Last week, after publishing my most recent post about Google spreadsheet, I received 5 emails within a few hours from readers that are increasingly using Google docs. I asked them why? Not surprisingly, they said it was mostly the ability to have multiple users at once as well as the free cost. For years, the main drawbacks for Google spreadsheets (when comparing with Excel) has been the lack of advanced functions, macros, etc.
Things Are Changing Quickly
Over the past few months, I’ve published posts about getting financial data into the spreadsheets through the Google finance function, one of many “custom” functions.
Then last week I discussed the use of scripts to build “vba-like” functions
Today, I wanted to discuss some of the changes in the new version of Google spreadsheets that is being rolled out:
-Offline working: This is GREAT. Yes, I love working online and will always do so when possible. But the ability to work on my docs when offline is a major benefit. Yes, you need to use Chrome as your browser but that is what I always use anyway.
-Improved Formula Editing: This makes it easier to work with functions in a similar way to what Excel offers
-New Functions: They added functions such as “Sumif”, “Countif”, “AverageIf”… ring any bells?
-Filter views: I will need to experiment with this but it does look promising
Many other things were improved/upgraded and added.
Clearly, Google Spreadsheets always was an alternative to Excel but as time goes by, it’s clearer that the spreadsheets are quickly catching up to MS Excel. It’s still lacking many different functions but the gap is shrinking.
If you are not yet using Google Docs, I’d love to hear why, and if you are, could you imagine moving away from Excel at some point? I’m far from that point but I would say that I spend as much time in Google spreadsheets as I do in Excel now…!