers. With this knowledge, you can confidently utilize Apple Numbers for all your spreadsheet needs and consider the alternatives available, such as WPS Office.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.