Top Free Online Spreadsheets

Microsoft Excel and Office 365 are experiencing some heated competition from online spreadsheets that are nearly as rich in features and with the perfect price tag—free. These cloud-based online spreadsheets are reliable and stacked with enough features that you won't miss your old spreadsheet.

Google Sheets

Online Spreadsheet - Google Docs
Image of Google Docs.
What We Like
  • Free with tons of templates.

  • Collaboration with real-time editing and chat.

  • Compatible with Excel.

What We Don't Like
  • Work online or download files for offline viewing.

  • Not as many features as Excel.

Google's free online spreadsheet is Google Sheets, a powerful spreadsheet you access in your browser. Although it is a stand-alone product, it is part of Google Drive and compatible with other Google online software such as Google Docs. With Google Sheets, you can create, edit and collaborate on spreadsheets with others. Sheets has a large template gallery to get you started and seamless Google connection and compatibility. 

Google Sheets generates colorful graphs and charts and has built-in formulas for ease of use. Everything is saved automatically as you work.

A Google Sheets app is available for iOS and Android mobile devices. You can open and edit Microsoft Excel files in Google Sheets using the Chrome Extension or with the app. 

Zoho Sheet

Zoho Free Online Spreadsheet
Image of Zoho Sheet.
What We Like
  • Free; available for iOS and Android.

  • Saves files in Excel format.

  • Real-time collaboration with version control.

  • Interactive elements.

What We Don't Like
  • Few ways to customize the interface.

  • Interface looks a bit dated.

Zoho Sheet stands out from the free spreadsheet pack by offering a host of features in a nice package with great performance. The ability to import from and export to many different formats makes it easy to get up and running, and a feature set that rivals desktop applications make the choice an easy one. Zoho Sheet is part of the Zoho Office Suite of online applications, which includes Zoho Writer, a great online word processor. Features include cloud storage, a full audit trail, and great support.

A free version of the software is available for teams up to 25 people. The company also offers paid packages.

Numbers

What We Like
  • Free; runs on Windows and Mac.

  • Share spreadsheets using a link.

  • Real-time editing and collaboration.

What We Don't Like
  • Must use iCloud Drive.

  • Non-standard spreadsheet format may confuse accountants.

Although Apple's Numbers for Mac ships free with all new Macs and can be downloaded at no cost from the Mac App Store by users of older Mac computers, Numbers is also available free to anyone with an Apple ID at iCloud.com. The online Numbers application includes a variety of spreadsheet templates for business and personal use, a shapes library, and threaded comments. Numbers is equipped with easy-to-use, built-in formulas and styles to personalize your spreadsheet. 

Numbers also offers an iOS app for use on iPhones and iPads. With it, you can collaborate with others on any spreadsheets you save in iCloud. 

Visit Numbers

Smartsheet

What We Like
  • Many third-party applications.

  • Available on many platforms, including Linux and Chrome.

  • Mobile apps also available.

What We Don't Like
  • Free for 30 days, then buy a monthly plan.

  • The cheapest solution is $14 a month.

Smartsheet is a powerful online spreadsheet that is easy to use. You can get started in minutes using templates. Because Smartsheet is online, you can collaborate with co-workers. This program keeps all notes, comments, files, and information in a centralized location you can reach with any browser, device or operating system. G Suite users appreciate its integration with Google Drive, Calendar, and Gmail. 

If you love Gantt charts, use them in Smartsheet to visualize your project.

This once-free spreadsheet now offers a 30-day free trial and paid subscriptions.

Airtable

What We Like
  • Functions as a spreadsheet, project manager, or database.

  • Drag and drop files into spreadsheet.

  • Calendar and gallery functions.

  • Message collaborators from sheets.

What We Don't Like
  • Must subscribe to get all features.

  • Cumbersome to create worksheets.

Airtable combines a free online spreadsheet with database capabilities. This is not a typical spreadsheet. Its fields can handle multiple forms of content and it is easily customizable. You can add images and barcodes directly to your worksheet. 

Airtable offers great support and provides a large template library that is sorted by industry. 

A free, limited version of Airtable is available, along with paid packages. The free version offers two weeks of revision and snapshot history and 2GB of attachment space.