Google Sheets Vs Excel: Which is better for you? [2024]

Using spreadsheets to manage your data and workflows? Understand the key differences between Google Sheets & Excel and which one is better for you in 2024 & beyond.

Google Sheets Vs Excel: Which is better for you? [2024]

If you asked someone five years ago where they stood in the Google Sheets vs. Excel debate, it would be like comparing apples to oranges. Today, Google is rolling out updates to Sheets at lightning speed and rapidly improving its features, while Excel has boosted its cloud-based features and collaboration. But just because it's a fairer fight doesn't mean the winner is clear. So instead of asking which is better, let's ask:

Which is better for your needs? Let's dive into it.

Excel vs Google Sheets gives us the similarities and differences between Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets in Microsoft OneDrive and Google Sheets in Google Drive.

Both Excel and Google Sheets have mostly similar features such as data in tabular form i.e. rows and columns, formulas functions and calculations. However, the main difference is that the latter provides links that the owner can share with other users so that they can view, read or modify the table.

Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel are two of the most popular spreadsheet applications available. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and which one is better for you ultimately depends on your needs and preferences. In this blog, we compare Google Sheets and Excel and Stackby with exploring their differences to help you make an informed decision.

Source: Syntax

People around the world use spreadsheets every day. Even though Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets stand out because they are widely known and used, there are several spreadsheet applications out there such as Stackby, which is a hybrid spreadsheet-style database. All these programs are great and serve their purpose well, but when you take a closer look, there are some key differences.

If you're wondering which spreadsheet application is better for your needs, this Google Sheets vs. Microsoft Excel vs. Stackby comparison can answer all your questions.

What makes one better than the other?

Is it features, access, price, collaboration, or something else?

To help you decide which is best for you, we break these categories down in our comparison


Google Sheets

Microsoft Excel





Spreadsheet-Database Hybrid 

Data analysis

You can have your own version of a built-in tool as an explore feature which will help you automatically analyze data by asking questions.

Have your own version of a built-in tool as an analyze data feature to help you automatically analyze data by asking questions.

You can pull data from all of your various sources, visualize it in myriad ways, and connect to more than 2,000 apps to analyze and draw the insights you need. And you can do it all automatically.


Limited visualization options.

An excellent product for statistical analysis and visualization.

Can visualize data in different views like: Grid, Kanban boards, calendars, galleries or forms, and through apps like charts, pivot tables etc.


Google Sheets takes collaboration seriously with real-time communication. Not only can you comment, but you can also reply, edit, solve and have a mini-discussion with your colleagues while working on the table. Google Sheets is better for teams that need a simple spreadsheet solution with great collaboration feature

Provides a comment feature for working with others. In the desktop app, these comments are static unless you save them to OneDrive. Otherwise, you'll need to use the Excel Web App for real-time communication. Different versions of Excel can make collaboration difficult. Excel is best for those who work alone and need advanced data analysis tools.

Users can assign tasks, leave comments, and track progress in real-time, improving communication and reducing the need for endless email threads. With its customizable access permissions, businesses can ensure that the right people have access to the right data.


If you want to collaborate on a spreadsheet,  Google Sheets is the best choice 

If your business requires  serious calculations, then Excel is the best application for you

Ease of use of spreadsheets but works like a relational database. With the simplicity of spreadsheets, the functionality of databases and integrations with best business APIs, Stackby gives you the flexibility to build your own work tools your way.


As per usage slower than microsoft excel

As per usage faster than google sheets

Build complex workflows, really fast.


If you want to go beyond free, Google Workspace plans start at $6 per month per user with access to other Google apps and business features, and Google One plans start at $2 per month for 100GB of storage.

For Excel, you can subscribe to Microsoft 365 with personal plans starting at $7 per month or purchase Excel for one PC or Mac for $160.

Free to begin and different pricing models depending on number of users along with a free forever plan for individuals and small teams getting started.

Interface & User Permissions

Google Sheets has a comprehensible interface which is easy to navigate. You can share your files with anyone but you can also grant specific permissions like owner, edit, comment, and view.

Excel offers some advanced features with an overwhelming UI. It can appear intimidating initially due to hundred of commands spread across multiple tabs.

Known for its flexibility and user-friendly interface, making it easy to set up workflows and manage complex data. Also collaborating with your team is as easy as inviting them on to a stack or workspace that you want to work on. You can give restricted access to users too.

Keyboards and shortcuts

You can use most  of the Excel shortcuts in Google Sheets if you enable ‘Enable shortcuts’ for compatible worksheets. Some keyboard shortcuts may not work with all keyboards and language settings.

Excel has tons of keyboard shortcuts that even Google Sheets lacks. But they vary based on the version you are using.

Stackby has handy keyboard shortcuts, some of them mimicking your spreadsheet experience.


Google Sheets is catching up with Excel in terms of formulas but creating a graph in Google Sheets must be done manually, as there are no built-in formulas or charts, unlike Excel spreadsheets.

Excel is preferred because it has a huge library of built-in formulas. You can perform complex calculations in Excel.

It supports over 100+ formulas from everything to adding to numbers, text, date-time functions to using conditional IF and SWITCH conditions.

Saving data

With Google Sheets, you don't need to save files manually.

Excel is easy to use, but you have to manually save the file. 

Data gets stored automatically and you can even retrieve data deleted within the past week from the  Recycle Bin of your stack.

Bringing data from other tools

You can import data from different sources in different formats in Google Sheets.

In Excel, you can import data from different data sources like text file, xml file, web page etc.

With Stackby’s numerous integrations it’s easy to import data from external apps into your boards.

Google sheets vs Excel - FAQ

1. How do Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel compare in terms of features?  

Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel offer a wide range of features, including the ability to create and format spreadsheets, use formulas and functions, create charts and graphs, and collaborate with others. However, Microsoft Excel has a wider feature set than Google Sheets, including more advanced data analysis tools and more formatting options.

2. Can Google Spreadsheets and Microsoft Excel be used interchangeably?  

Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel share similar basic functions and features, so it's possible to use them somewhat interchangeably. However, there may be compatibility issues when transferring data between the two applications, and some of Excel's advanced features may not be available in Google Sheets.

3. What are the benefits of using Google Sheets?

One of the biggest advantages of Google Sheets is its ease of use. Because it's cloud-based, you can access your spreadsheets from anywhere with an Internet connection and collaborate with others in real-time. Additionally, Google Sheets is free to use, while Microsoft Excel requires a Microsoft Office subscription.

4. What are the benefits of using Microsoft Excel?  

Microsoft Excel offers a wider range of features and functions, such as advanced data analysis tools, more formatting options, formulas, and better support for large data sets. It is also the industry standard for spreadsheet applications, so many companies and organizations require Excel skills.

5. Which app is better for personal use?  

For personal use, Google Sheets is a better choice because it is free and available on any device with an Internet connection. It also has many basic functions suitable for personal use, such as creating budgets or tracking expenses.

Which should you choose?

Google Sheets vs. MS Excel debate is such a divisive topic that you can find many strong opinions. But the truth is that Google Sheets is still catching up with Excel, and so far it's doing a pretty good job. The competition is quite tight at this point whether it has to do with the features built into their design – online collaboration, storage, and backup – versus offline reliability, muscle power, and number of formulas.  So at the end of the day, it's up to you which side you fall on.

Why is Stackby better than Excel or Google Sheets?

Stackby combines the versatility of a spreadsheet with the power and reliability of a relational database to provide a solution that fully meets your business requirements. You can also connect to the best business APIs and create custom processes and business solutions. The great thing about Stackby is that there is no obligation to learn or have coding expertise.

Stackby also includes pre-built templates across different functions like Marketing, Sales, HR, Operations, etc. Anyone can use Stackby to manage their business for free. As your business grows, you can upgrade to one of our premium plans and access all essential features.