Using Excel In The Clouds

Google Cloud Spreadsheets

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A few months ago I discussed using Google docs and provided a spreadsheet that updates stock prices live. One major selling point of course of using cloud based software is that it is:

-backed up automatically
-accessible from any location
-can be used by multiple users without always sending updated versions by email

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That being said, nothing comes close to how broad excel has became over the years. As the writer of an excel blog, you can probably imagine that since 95% of what I write about is not yet possible on alternatives like Google docs, I remain a very heavy excel user.

Excel In The Clouds

I do know that Microsoft is working on some cloud based version of excel and that might end up being what we’ll eventually all be using. In the meantime however there are alternative methods. Using software such as Dropbox or Google Drive, you can have those services automatically sync specific folders on your computer. How does it work?

1-You install their software and select a directory
2-Each time you update a file in that directory and save it, the updated version will be updated on the web version but also on linked devices.

By doing that you get several of the benefits of cloud computing such as;

-automatic backups
-possible to open your file from any location that is connected
-all of the powerful excel features
-you can also sync other files such as photos, documents, etc

There are some drawbacks though compared to using a solution like Google docs:

-can’t have simultaneous users working on the same file at once
-the file must be saved in order for the web to have the most recent file

I personally have been using Dropbox and am incredibly happy with it. Google Drive works fine too but I’m sticking with Dropbox for now. There are also alternatives offered by Microsoft and others.

Have you been using such services and if so how has been your experience?


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2 Feedbacks on "Using Excel In The Clouds"

Rene Buvat

I have been using Dropbox for a while and since that my life have changed for better.

Now I can have my pals working anywhere in the word. Amazingly simple.

My only concern is regarding the safety of the data: Can anyone copy, steal or missuse my data? How safe is the data?


@Rene – I do think security is very good at Dropbox and is getting better.. it remains a major problem across the internet unfortunately but I do trust Dropbox with almost all of my data:)


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