The 7 Best Excel Alternatives: Free and Paid (and for MAC too)

Excel is the oldest, most versatile spreadsheet software out there. But just like all other applications, it has its fair share of limitations too.

To reach the maximum potential of your computing and analysis skills, you need to explore more options ūüĒć

To help with that, we have listed below seven powerful alternatives to try. These tools offer more flexibility, improved collaboration, and advanced analytics capabilities.

There’s a variety of free and paid options that are worth exploring. So without further ado, let’s get right into it ūüöÄ

Google Sheets

Google Sheets spreadsheet program to manage data

Google Sheets is a place designed for teams to view and edit data simultaneously. It is a cloud-based spreadsheet software and offers the same functionality as Excel.

It is a part of¬†Google Suite¬†‚ÄĒ also known as¬†G-Suite¬†‚ÄĒ Google’s version of Microsoft 365.

Google Sheets is more commonly used for collaborative work. Excel, on the other hand, is more popular for working with extensive data.

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

ScrollFrom the options select Google Sheets and there it is – absolutely FREE! ūü§©

Google Sheets spreadsheet interface

Google Sheets

  • Price:¬†Generally¬†free. Paid subscriptions start from¬†$4.20¬†to¬†$25.
  • OS Compatibility:¬†You can access Google sheets via your browser as long as you have an updated OS. It operates smoothly with Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer 11, and Microsoft Edge. Other browsers not mentioned might not be able to access all features
  • Pros:¬†Highly accessible, user-friendly, collaborative, continuously upgrading
  • Cons:¬†Can experience slowdowns at times, doesn’t have as much functionality as Excel

WPS Office Spreadsheets

WPS spreadsheet home page

WPS Office Spreadsheets is a part of the WPS Office suite of productivity tools. Its functionality is similar to Excel but not as advanced or extensive.

You can use WPS Sheets to create charts, apply conditional formatting, perform calculations, and more ūüďä

WPS Sheets supports over 200 functions and has a variety of built-in templates. Its biggest leverage over Excel is its strong encryption and collaboration feature.

WPS spreadsheet interface

WPS Sheets can support a variety of Excel file formats like XLS, CSV, ODS, and more. It comes in free and paid versions, with its paid version priced at $18/month and $28/year.

WPS Office Spreadsheets

  • Price:¬†Free but paid plan offers more functionality and storage
  • OS Compatibility:¬†Works with Windows, MacOS, Android, and Linux
  • Pros:¬†Easy to use and collaborate, variety of templates
  • Cons:¬†Slower performance, limited ability to handle large data

Microsoft Excel Online

MS Excel online program

If you want to ditch Excel but don’t want to make a lot of adjustments, consider using its web-based version ūüßź

Excel Online provides almost the same Excel-y feeling you get on the desktop version. Instead of traditionally saving it on your disk, it saves your Excel files on OneDrive.

It is Microsoft’s cloud-based file-hosting service. It allows collaboration wherever you are but isn’t available in its app-based version.

Excel online spreadsheet interface

Microsoft Office Excel Online

  • Price:¬†Free¬†but paid subscription lets you save more files in OneDrive
  • OS Compatibility:¬†Designed to work with current versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.
  • Pros:¬†Collaborative and provides free templates – no need to download applications
  • Cons:¬†Only saves up to 2GB on¬†OneDrive¬†– unable to save files in their original format

ZOHO Sheets

Zoho sheets

Zoho Sheets¬†is the top choice when it comes to features and data visualization. This makes it one of the most powerful spreadsheet programs in the market ūüėé

Zoho runs with its own AI assistant, Zia. Zia offers automated graph creation and data analysis capabilities. It can also answer tricky questions about your data, making it a strong alternative to Excel.

But a full-fledged and advanced spreadsheet software like Zoho doesn’t come for free. It charges users a¬†monthly subscription¬†ranging from¬†$8 to $35, depending on the package.

Zoho sheets interface

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 user interface, short learning curve
  • Cons:¬†Highly dependent on the internet

LibreOffice Calc

LibreOffice Calc homepage

LibreOffice Calc¬†is the best, most solid open-source alternative to Excel. It can run on any operating system and is considered the best Excel replacement for Mac users ūü•á

It offers advanced mathematical and statistical functions. LibreOffice has a wide variety of data types, macros, scripting, and a lot more. You can even create advanced pivot tables with it.

It also offers tracking features, various file formats, and professional-looking charts and graphs. And to top it all off, as if being FREE isn’t good enough, it has features that don’t exist in its Microsoft counterpart.

If you want to try which one works better for you, try downloading the LibreOffice package for free. It will give you a clearer insight into its interface, overall working, and more.

LibreOffice Calc spreadsheet interface.

LibreOffice Calc

  • Price:¬†Absolutely¬†free of cost
  • OS Compatibility:¬†Runs virtually on¬†any operating system¬†available
  • Pros:¬†Free, built-in commenting and tracking, a variety of functions
  • Cons:¬†Some formatting features require more effort than in Excel

Numbers for Mac

Apple Numbers homepage

If you are an Apple user,¬†Numbers will¬†make a great Excel alternative for you. It comes in a¬†sleek Apple signature design¬†and has a user-friendly interface ūüíĽ

Although Numbers is not as powerful as Excel, it can do basic computing tasks easily.

It’s free to use and offers seamless integrations with other Apple services. As per recent reports, Apple is working on updates, so it can match Excel as a business-friendly tool.

All in all, Numbers is worth considering spreadsheet application. Especially if you just want to stay within the Apple Ecosystem, where you can access all your files.

Numbers spreadsheet interface

Numbers for Mac

  • Price:¬†Free of cost
  • OS Compatibility:¬†Exclusively for¬†Mac OS
  • Pros:¬†Easy to import data, user-friendly interface
  • Cons:¬†Cannot be installed in other OS outside Mac. Needs further development to reach the level of existing spreadsheet programs.

Quip

Quip software for spreadsheet management

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

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

Currently, their system holds over 400 built-in functions. It also offers professional-looking templates and mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Quip stands out with its collaborative tools and functionality. These tools are not available in the other software mentioned above. You can avail of their services starting at $10 or $30 for different packages.

Quip Spreadsheet

Quip

  • Price:¬†Basic subscription starts¬†from $10¬†to¬†$25
  • OS Compatibility:¬†Runs on both¬†Mac (version 10.11+)¬†and¬†Windows (version 7+)
  • Pros:¬†New level of collaboration, comprehensive data analysis
  • Cons:¬†Limited formatting and data visualization options. Some file types are not supported for editing.

Conclusion

In this article, we saw some cool spreadsheet tools that you can use instead of Excel in 2023. These include Google Sheets, WPS Sheets, Libre Office, Quip, and others.

Excel has held its reputation of being the top spreadsheet choice for a long time now. But the market has grown increasingly competitive in recent years ūüí™

From free to paid and basic to advanced, there is a huge variety of spreadsheet programs you can choose from. But to pick the right spreadsheet software, you need to know what you are looking for.

Is your main focus functionality, collaboration, or data handling? Once you determine these factors, choosing the right spreadsheet software will become easy.

That’s it for today. See you in the next article ūü§ó