Microsoft Excel Online Review-Features, Price, How to use, Alternatives

May 12, 2023 1.3K views

Microsoft Excel Online takes the unparalleled functionality of Excel and brings it to the web, making it accessible to anyone with an internet connection. The best part? It's completely free! With Excel Online, you no longer need to invest in expensive software or worry about compatibility issues. You can create, edit, and collaborate on spreadsheets seamlessly, from any device, anywhere in the world.

Features of Microsoft Excel Online

Microsoft Excel Online offers a wide range of powerful features that empower users to work with spreadsheets in a seamless and efficient manner.

1. Excel Online brings the unparalleled functionality of the desktop version of Excel to the web. You can create, edit, and format spreadsheets with ease, thanks to a familiar and user-friendly interface. From entering data, performing calculations, and creating formulas to sorting, filtering, and visualizing data using charts and graphs, Excel Online provides a comprehensive set of tools for all your spreadsheet needs.

2. Collaboration is made effortless with Excel Online. Multiple users can work on the same spreadsheet simultaneously, whether they are sitting in the same room or miles apart. You can see the changes made by others in real-time, facilitating seamless teamwork and eliminating the need for back-and-forth email exchanges. With the ability to comment on cells, have discussions, and track changes, collaborating on spreadsheets has never been easier.

3. Access Anywhere, Anytime: With Excel Online, your spreadsheets are not confined to a single device or location. You can access your files from any computer or device with an internet connection. Whether you're using a Windows PC, Mac, or even a mobile device, you can work on your spreadsheets on the go. This flexibility allows you to stay productive and make updates whenever and wherever inspiration strikes.

4. Excel Online integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft Office Online applications, such as Word and PowerPoint. This integration enables you to insert spreadsheets into documents and presentations, preserving all the formatting, formulas, and data. It enhances the overall productivity and efficiency of your work, allowing you to create comprehensive reports, analyze data, and present information seamlessly across different Office applications.

5. Say goodbye to the fear of losing your work or accidentally overwriting data. Excel Online automatically saves your changes as you go, ensuring that your progress is continuously backed up. Additionally, the version history feature allows you to review and restore previous versions of your spreadsheet, providing peace of mind and the ability to track and undo any unwanted changes.

6. Excel Online offers a vast collection of pre-designed templates that cater to various needs, from budgeting and financial analysis to project management and scheduling. These templates provide a starting point for your spreadsheets and save you valuable time. Additionally, you can enhance the functionality of Excel Online by accessing a range of add-ins from the Microsoft AppSource, expanding the capabilities of your spreadsheets with ease.

7. Excel Online provides a rich set of data analysis tools that enable you to gain insights and make informed decisions. With features like PivotTables, conditional formatting, and built-in formulas, you can analyze and manipulate data to uncover patterns and trends. Furthermore, you can visualize your data using a wide range of chart types, making it easier to communicate your findings and present information effectively.

What is the cost of Microsoft Excel Online?

The great part about using Microsoft Excel Online is that it is 100% free, unlike the desktop version of Excel that requires a paid license. This means you can enjoy the power and versatility of Excel without having to invest in expensive software or worry about ongoing subscription fees.

How to Access Microsoft Excel Online

  • Begin your journey to Excel Online by navigating to, the gateway to Microsoft's suite of online applications.

  • Once you're on the website, click on the "Sign In" button. Enter your email address and password associated with your Microsoft account. This can be your personal Microsoft account or the credentials provided by your school or workplace.

  • After signing in, you'll find the App Launcher, a convenient menu located in the top-left corner of the page. Click on it to reveal a range of Office applications.

  • Among the various options presented, click on the Microsoft Excel icon. This will launch Excel Online, opening up a world of spreadsheet possibilities.

  • Congratulations! You're now ready to start working with Excel Online. Begin creating, editing, and manipulating your spreadsheets with the intuitive and familiar Excel interface, accessible directly from your web browser.

How to Use Microsoft Excel Online


  1. Visit the OneDrive website and sign in using your Microsoft account. If you don't have one, you can create a free account in just a few minutes.

  2. Once you're signed in, navigate to the folder where you want to add a new workbook. This could be your personal OneDrive or a shared folder.

  3. Click on the "Create" button and choose "Excel workbook" from the options. Excel for the web will open in edit mode, allowing you to start working on your new workbook right away.

  • No Need to Save: With Excel for the web, there's no need to worry about saving your changes manually. The application automatically saves your workbook as you work on it, ensuring that your progress is always up to date.

Problems Using Microsoft Excel Online

  1. While Microsoft Excel Online offers a wide range of features, it may not have the same extensive functionality as the desktop version. Some advanced features or complex formulas may be limited or not available in the online version.

  2. When using Excel Online, you might encounter limitations in editing certain file types. While popular file formats like .xlsx are fully supported, other formats may have limited editing capabilities or require conversion to the native Excel format.

  3. Depending on your specific needs or professional requirements, Microsoft Excel Online may not be sufficient to fulfill all your tasks. Certain complex data analysis or specialized functions may require the full desktop version of Excel for optimal performance and advanced capabilities.

  4. If you decide to switch from the free version of Microsoft Excel Online to another subscription plan, such as Microsoft 365, it's important to note that there may be associated costs. Upgrading to a different subscription tier with additional features and benefits may require a payment.

Alternatives for Microsoft Excel

WPS Spreadsheet

  • WPS Office is a powerful suite that offers a free and feature-rich alternative to Microsoft Excel. It provides users with a comprehensive set of tools for creating, editing, and analyzing spreadsheets. Here are some reasons why WPS is a great choice:


  • WPS Office is available for free, offering a full-featured spreadsheet application without any subscription costs or limitations. This makes it an attractive option for individuals and businesses looking for a budget-friendly solution.

  • WPS Office features an intuitive and user-friendly interface that resembles the familiar layout of Microsoft Excel. Users who are accustomed to Excel will find it easy to transition to WPS and start working seamlessly.

  • WPS Office provides a wide range of advanced features, such as data analysis tools, pivot tables, charts, and macros. These features empower users to handle complex tasks and perform in-depth data analysis, enhancing productivity and efficiency.

  • WPS Office offers excellent compatibility with Microsoft Excel file formats, ensuring smooth collaboration and seamless file exchange. It supports opening, editing, and saving files in various formats, including .xlsx, .xls, .csv, and more.

  • WPS Office integrates with popular cloud storage platforms, such as Dropbox and Google Drive. This allows users to easily access and collaborate on their spreadsheets from different devices, enhancing flexibility and convenience.

WPS Spreadsheet, Best Free Microsoft Excel Alternative!

Google Sheets

Google Sheets is a web-based spreadsheet application provided by Google, offering a powerful and collaborative platform for working with spreadsheets. Here are some key advantages of using Google Sheets:

  • Google Sheets excels in real-time collaboration, allowing multiple users to work on the same spreadsheet simultaneously. This feature is particularly useful for teams or individuals who need to collaborate and share data in real-time.

  • Since Google Sheets is entirely web-based, it can be accessed from any device with an internet connection. This eliminates the need for software installation and provides the flexibility to work from anywhere, without worrying about file compatibility.

  • Google Sheets seamlessly integrates with Google Drive, offering ample cloud storage for your spreadsheets. This integration simplifies file management, provides automatic saving, and ensures easy sharing and collaboration with others.

  • Google Sheets supports various add-ons and scripting capabilities, which can extend its functionality and automate repetitive tasks. Users can enhance their productivity by utilizing these add-ons to streamline workflows and customize the application to their specific needs.


Is Microsoft Excel online the same as Excel?

Microsoft Excel Online is a web-based version of Microsoft Excel, a powerful spreadsheet programme created by Microsoft. While Excel Online provides many of the same essential features and functions as the desktop version, there are notable changes in advanced features and offline capabilities.

How much does Excel cost?

The Personal monthly plan costs $6.99, while the yearly plan costs $69.99. It is compatible with PC and MacOS and can be used on five devices at the same time. Microsoft family plan can also be availed for $9.99 monthly or at $99.99 annually.

Can I just purchase Microsoft Excel?

Yes, you can buy standalone editions of Microsoft Excel without having to subscribe to Microsoft 365. Excel is available as a perpetual license as part of Microsoft's Office package.

Is there a free version of Excel?

Yes, there is a free Excel version called "Excel Online." It is an Excel web-based version that can be viewed via a web browser. Excel Online is a spreadsheet application that allows users to create, edit, and collaborate on Excel files.

WPS Spreadsheets All-The-Way

With Excel Online, you can create, edit, and collaborate on spreadsheets seamlessly, from any device, anywhere in the world. Its powerful features, real-time collaboration, and integration with other Microsoft Office applications make it a valuable tool for productivity. But for those looking for an amazing alternative that provides all the major Microsoft Excel features and is completely free, WPS Spreadsheets is the way to go. WPS Spreadsheets offers a comprehensive suite of tools that rival Excel, allowing users to create, edit, and analyze spreadsheets with ease. From data analysis and charting to pivot tables and macros, WPS Spreadsheets delivers a complete solution for all your spreadsheet needs.Unleash spreadsheet excellence with WPS Spreadsheets! Free, powerful, and packed with features comparable to Excel. Download now and elevate your productivity.

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