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Free Alternative to Microsoft Excel Download

August 3, 2023 2.8K views

An MS Office spreadsheet program is Microsoft Excel, which Microsoft Corporation created. Data analysis, budgeting, financial modeling, and project management are just some of the many ways in which people and corporations put it to use. Excel's many features and functions make it possible to quickly and easily execute complicated calculations, visualize data in the form of charts, and visualize large amounts of data. Excel's popularity and importance in the modern workplace are testaments to the ease with which it can be learned and used.

Part 1:  What is Microsoft Excel?

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program created by Microsoft and used in homes, schools, and enterprises. It is used for managing and analyzing data and is either included with Microsoft Office or sold separately. It has many valuable functions, such as data input, formulas/functions, charts/graphs, and analytical tools. Microsoft Excel is currently available in many countries. Microsoft Excel cannot paste the data clipboard may have issues, which is a temporary storage area for data that has been copied or cut. To resolve this problem, either clear out the clipboard or restart Excel to take effect.

The value and significance of Microsoft Excel for managing and analyzing data:

  • Data analysis and management are two areas where Microsoft Excel shines. Some of the most crucial functions it serves are as follows:

  • Excel's storage and organizing features make it simple to handle and retrieve even massive volumes of data.

  • The format of an Excel spreadsheet makes it easy to add, change, and update information without affecting its integrity.

  • Excel's robust set of features and capabilities makes it possible to do elaborate computations, examine patterns in data, and visualize findings in the form of charts and graphs.

  • Financial modeling, forecasting, and trend analysis are all impossible without these capabilities. Sharing and collaboration: Excel's multi-user access and editing capabilities make it a powerful collaborative tool.

  • The export and sharing features of Excel also make it easy to share data and results. Automation and individualized preferences in Excel allow users to save time and work more efficiently. Users can automate boring tasks with the help of macros to save time and make fewer mistakes.

  • Excel users are better equipped to make important business choices because of the software's ability to provide them with clean, well-organized data.

  • Excel's powerful analytical tools make it possible for organizations to see patterns in their data and act on those findings.

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Part 2: Microsoft Excell Functions and Formulas Overview

Microsoft Excel is an important tool for analyzing, managing, and visualizing data. It is composed of an extensive library of functions and formulae, which are predefined formulae that can be used to do predefined calculations, such as summing a range of numbers, calculating the average value of a piece of data, or conducting a logical test. Excel's formula bar provides quick access to the program's hundreds of pre-installed operations, while other forms of the program are user-created expressions that carry out the user's desired computations by combining predefined functions, operators, and cell references.

1. Microsoft Excel Basic Operations

Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool for data analysis and management, but you'll need a firm grasp of the program's fundamentals to get the most out of it. Basic Excel functions such as entering data, formatting it, and sorting it will be covered in this article, along with several time-saving keyboard shortcuts.

Data Entry

The first step in working with Excel is entering data. Either manually by entering the values or automatically by importing data from an external source is acceptable. To manually input data, choose the cell in which you want to make changes and begin typing. The formula bar at the top of the screen may also be used to input or modify data.

Formatting

Data that is well formatted is much less of a challenge to read and comprehend. Change the font, add borders, and apply cell coloring to arrange your data any way you. choose the cells you wish to format, and then go to the Home tab on the ribbon's formatting toolbar. Font, color, and alignment settings are all accessible from this menu.

Sorting

The ability to sort data is a valuable tool for organizing information in a certain fashion. One or more columns may be used to sort the data. Click the Sort button under the Data tab after choosing the column by which you want to arrange your data. Sorting may be done in either ascending or descending order from this point on.

2. What are the commonly used Keyboard Shortcuts for Microsoft Excel?

Productivity in Excel may be greatly improved by learning and using keyboard shortcuts.

Some frequent shortcuts are as follows:

Ctrl + A: Select All

Ctrl + B: Bold

Ctrl + C: Copy

Ctrl + U: Underline

Ctrl + V: Paste

Ctrl + Y: Redo

Ctrl + Z: Undo

Ctrl + I: Italicize

F2: Edit cell

F4: Repeat last action

F11: Create chart

3. Microsoft Excel Functions and Formulas

Microsoft Excel is a sophisticated tool for organizing, analyzing, and presenting data. One of the primary elements that make it so adaptable is its wide library of functions and formulas.

Following are some of the most regularly used functions and formulas in Excel:

SUM: This function sums up a range of numbers in a cell. For example, =SUM(A1:A5) will sum up the values in cells A1 to A5.

AVERAGE: This function calculates the average of a range of numbers. For example, =AVERAGE(A1:A5) will compute the average of the values in cells A1 to A5.

MAX/MIN: These functions return the maximum or minimum value in a range of cells. For example, =MAX(A1:A5) will return the greatest value in cells A1 through A5.

COUNT: This function counts the number of cells in a range that contain numbers. For example, =COUNT(A1:A5) will count the number of cells in cells A1 to A5 that contain numbers.

IF: This formula examines whether a condition is true or false and returns a value depending on the outcome.For example, =IF(A1>10, "Yes", "No") will return "Yes" if the value in cell A1 is larger than 10, and "No" if it is not.

VLOOKUP: This formula searches for a value in a table and returns a corresponding value from a specified column. For example, =VLOOKUP(A1, B1:C5,2, FALSE) will search for the value in cell A1 in the table in cells B1 to C5 and return the relevant value in the second column.

Part 3:  How to Download a Microsoft Excel Document? Windows or Mac

There are several ways to download an Excell document, depending on your requirements. Downloading Microsoft Office from the official Microsoft website, which contains Microsoft Excel as part of the Office suite, is one alternative. After installing Microsoft Office, you may open and edit Excel files directly in the software.

As an alternative, you can get Excel files from other websites or sources. Nevertheless, you should exercise caution when downloading files from unidentified sources since they can be infected with malware or viruses.

WPS Spreadsheet, a Free and Professional Data Analysis Tool!

Using free alternative software like WPS Office, which contains a spreadsheet program that can access and edit Excel documents, is an additional choice. On their official website or from other sources, you may download WPS Office.You download WPS Office as an alternative to Microsoft Excel if you already have an Excel document and wish to modify it. Without the requirement for a Microsoft Office subscription, WPS Office is free software that can open and edit Microsoft Office documents, including Excel spreadsheets. WPS Office may be downloaded from their official website or a reputable third party.


Part 4: Comparative Analysis of Excel Tables on the Market

Comparison table of Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and WPS Office:

Feature

Microsoft Excel

Google Sheets

WPS Office

Price

Subscription-based, with various plans to choose from

Free with a Google account

Free or subscription-based

Compatibility

Available on Windows and Mac computers

Accessible through any web browser

Available on Windows and Android devices

Offline Access

Yes, if installed on your device

Limited offline access with Google Drive offline

Yes, if installed on your device

Interface

Familiar and user-friendly, with a ribbon interface

Clean and simple, with basic formatting options

Similar to Microsoft Office, with a ribbon interface

Collaboration

Limited, with co-authoring and comments available

Real-time collaboration and comments are available

Real-time collaboration and comments are available

Formulas and Functions

Robust and extensive, with over 400 built-in functions

Basic formulas and functions available, but lacks some advanced features

A good selection of formulas and functions, but not as extensive as Excel

Add-ons and Integrations

Wide range of add-ons and integrations available through Microsoft's Office Store

Limited add-ons available through the Google Workspace Marketplace

Add-ons and integrations available, but not as extensive as Excel

Data Analysis

Powerful data analysis tools, including PivotTables and charts

Basic data analysis tools available, including PivotTables and charts

Basic data analysis tools available, including PivotTables and charts

Security

Robust security features, including password protection and encryption

Google's security features, including two-factor authentication

Basic security features, including password protection

Mobile App

Available for iOS and Android devices, with limited functionality

Available for iOS and Android devices, with basic functionality

Available for Android devices, with basic functionality

1. Worksheets on Google Drive

As a component of the Google Workspace package, Google Sheets offers users a free online alternative to traditional spreadsheet programs. Data input, formulae and functions, charts and graphs, and data analysis capabilities are all there, much as in Microsoft Excel. Since Google Sheets can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, it's an excellent tool for teamwork.

2. Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is an advanced spreadsheet program for data analysis, financial modeling, and other purposes.

Advantages of Microsoft Excel:

  • Provides a range of advanced functions and formulas for complex calculations and data analysis.

  • Offers powerful data visualization tools such as charts, graphs, and pivot tables.

  • Integrates with other Microsoft Office applications, such as Word and PowerPoint, for seamless workflow and data sharing.

  • Available as a desktop application and online version for easy collaboration and file sharing. Includes various add-ins and plugins to extend further functionality. Microsoft Excel supports multiple data formats, such as CSV, TXT, and XML.

Disadvantages to Microsoft Excel:

  • It can be costly, particularly for businesses or organizations needing multiple licenses.

  • The program may also be complex and challenging to learn for new users; large datasets may cause the program to run slowly or crash Limited capacity to handle unstructured data or unformatted text. Some software applications, particularly open-source or non-Microsoft alternatives, may not be compatible.

3. Google Sheets

It is a web-based spreadsheet application comparable to the ubiquitous Microsoft Excel. This app is part of their Drive package and may be used from any internet-connected device.

Advantages of Google Spreadsheets:

  • With a Google account, users can access Google's free software, making it affordable for individuals and small organizations. This low-cost substitute has many similarities with Excel (functions, formulae, data visualization capabilities), but it also has several advantages that Excel lacks.

  • Available online and accessible from any device with a web browser

  • It provides some optional features that increase usefulness.

Google Sheets' Drawbacks:

  • Excel may be slower to load and execute than desktop spreadsheet apps, requiring more sophisticated features and tools for complicated data analysis and management. In addition, not all spreadsheet applications will be compatible with all file types and data formats.

  • There may be a limit on the number of rows or columns accessed in specific databases.

4. WPS Office

WPS Office is free, a good option if you're looking for a low-cost and adaptable alternative to Microsoft Office. Here are three primary reasons why you should download WPS Office: get a free word processor, presentation software, and a spreadsheet with WPS Office. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and many more files are fully compatible.

WPS Excel


WPS Office is Free: WPS Office is free to use, unlike Microsoft Office, which may be pricey. This may be a great advantage for individuals or small enterprises operating on a low budget.

Compatibility with All Office Components: If you need to work with files using other Office software packages, WPS Office is the ideal choice since it can open, edit, and save documents in all popular file formats, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

WPS Office is a well-known and reliable option for document processing with wps Office currently has more than 500 million active users worldwide. Knowing that it will continue to be maintained and updated gives you peace of mind.

Advantages of WPS Office

  • WPS Office is free to use and affordable; this makes it accessible to individuals and businesses on a budget.

  • WPS office is Compatible with all office components like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as various file formats. Microsoft Excel shares many basic capabilities, such as functions, formulas, and data visualization tools, with its counterpart.

  • Offers a selection of templates and pre-designed spreadsheets to get users up and running quickly. Utilizes cloud storage for effortless collaboration and file-sharing capabilities.

5. Smartsheet

Smartsheet is a web-based application that facilitates group work and task organization. By providing a consolidated platform for teamwork, communication, and data management, it hopes to streamline all types of work.

Advantages of Smartsheet:

  • Smartsheet's live-updating project plans, timelines, and Gantt charts provide additional flexibility in project management.

  • With Smartsheet's deep connection with other popular tools, you can easily import and export data to and from Excel, Google Drive, and Salesforce, among many others.

Disadvantages:

  • Smartsheet offers project management and collaboration features but may need more depth of other available project management tools.

  • Difficult Learning Curve: Smartsheet's complexity might be off-putting for novice users, especially those who have never worked with a project management tool.

Part 5: FAQs About Microsoft Excel

Q1: Are Google Sheets the same as Excel?

Although Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel may be used to create spreadsheets, there are significant differences. There are certain commonalities, but there are also notable differences.

Q2: What is the difference between Excel and a spreadsheet?

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet tool for managing, formatting and analyzing tabular data. Excel's robust capabilities, which include sophisticated computation, data analysis, and visualization, have made it an indispensable tool in the workplace.

Q3: How do I activate Excel for free?

There is no fee to try out Excel on Microsoft's website in the form of a trial edition. Nevertheless, there might be features and functionality restrictions in the web-based version.

Q4: Is there a free alternative to Microsoft Excel?

Google Sheets, LibreOffice Calc, WPS Office Spreadsheets, and OpenOffice Calc are some of the free alternatives to Microsoft Excel. These applications are comparable to Excel in terms of functionality and features.

Conclusion

Microsoft Excel is a powerful spreadsheet program that offers a variety of functions and capabilities for data organization, analysis, and visualization. Free alternatives such as Google Sheets, WPS Office, and Smartsheet provide similar functionality and features at no cost. By learning Excel's core operations, shortcuts, functions, and formulas, users can optimize efficiency and productivity while dealing with data. With the most common concerns addressed, users may feel secure using Excel and other alternatives for their specific data processing tasks.

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