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Best Free Spreadsheet Softwares for Mac Users The Beginners Guide

November 15, 2023 1.1K views

Welcome to a guide designed for Mac users seeking powerful spreadsheet tools. Written by a content creator specializing in office applications, this guide offers straightforward insights. From WPS Spreadsheet's collaboration features to Google Sheets' cloud integration, you're about to discover tools that make work easier.

Basics of Spreadsheet Software

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What Is Spreadsheet Software?

Spreadsheet software is a computer application that allows users to store, organize, and analyze data in tabular form. It is a powerful tool that can be used for various purposes such as budgeting, accounting, data analysis, and project management. Spreadsheet software is widely used in businesses, schools, and homes because of its versatility and ease of use.

Why Is It Important to Use Spreadsheet Software?

Spreadsheet software offers several benefits, making it indispensable for personal, educational, and professional use:

  1. Data Organization: You can neatly arrange data into rows and columns, making it easy to read and understand. This organization is especially useful for financial records, inventory management, and more.

  2. Calculations: Spreadsheet software automates calculations, eliminating the need for manual computations. This is essential for tasks like budgeting, accounting, and scientific analysis.

  3. Data Analysis: It enables you to perform data analysis, including sorting, filtering, and creating pivot tables, helping users make informed decisions.

  4. Charting and Graphs: Spreadsheet software allows you to create various types of charts and graphs, making it easier to visualize data trends and patterns. This is useful for business reports, academic presentations, and project management.

Real-Life Applications:

  1. Business Finance: Businesses use spreadsheets to track expenses, revenues, and create financial statements.

  2. Academic Grading: Teachers use spreadsheets to calculate and manage students' grades.

  3. Project Management: Project managers use spreadsheets to track tasks, timelines, and resources.

  4. Scientific Research: Scientists and researchers use spreadsheets for data analysis and experiment results.

  5. Inventory Management: Retailers and manufacturers use spreadsheets to manage inventory levels.

  6. Personal Budgeting: Individuals use spreadsheets to create and maintain personal budgets

In summary, spreadsheet software is an essential tool for anyone who needs to manage data efficiently. It provides powerful tools for organizing, analyzing, and visualizing data. Whether you’re managing your personal finances or running a business, spreadsheet software can help you save time and work more efficiently.

Top 5 Must-Install Spreadsheet Softwares for Mac - Free Download

  1. WPS Spreadsheet

WPS Office



WPS Spreadsheet, part of the WPS Office suite, is a free and open-source spreadsheet tool that can seamlessly open, edit, and save Excel files. It is designed to cater to the needs of users who want a powerful spreadsheet application without the price tag.

Key Features:

  • Formula Support: Equipped to handle all Excel formulas, from simple calculations to complex functions.

  • Data Analysis: Offers an array of data analysis tools, including pivot tables, charts, and graphs.

  • Collaboration: Allows real-time co-editing with other users, fostering seamless teamwork.

  • Cloud Integration: Easily integrates with cloud storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox.

Differentiators from Microsoft Excel:

Co-editing within Documents: WPS Spreadsheet lets users co-edit spreadsheets in real time across different documents, a premium feature in Microsoft Excel.

Group Document Sharing: It enables the sharing of spreadsheets and grants permission for group members to edit them, making collaboration effortless.

WPS AI:

WPS AI is a set of artificial intelligence features that are integrated into WPS Office. WPS AI can help users to improve their productivity and efficiency by providing features such as:

  • Document Analysis: It can analyze documents to identify key information, facilitating the creation of summaries, reports, and more.

  • Efficient Formatting: Automates document formatting based on user preferences, saving time and effort.

  • Intelligent Content Recommendations: Offers tailored content recommendations based on user behavior and interests, making information retrieval more efficient.

Rating: 4.4/5 star on g2.com

Pros:

  • Free and open-source

  • Compatibility with Microsoft Excel

  • Seamless integration with cloud storage

  • Integration with WPS AI

Cons:

  • May not be as widely recognized as Microsoft Excel

  • Numbers

Numbers


Numbers is a spreadsheet software designed for Mac and iOS users. It offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it suitable for users of all levels. With ready-made templates, it simplifies spreadsheet creation for various tasks.

Features:

  • Intuitive Interface: The software boasts a user-friendly and easy-to-navigate interface, making it suitable for users of all levels.

  • Ready-Made Templates: It offers a variety of templates designed for various tasks, simplifying the process of creating spreadsheets for different purposes.

  • Robust Collaboration Tools: Users can collaborate in real-time with their team, thanks to tools that facilitate seamless teamwork and document editing.

  • Seamless iCloud Integration: It seamlessly integrates with iCloud, allowing users to access their documents effortlessly from any location.

  • Comprehensive Chart and Graph Creation: Users can create a wide array of charts and graphs, with ample customization options, to effectively represent their data.

Rating: 4.3/5 of start on g2.com

Pros:

  • Perfectly integrates within the Apple ecosystem

  • User-friendly, making it suitable for beginners

  • Facilitates real-time collaboration on documents

  • Free for Apple device users

Cons:

  • Lacks some advanced features found in premium alternatives

  • Limited availability outside the Apple ecosystem

  1. Google Sheets

Google Sheets


Google Sheets is a web-based spreadsheet software that's part of Google Workspace. It excels in real-time collaboration, allowing multiple users to work on a spreadsheet simultaneously. It stores spreadsheets in the cloud for easy accessibility from any device with an internet connection.

Features:

  • Real-time Collaboration: Google Sheets supports real-time collaboration, allowing multiple users to work on a spreadsheet simultaneously, enhancing teamwork and productivity.

  • Cloud Storage and Accessibility: Your spreadsheets are stored in the cloud, ensuring accessibility from anywhere with an internet connection, providing the flexibility to work on your projects on the go.

  • Formulas and Functions: Google Sheets offers a comprehensive set of formulas and functions, enabling users to perform complex calculations and data analysis.

  • Integration with Google Drive and Apps: Seamlessly integrate with Google Drive and other Google applications, streamlining your workflow and data management.

Rating: 4.7/5 on GetApp

Pros:

  • Unmatched collaborative capabilities

  • Accessible from any device with an internet connection

  • A wide range of formulas and functions

  • Seamless integration with other Google apps

  • Free to use

Cons:

  • Offline functionality may be limited

  • Advanced features may not match Excel's capabilities

  • Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365



Microsoft 365, previously known as Office 365, is a comprehensive productivity suite that includes Excel for data analysis and manipulation. It offers an extensive suite of applications like Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

Features:

  • Excel for Data Analysis: Microsoft 365 includes Excel, a powerful tool for in-depth data analysis and manipulation, equipped with a wide range of functions and capabilities.

  • Suite of Applications: It offers an extensive suite of applications, including Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and more, catering to various productivity needs.

  • Robust Cloud Storage and Collaboration: Microsoft 365 provides robust cloud storage through OneDrive, facilitating collaboration and easy access to your documents from anywhere.

  • Regular Updates and Security: Users benefit from regular software updates and robust security features to keep their data and information protected.

  • Premium Customer Support: Microsoft 365 subscribers can access premium customer support, ensuring that assistance is readily available when needed.

Rating: 4.7/5 on GetApp

Pros:

  • Excel's extensive capabilities for data management and analysis

  • Comprehensive suite of essential productivity apps

  • Seamless collaboration with OneDrive and SharePoint

  • Regular updates and top-notch security

  • Access to customer support

Cons:

  • Subscription cost can be prohibitive for some users

  • Heavier system requirements compared to free alternatives

  • LibreOffice Calc

LibreOffice Calc


LibreOffice Calc is an open-source spreadsheet software. It boasts advanced functions and formula support, making it suitable for complex calculations and data analysis. It's compatible with various file formats, including Microsoft Excel, ensuring seamless file sharing and compatibility.

  • Advanced Functions and Formula Support: LibreOffice Calc provides support for advanced functions and formulas, making it suitable for complex calculations and data analysis.

  • Compatibility with Multiple File Formats: It is compatible with multiple file formats, including Microsoft Excel, ensuring seamless file sharing and compatibility.

  • Extensive Charting and Graphing: Users can create a wide range of charts and graphs with customization options, allowing for effective data visualization.

  • Robust Data Analysis: The software offers robust data analysis tools, including pivot tables and more, enhancing the capabilities for data processing.

Rating: 4.3 /5 on g2.com

Pros:

  • Comparable functionality to Microsoft Excel

  • Compatibility with various file formats

  • Comprehensive charting and analysis tools

  • Completely free and open-source

  • Regular updates and a supportive community

Cons:

  • User interface may not be as polished as some paid alternatives

  • Limited cloud and collaboration features compared to some premium solutions

Comparison for the 5 Spreadsheet Softwares

here's a table comparing the five spreadsheet software options for Mac:

Spreadsheet Software

Features

Pros

Cons

Recommendation

WPS Spreadsheet

Excel-compatible, co-editing, WPS AI

Excel formula support, collaborative co-editing, WPS AI features

Limited advanced features compared to premium solutions

Ideal for teams and individuals needing Excel compatibility and advanced features like co-editing and WPS AI.

Google Sheets

Real-time collaboration, cloud integration, formulas

Real-time collaboration, cloud accessibility, free

Limited offline functionality

Perfect for teams or individuals who prioritize real-time co-editing and accessibility from anywhere with an internet connection.

Microsoft 365

Excel, suite of applications, OneDrive

Excel's data analysis, extensive apps, cloud storage, regular updates

Subscription cost

Suitable for professionals and businesses requiring the full suite of Office applications and in-depth data analysis.

Numbers (Apple)

Apple ecosystem integration, templates, charts

Apple integration, user-friendly, real-time collaboration

Limited cross-platform compatibility

Excellent for Apple users who value seamless integration within the Apple ecosystem and need user-friendly software with collaboration features.

LibreOffice Calc

Advanced functions, compatibility, charting

Open-source, compatibility, robust features

May lack refinement

Great for students, educators, or users with budget constraints seeking free, versatile software with advanced spreadsheet capabilities.

In summary, the best recommendation depends on your specific needs. WPS Spreadsheet stands out with its Excel compatibility, co-editing, and WPS AI. However, consider your priorities, such as collaboration, budget, or platform preferences, when making your choice.

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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

How do I create a spreadsheet in Numbers on Mac?

To create a Numbers spreadsheet on your Mac, open Numbers, choose a template or start with a blank sheet, add data and elements, save your work using "File" > "Save," and it will be automatically saved. Close the sheet by clicking the red close button in the top-left corner.

Are there spreadsheet templates available for Mac?

Yes, there are numerous spreadsheet templates available for Mac users, many of which can be freely downloaded. You can find a variety of spreadsheet templates on websites like the one you mentioned (https://www.smartsheet.com/mac-excel-templates), offering templates for different purposes such as budgeting, project management, and more.

Summary

In this comprehensive guide, we've delved into the world of spreadsheet software, particularly focusing on options available for Mac users. Among the top contenders, WPS Spreadsheet from the WPS Office suite shines as a powerful and cost-effective choice.

Its compatibility with Excel, collaborative co-editing, and integration with WPS AI make it a standout option for teams and individuals alike. Whether you prioritize compatibility, collaboration, or platform preferences, this guide has you covered in your quest for the perfect spreadsheet tool.


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