How to Use Google Sheets: Online Spreadsheets

While our lives have totally become data-centric but keeping track of numbers still isn’t easy. That’s where Excel or Google Sheets come to play. Both applications need no introduction. When marketers, professionals or even individuals want to analyse data to make smart decisions spreadsheets are used.

For years Excel has been the go-to software to create spreadsheets. But with the introduction of the cloud-based tool, Google Sheets things changed. Many users started to switch to this powerful online spreadsheet application. As it is the best of both worlds, offline desktop application, and an online spreadsheet. This means using Google Sheets you can access data anytime, anywhere.

Here in this article, we will be discussing:

How is an Online Spreadsheet Different than Excel?

How to use Google Sheets?

How to Create Google Sheets, do Editing, use Formulas?

Benefits of using Google Sheets

First thing first: Let’s talk about how it is different than Excel.

How Online Spreadsheets Are Different Than Excel?

For long we all have been using Microsoft Excel to create a spreadsheet to manage finances, budgeting, etc. Undoubtedly, it is a versatile software and used by over 1 million users worldwide.

On the other hand, Google Sheets is no different than Excel. Both are similar in many ways yet different Here are a few key differences:

1. Google Sheets is cloud-based whereas Excel is a desktop program.

2. Google Sheets is free to use for all Google account holders while Excel required software subscriptions.

3. Using Google Sheets, you can have access to up to date spreadsheets which is not possible in Excel.

4. Both offer tools, tables but Excel has an upper hand here.

5. Excel can handle bigger data as compared to Sheets that has a limit of 2 million cells.

6. Google Sheets being a cloud-based tool integrates well with other online Google services.

7. Online spreadsheets make collaboration easy while Excel is still struggling with it.

8. Both use scripting language. Google Sheets use Apps Script while Excel uses VBA.

How to use Google Sheets?

Now, that we know the difference between Google Sheets and Excel let’s learn how to create your first online spreadsheet.

Steps to create Google Sheets

1. Head to

google spreadsheet

2. Here, click on blue button “Go to Google Sheets”.

3. If not logged in to Gmail, you’ll be prompted to login to your Gmail.

4. Login to your account, you’ll now find yourself at Google Sheets home screen.

5. To create first online spreadsheet, click on + icon to create online spreadsheet.

google drive sheet

This way you can get your first Google Sheet created.

How to edit Google Sheets

Now that you have your Google Sheets let’s look at the following screenshot to understand basic icons.

google sheet management


To rename the sheet click where it says Untitled spreadsheet. Give it a name of your choice and you have a spreadsheet with a new name.

You can now use it to add data.

Moreover, if you have an Excel file that you would want to convert to Google Sheets here, we go.

Steps to convert Excel to Google Sheet

1. Open the online Spreadsheet.

2. Click on the File Menu > Import.

google sheet making

3. You will now see a new window here click on Upload tab > select the file you wish to upload.

google sheet import

Note: The file should not be password protected.

This way you can upload an Excel file and get it converted to Google Sheets automatically.

Now that you have Excel file converted you must want to share it to learn how to do so read: How to share Google Sheets on Web

In addition to this, you can click here to learn how to protect cells from editing in Google Sheets and how to insert checkbox in Google Sheets.

How to open Google Sheets from Drive

Each time you create a Google Sheet it is saved to the drive. To open Google Sheets from Drive you simply need to head to Google Drive > look for the name of the online spreadsheet you created > double click on it. This will open the selected sheet.

To make things easy we would suggest you create a folder.

How to create a folder in Google Drive?

1. Open Google Drive.

2. Click + New

google drive

3. Next click on + Folder.

sheet upload in drive

4. Give a name to the folder > Create.

new sheet creating

This way you will get a folder created on your Google Drive. Now you can move your online spreadsheet into this folder.

How to move Google Sheets to Folder?

1. Open Google Drive.

2. Search for the Google Sheet you just created.

3. Right-click on it > Move to > select the folder.

google sheet mopve

This will move your Google Sheet to the selected folder.

Not only this, you can even set up and use Google Sheets Offline. To do so follow these steps.

Steps to Setup and Use Google Sheets Offline

To set up Google Sheets offline you will need the following things:

  • You must be online.
  • You should be using Google Chrome (make sure you are not using it in incognito mode).
  • Install and enable Google Docs Offline Chrome extension.
  • Ensure you have space on the drive to save files.

Once you have all these things follow the steps to use Google Sheets offline.

1. Sign in to Gmail account. Make sure you are using Google Chrome.

2. Head to

3. Check the box next to Offline that reads “Create, open and edit your recent Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides file on this device while offline.

google sheet setting

4. Click Done.

You will now have access to your Google Sheets even when offline.

Using these simple steps, you can create and use Google Sheets.

Benefits of using Google Sheets

You can use it anytime anywhere as it is an online spreadsheet. Moreover, you can use it offline too.

It is free, no need to pay to use Google Sheets.

Versatile can be used across devices and on different platforms.

Can use add-ons to increase the functionality of Google sheets.

So, these were some of the benefits of Google Sheets and how to use Google Sheets. If you are first time users of the online spreadsheet this beginner guide will help. If you like to do share it with your friends.

We would like to hear from you. Please leave us a comment to tell us what you think about this article.

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