7 Excel Alternatives Worth Trying – Free & Paid [Windows + Mac]

Written by co-founder Kasper Langmann, Microsoft Office Specialist.

Are you looking for an alternative to Excel? 

Excel has been the standard of spreadsheets for years.

But with all its glory, Excel is not perfect.

In this article, you’ll find free and paid alternatives worth considering. We have also included important information like prices, OS compatibility, etc. to help you choose better.

Let’s get started! 😊

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

1. Google Sheets

home page of google sheets

Google Sheets is a cloud-based spreadsheet software that allows collaboration real-time.

Google Sheets is part of Google Suite — also known as G-Suite — Google’s version of Microsoft 365.

Google Sheets offer almost the same functionality as Excel. Excel has a little more advantage if you want to work with massive amounts of data. Google offers collaborative functions better.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

You can access Google Sheets through a Google account. And chances are, you might already have one. 😊

google sheets preview

If you want to take a peek, go over to your Gmail account and you can find Google Sheets under Google apps absolutely for FREE!

Google Sheets

  • Price: Generally free; offer paid subscriptions starting from $4.20 to $25 with more collaborative access like shared calendar and unlimited cloud storage (depending on the subscription)
  • OS Compatibility: As long as you have updated OS, you can access Google sheets through your browser; works perfectly with Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer 11, and Microsoft Edge; other browsers not mentioned might not be able to use all features
  • Pros: Very accessible; easy to use; collaborative; continuously upgrading
  • Cons: Can be very slow at times; don’t have as much functionality as Excel

2. ZOHO Sheets

home page of zoho sheets

When it comes to features and data visualization, Zoho Sheets might be the most powerful and advanced spreadsheet among the suggestions here or even in the market.

Zoho runs with its own AI assistant, Zia. Zia can provide you with an automated graph and even answer your questions about your data, making Zoho a good alternative to Excel for data analysis

zoho sheets preview

But the good spreadsheet-like ZOHO doesn’t come free as it charges users through monthly subscription ranging from $8 to $35.

ZOHO Sheets

  • Price: Free access to their basic features; basic plan starts at $8 and $35/year per user
  • OS Compatibility: Almost any Windows version can run Zoho Sheets; Mac OS X 10.6 is the minimum system requirement for Mac users
  • Pros: Intuitive and simple UI which help shorten the learning curve
  • Cons: Highly dependent on internet

3. LibreOffice Calc

home page of libreoffice calc

Calc is a free and open-source alternative to Excel. That means you can run it in any operating system.

Libre Office Calc is considered the best Excel replacement for Mac users. And to top it all off, as if being FREE isn’t good enough, it has features that don’t exist on its Microsoft counterpart.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto
preview of libreoffice calc

If you want to try which one works better for you, try downloading LibreOffice package for free.

LibreOffice Calc

  • Price: Absolutely free (If you would want to contribute to this project, you can donate to them through their website)
  • OS Compatibility: Runs virtually on any operating system available
  • Pros: Free and works just like Excel (almost)
  • Cons: Some formatting features require more effort than in Excel

4. Microsoft Office Excel Online

home page of microsoft office excel online

If you are planning to ditch Excel but do not want to make a lot of adjustments and changes, consider using its web-based version.

 Excel Online provides almost the same Excel-y feeling we all got used to.

preview of microsoft office excel online

Instead of traditionally saving it in your computer, Excel Online saves your file on OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud-based file-hosting service, which allows collaboration wherever you are but isn’t available in its traditional app-based version.

Microsoft Office Excel Online

  • Price: Free but paid subscription is available if you want to save more files in OneDrive
  • OS Compatibility: Designed to work with the current version of the Safari, Chrome, and Firefox browsers
  • Pros: Collaborative and has free templates; no need to download applications
  • Cons: Only save up to 2GB on OneDrive; unable to save files in their original format

5. EtherCalc

home page of ethercalc

EtherCalc would be the most user-friendly among the web-based alternatives.

Using EtherCalc is very straightforward. It is doesn’t require any signing up or registration of some sort. It also provides a very simplistic way for collaboration by just sharing the URL, which the site generates for every sheet.

It’s that simple! You can start working simultaneously. But simplicity has its downside as well.

The ready-to-go aim of this spreadsheet, however, caused it to downgrade on some of its features. Although EtherCalc lacks powerful data-analysis features, it can handle basic spreadsheet tasks.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto
preview of ethercalc

So if you are working on a larger amount of data, consider trying other software on this list.

EtherCalc

  • Price: Absolutely FREE!
  • OS Compatibility: GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and Windows
  • Pros: Very accessible and similar to excel
  • Cons: Lacks advanced features; UI (User Interface) can be improved

6. Numbers for Mac

front page of numbers for mac

If you are a solid Apple lover and got used to its ecosystem, then having Numbers on your devices will be a good Excel alternative for Mac.

Numbers comes in a sleek Apple-signature design. Although it is not as powerful as Excel or Google Sheets yet, Numbers can do the basic information-computing tasks.

preview of icloud numbers

Recent reports cite that Apple is working on updates so it can match Excel as a business-friendly tool. But if you just want to stay within the Apple Ecosystem where you can access all your files across devices, this is something worth considering.

Numbers for Mac

  • Price: Free.
  • OS Compatibility: Exclusively for Mac OS
  • Pros: Importing  data made easier
  • Cons: Cannot be installed in other OS outside Mac; still has to develop to be in par with existing spreadsheets

7. Quip

front page of quip

If you are someone who works with a team all the time, try subscribing to Quip.

 Quip is a spreadsheet as much as a collaborative tool. Their system is built around collaboration and real-time communication but without forfeiting functionality.

Currently, their system holds over 400 built-in functions. All of these features are well designed and organized in a sleek user interface.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto
preview of quip

Quip stands out with its collaborative tools and functionality which are not available among others mentioned above. You can avail of their services starting at $10 or $30 for the first five users.

Quip

  • Price: Basic subscription starts $10 to $25 (Requesting quote for specifications is possible)
  • OS Compatibility: Runs on both Mac (version 10.11+) and Windows (version 7+)
  • Pros: New level of collaboration; allows neat file management with visibility options
  • Cons: Heavily internet-reliant; needs a business email for the free demo

Wrapping things up…

Although Excel has been the quintessential spreadsheet as far as we can remember, the market and competitions are evolving faster and faster each day.

As we have seen from the list above, there is no “one-size-fits-all” spreadsheet. However, there are tons of options available out there ranging from free to the most expensive, from the most basic to the most advanced.

What is important is that you are aware which one, from functionality, collaboration, and amount of data, is your top priority.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto