The only best, free alternative to Microsoft excel sheet is Google sheet. However, Excel is still the best and favorite of many business owners. Even educational institutes rely on spreadsheets (Microsoft or Google) to efficiently compute their work data. These tips will help you to input or format your work easily while using the Google spreadsheet. Google sheet is available for free just the Microsoft Excel, although, you’ll need to have an active internet connection to use this as it is a web-based free app. Also, it is available as a mobile app and is compatible with all mobile OS. Individuals prefer Excel. Industries prefer Google Sheets due to its collaborative features.
1. Use Google sheets offline
Quite a higher percentage of people who use Google sheets do not know that the app is equally available offline. It is a web-based app quite alright, but there is a way to use the app offline on your PC. This feature requires you, install the google chrome web browser; There is an extension “Google Docs Offline” that allows you to access all Google suite packages offline.
So, all you need do is to install the browser extension and start accessing G.Drive suite files offline on the Google Drive website.
Once after you have installed the extension, visit the Google sheet website and activate “offline.” To do this, follow the steps below
Click on the menu icon on G.Sheet homepage
Further, click on settings
2. Creating a custom Google map
You can make out a custom Google map using Google Sheets. Most of the users don’t know this feature. Through creating your custom map, you’ll be able to track locations of specific people such as customers or clients.
To be able to do this, explore the Google sheets add-on feature. Download the “Mapping Sheets” add-on. You find the add-on option in the default menu bar once you open Sheets.
Enter the needed data into the Sheet such as addresses, headings name, category, etc
Highlight these data, access the “Mapping Sheets” option from the add-on drop-down menu
3. Importing from another spreadsheet
Usually, you can go to the file menu, select import and upload a compatible file. On the other hand, it is not very easy to transfer the whole data in a particular sheet to a new one without losing its formats. You’ll have to do so some kind-of mathematical expression.
Copy the URL of the original sheet. (I.e., the sheet you wish to get data from). To get the sheet URL, open it on a web browser and copy the URL you see on the Address bar.
Return to the new sheet, highlight a new cell and type in the following command – “=IMPORTANCE(paste the original sheet URL here, define the range string).” Here is an example =IMPORTANCE(“https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/URL/edit#gid=0”, “sheet2!A4: B30”)
You may be prompted to allow permissions for the data transfer from another spreadsheet
Allow access to import the whole data.
4. Lock up cells to disable further editing
Also, you could restrict a cell or group of cells from further edits by locking them up. Here is how to do that; go to the “Data” drop-down menu options and select “protected sheets and ranges.”
To unlock cells, you will have to follow the same procedure as per locking the cells. It is helpful when many people are working on the same sheet, probably a team.
5. You can create an App with Google sheets add-on
With the AppSheets add-on available on Google Sheets, one can add data into any simple app. Just as you’d install every other add-on to G.Sheet, locate the add-on drop-down menu, click on “get add-ons” and search for AppSheets. This add-on is best for apps displaying simple table data.
To get started, name and save your sheet.
Use column headers and type in a few valid rows
Launch this add-on (AppSheets) from the menu and click “PREPARE,” then “GO.” All these will be available on the sidebar.
Your browser will now open the app sheet site, and an app is auto-created using the details/data on your sheet
You can now design your app from the dashboard
6. Surveys and data collection on Google sheets
Maybe you are trying to get some people to answer or participate in a survey; Google sheets allow you to do this directly. Just go to the “Insert” drop-down menu and click on “forms.” It will lead to a new window where you’ll input the queries or define what you want to obtain.
There are quite a lot of needful features available on the form for you to get the exact type of response you want.
7. Google sheet keyboard shortcuts
Asides the popular CTRL+B (bold), CTRL+i (italics), and CTRL+u (underline), there are several other keyboard short keys you could deploy when working on Google Sheets. They are quite many, but these are the most common ones to improve your workflow and save you some time.
Select column Ctrl + Space
Row Selection Shift + Space
Select all Ctrl + a
Ctrl + Shift + Space
Undo Ctrl + z
Redo Ctrl + y
Ctrl + Shift + z
Find Ctrl + f
Find and replace Ctrl + h
Range Fill Ctrl + Enter
Fill down Ctrl + d
Fill right Ctrl + r
Save Ctrl + s (however, Google sheet saves automatically to the cloud)
Open file Ctrl + o
Print sheet Ctrl + p
Copy Ctrl + c
Cut Ctrl + x
Paste Ctrl + v
Paste values only Ctrl + Shift + v
Show common keyboard shortcuts Ctrl + /
Insert a new sheet Shift + F11
Compact controls Ctrl + Shift + f
Input tools on/off Ctrl + Shift + k
Select input tools Ctrl + Alt + Shift + k
For MAC users, replace the CTRL with ⌘, the letters combination is the same.
To view all the keyboard shortcuts
Windows: Control and /
Mac: Command and /
The above commands will display all shortcuts on Windows and Mac respectively.
8. Inviting other people to work on your sheet
This feature can be arguably one of the main reasons people switch from Excel to Google Sheets, who are working in Remote Locations. You can easily invite up to 10 people or more to participate and work on a sheet. This app is the best for industries, companies of any size. Getting other people to view, join, and edit a Google sheet is very easy; there’s no big deal here.
To perform this, open the prospective sheet, look to the top right edge and click on “share.” Add the email address(s) of the people you wish to participate and work on the sheet.
Note: you can only invite a Google user, that is, someone who has a Google account (operating Gmail). You cannot invite a custom email to access or edit a Google sheet.
Team collaboration is more comfortable with Google sheets due to this feature. A financial organization can easily access its daily reports via sheets.
9. Adding images to your sheet(s)
You could add pictures to your sheets by merely using the “insert image” option available on the “insert” drop-down menu. But, images inserted via this method are very difficult to manage or format. Hence, there is a way to add images effectively on Google sheets using the “=image” function.
The =IMAGE formula in Google Sheets places your image(s) within a particular cell, and you can format the image(s) using number codes;
Resizes an image to fit within a cell while still maintaining the aspect ratio.
Stretches an image or compresses it to fit inside a defined cell. The aspect ratio is not applicable here
Maintains the original image size and cuts off the overflow
Allows you to define the image width & height.
=IMAGE(“http://example.com/wp-content/ gallery-uploads/thisisme.jpg”, 1, 200, 150)
The bolded shows that I have defined the image mode (1), width, and height in pixels.
10. Use Templates
Google has packed this feature with tons of useful templates which you could choose from Options. A variety of templates ranging from annual budget pre-formatted sheets and travel planner sheets to invoices and expense report sheets are all readily available for you to use. So, you won’t have to start from scratch.
Once you open the app either on your computer or mobile device, go to ‘file,’ then ‘new’ and select ‘from the template,’ browse through the variously available templates and make your choice.
There are other Google sheet tips, but these are the most needful. These tips will help to improve your workflow. Google sheets are one of the most used spreadsheets, following Microsoft excel. Also, this app is secure to use, and no one else can gain access to your saved sheets except for if you invited and gave them permissions to do so.
Selva Ganesh is a young Editor running his Blog from his living room. He is a Computer Engineer, Tech Enthusiast, An experienced Android Developer, Professional Blogger & addicted Web Developer.