Review of Google Sheets

Gantt Chart with Google Sheets icon


In addition to offering users most of the common features available in other spreadsheets programs, Google Sheets, which is available for free with no installation required, also offer specific online benefits - sharing spreadsheet documents, online storage, shared, real-time editing over the internet, and, most recently, offline access to files. All you need to access Google Sheets is:

  • An internet connection
  • A Google Account
  • A web browser

Getting Started With Google Sheets

The program is easy to use. The working screen is uncluttered, and the many options simple to find.

  • To create a basic spreadsheet, simply log in with your Google account (create one on the site if necessary) and go to work.
  • On the site, you can create a new spreadsheet, work on an existing file stored on the Google site, or upload one from your computer.
  • Just as in Excel, formulas can be created to perform calculations. There is also an extensive list of built-in functions to use.
  • Common formatting options are available to improve the look of your spreadsheet - colors can be changed, number formatting applied, borders added, and font size and style can be altered.
  • When it comes to saving your work, you can save it to your Google account, download the file to your computer, or synchronize the online file with one stored on your computer for offline access.

Online Access to Spreadsheet Files

Google Sheets can be shared and edited over the internet making them ideal for colleagues wishing to collaborate on a project without having to coordinate their schedules. The main advantages of online storage of spreadsheet files include:

  • Accessible from any internet-connected computer or mobile device.
  • Allowing others to view online files.
  • Shared access and editing in real-time of online files.

Offline Access to Google Sheets

Offline editing was previously made available for Docs and Slides - Google's word processing and presentation programs, and now this feature has been added to Google Sheets. Things to keep in mind about offline access:

  • Offline editing support is available for the Chrome browser only.
  • One person can access offline editing on multiple computers, but offline editing must be enabled on each computer.
  • For computers shared with other people, enabling offline access may give everyone access to the files that are stored on the computer.
  • Offline access to Google Sheets involves installing a one-time installation of an app and then activating offline access.

More information is available on Google's help page for setting up offline access.

Current Version of Google Drive Instructions

  1. In a Google Chrome browser window, log in to your Google account;

  2. Go to the Drive website:

  3. In the top right, click on the gear icon to open the drop-down list of options.

  4. Click on Settings in the list.

  5. Check the box next to Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides & Drawings files to this computer so that you can edit offline.

Google Drive files and folders — not just Google Sheets files — will be automatically copied to your computer and synchronized with the online versions. so that they'll be available without an internet connection.

If you are using the classic version of Drive the Settings message will not be available. To enable offline access with this version of Drive, use these alternate instructions.