Those who regularly work with spreadsheet applications know the power they have and their limitations. These free web tools can make life easier for users of Excel, Google Sheets, or any spreadsheet program.
Microsoft Excel remains the king of spreadsheet applications, while Google Sheets is the clear winner for free users. But whether you use either of these options or one of the great Excel alternatives for spreadsheets, these apps can do some help. Whether it’s sharing your files online safely and securely or opening a CSV file with millions of rows of data, some free web apps make spreadsheets better than ever.
1. XLS fast (Web): A simple, no-login way to share spreadsheets online
You can email an Excel file, share it on the cloud, or have an editable shared file on Google Sheets. But all of these require the other person to have one of these accounts. Additionally, there are security risks involved in public sharing of a spreadsheet from your Google Sheets. It’s a good idea to periodically check who has access to your Google Drive files.
Quick XLS provides a simple, secure, no-login way to share spreadsheets online as a simple link. Go to the site, add a title to your file, and copy and paste the contents from whatever spreadsheet you have. Next, click Submit to get a unique link to your rows and columns, which you can embed on any website or share as a link with others. They are free to copy or modify as needed.
Unfortunately, Quick XLS does not support multiple sheets of the same file. It’s a loss, but given the security and comfort you get in return, it’s a worthwhile sacrifice. It’s a great alternative to sharing a publicly viewable and editable Google Sheet.
2. Timetable (Web): Quickly create a custom timeline to paste into spreadsheets
We often use spreadsheets to create timelines to track projects and long-term goals. However, creating these timelines in sheets is a tedious process of a lot of copying and pasting, adding dates, etc. Spreadsheet Timeline makes it much easier by creating a custom timeline that you can download in XLS format or copy and paste to a spreadsheet application of your choice.
The app lets you add your schedule start date and choose the date format (mm/dd/yyyy or yyyy/mm/dd). Your schedule can appear grouped as days and weeks or as weeks and quarters. If you’re a developer who uses it for sprints, the spreadsheet timeline will automatically add ten sprints, but you can turn this off.
At the end, you get a simple sheet with rows for the week starting, date, day, important dates, holidays/breaks, start and end. Each day is a separate column to fill in the sheet as you get it.
3. Quick spreadsheet (Chrome): Temporary spreadsheet in Chrome extensions
A spreadsheet is useful for many things: complex calculations, creating ordered lists and changing the order, creating charts, sorting data, etc. We do these things a lot, but if opening a new spreadsheet file for the sake of it seems like too much of a hassle, Quick Spreadsheet is the answer.
This app lives in the Chrome extension bar. Click it to get a dropdown pane with a temporary spreadsheet. It’s impressively fast and full-featured. With the regular formula bar, and all the functionality you’re used to in spreadsheets, with text and cell formatting options, it’s pretty much a standard spreadsheet app. You can even create multiple sheets within it.
Of course, this is all temporary as you cannot save this information to a file. But this is as simple as copying and pasting. The focus of the Quick Spreadsheet is on speed, and it does it perfectly.
download: Quick spreadsheet for Chrome (free)
4. List of papers (Web): Download free spreadsheet templates and ready-made spreadsheets
Sheetlist is a set of free spreadsheet templates for downloading ready-made Microsoft Excel and Google Sheet files. The papers are sorted into categories such as Billing, COVID-19, Random & Fun, Content Marketing, Weddings, Social Media, Productivity, Growth, Project Management, Investments & Equity, Taxes, Budget & Finance, SEO, Mail Marketing e-mail, and the most powerful app store.
Each category contains multiple sheets, such as the Finance category which contains different types of budget spreadsheets. You’ll see a screenshot of what it looks like and a small description of what it achieves. You can also submit your papers to Sheetlist.
Most of the hosted files are Google Sheets, which you cannot download or modify. But when you open the file, click “Make a copy” to add it to your Google Sheets. You can then download it, edit it, or copy and paste the cells.
5. CSV Explorer (Web): Open spreadsheets with millions of rows
Spreadsheets are great for storing a huge amount of data, especially in CSV format. For example, you could have a profile of hundreds of thousands of users or datasets with millions of rows. But have you ever tried to open one of these files in Excel or Google Sheets? The application will freeze, and your computer will likely succumb to the burden of dealing with such a large file.
CSV Explorer is a tool dedicated to working with spreadsheets that contain a large data set. The free version of the web app supports up to 5 million rows and can go up to 20 million with the premium package.
The open file can be used to search, filter, and analyze your data, just like any powerful spreadsheet application. It will save your data set for up to two weeks, but be warned – you can’t save or export it. For that, you will need a paid Pro account.
Upgrade your Excel game
Since you use different types of applications to create better spreadsheets, you will naturally conclude that Excel is the best of them all. It is mainly about using other applications to augment Excel rather than the other way around.
And within Microsoft Excel itself, there’s always more to learn. For example, simply learning the basic LOOKUP functions will revolutionize the way you use spreadsheets in Excel. Universities offer free courses on improving your Excel game, from basic business skills to data analysis. Take advantage of everything the internet has to offer for free to improve the way you use spreadsheets.
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