Personal Technology

Google Spreadsheets

Last week I was helping a local political candidate with his fund raiser dinner. I knew that I would be manning the donations table and figured it would be a good idea to just type the information up right away instead of giving it to the candidate to do at a later time. So I grabbed my mother’s laptop and took off to the dinner. I knew that she didn’t have MS Office on there, but I figured it wasn’t a big deal since Quattro Pro was installed on it.

After helping setup a bit, I figured it would be a good idea to get the spreadsheet all set-up. Upon opening Quattro Pro, I was informed that the trial had run out and I needed to purchase the product. Crap. I thought she got the full version, but I didn’t have time to find out. Luckily, the place had WiFi, so I figured I’d just go download Open Office and install that. About a minute into the download I realized that I could sit here, wait for the download to finish, and then install it and waste about 20 minutes, or I could just use Google Spreadsheets.

I had never used or read any reviews about it, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised, however. It’s no Excel, but it got the job done. The best part was that you can download it as an xls file, csv file, or as an HTML file.

They have several functions too, like SUM and AVERAGE, but I couldn’t figure out how to get DATE to work. Overall I was impressed with the service, but it still needs some work and better documentation. If you are ever in a bind and need some type of spreadsheet software though, consider using Google Spreadsheets.

By Shawn Wilsher

The man behind the site.

2 replies on “Google Spreadsheets”

Most of Google’s stuff is like that… pretty good, if you don’t have access to Office.
GMail is the exception… I prefer that to Outlook. But, for everything else, I think GMail needs a way to have it integrate with Office better.
For example, GMail contacts or Calendar items. I sync my PDA to Outlook, not Google Calendar. So, unless there’s some way to sync Outlook and Google Calendar, I’m pretty much forced to only use Outlook.

I am Cliff from EditGrid, another free Web 2.0 online spreadsheet. We are walking on a different road with Google Spreadsheets. Google Spreadsheets is a light-weight web app, pleasant but not as comprehensive as Excel. EditGrid present ourself as a comprehensive online spreadsheet, with more than 500+ functions, remote stock data feed, post-to-blog, etc.

I invite you to take a look to EditGrid, and here is a comparison between them. Please take a look.

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