Which is better, Google Sheets or Excel Online (Microsoft’s free online spreadsheet program)? The Excel Online vs. Google Sheets differences are narrowing, but there is one clear winner. Most of the features are compared side by side in the first six minutes of the video. The video is narrated by Ian Lamont, author of Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes and Excel Basics In 30 Minutes.
If you don’t own Microsoft Excel, it is still possible to perform limited editing of MS Excel spreadsheets inside of Google Sheets using Office Compatibility Mode. This short video (less than 5 minutes) explains the special Chrome Extension required to use Office Compatibility Mode, and then shows how to edit Excel files in Sheets, using as an example an .xlsx file inside of Google Sheets. The narrator is Ian Lamont, author of the top-selling Excel Basics In 30 Minutes and Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes.
The Second Edition of Excel Basics In 30 Minutes features a chapter on AutoFill, the Excel feature which lets users drag numbers, sequential text, or formulas across a row of cells to perform one of the following:
Copy the number (if one cell is selected). If a cell containing “3” is selected, AutoFill will place the number “3” in all cells which are included in the dragging action.
Increment the number or sequential text (if more than one cell is selected). If cell A1 contains “3”, and cell B1 contains “4”, AutoFill will place “5” in cell C1, “6” in cell D1, etc., until the mouse is released, ending the dragging action.
Repeat a formula but with shifted values relative to the cells which are included in the dragging action.
If this sounds confusing, or you want to try for yourself, open the following Excel spreadsheet (it will be downloaded from Dropbox), highlight a cell (or two adjacent cells), and then “grab” and drag the dot or square in the lower right corner of the cell to the right. Then let go to see the results.
- Monthly income for Jennifer, Curtis, and Kara. Highlight cell B5 and drag the dot to the right.
You can also try the following Google Sheets version of the spreadsheet, right on the screen. Highlight cell B5 and drag to the right, and the monthly amounts will be totaled for each subsequent month!