Excel is one of those tools I can’t do without. I use it to organize, sort, or manage data.
Besides, I also find Excel ideal for creating professional dashboards and reports with beautiful charts and graphs.
The tool has spreadsheets with formulas that make calculations easier by letting us conduct basic math operations like multiplying, summing, and finding the average.
The only challenge with this Microsoft application is the cost and subscription model. Additionally, I find it difficult to collaborate with colleagues on a spreadsheet without emailing them.
That’s why I decided to share the following Excel alternatives that Mac users can use to complete their tasks.
1. Zoho Sheet
Zoho Sheet is an online spreadsheet that lets you create, share, and manage spreadsheets on the internet. Anytime you edit a spreadsheet, it’s saved automatically.
What makes Zoho Sheet a better Excel alternative is that it lets you collaborate with other users or groups in real-time.
It’s the ideal app for business people, scholars, accountants, students, scientists, and any user who handles tabular data that should be entered in a spreadsheet.
With Zoho Sheet, you can gather, analyze, record, and visualize your data.
Interestingly, the application allows for data import and export. But, you may not import password-protected spreadsheets; the import feature only works with unprotected spreadsheets.
So, what file formats can you import into Zoho Sheet? They include xlsx, xlsm, ods, csv, xls, sxc, and tsc.
This tool lets you import a maximum file size of 10 MB. Most users rarely create data that big unless it contains lots of visuals.
With Zoho Sheet, I can create up to 256 spreadsheets per document. What’s even better is that I can export or download any number of spreadsheets without a limit.
This tool lets you export a spreadsheet in various formats, including xls, xlsx, html, pdf, csv, ods, and tsv.
Zoho Sheet supports various browsers, such as Chrome 50 and above, Internet Explorer 11 and above, Safari 9 and above, Mozilla Firefox 50 and above, and Opera 40 and above.
What’s more, during collaboration, you can see the changes made by other collaborators in real-time.
Zoho Sheet’s other fantastic features are an in-app chat, secure file collaboration, mobile app, SSL, password-protected links, two-factor authentication, analytics and reporting, and more.
Pricing: Zoho is free for teams of up to five users. The Standard version costs $4 per user/month while the Premium version costs $6.40 per user/month.
It gets better. There’s a 15-day free trial to let you test the premium versions without adding a credit card.
If you’re an accountant on the digital marketer, you know that Google Sheets is among the most popular Excel alternatives.
The two apps have similar features, such as calculations, formulas, columns, and rows, etc. The only difference is that Google Sheets allows me to share a spreadsheet with other users so they can edit the document online.
If Excel’s features and functions overwhelm, you’ll enjoy working with Google Sheets for the minimalistic look that makes it clearer and user-friendly.
You can access data on Google Sheets from any location provided you’re connected to the internet. And it’s because the service is cloud-based and stores data on Google Drive.
What impresses me when using Google Sheets is that it has templates to let me set up my spreadsheets in record time.
You can download the Google Sheets app from the Play Store or App Store. Additionally, you can make changes to your Excel files, save them, and quickly convert them to Google Sheets.
In terms of pricing, Google Sheets for personal use is completely free provided you have a Google or Gmail account.
But if you’re looking for an app with added security and features that suit your team, you may want to consider Google WorkSpace that starts at $6 per user per month.
Also Read: Best Data Management Software
Do you want to create professional-looking and organized spreadsheets fast? Apple Numbers lets you achieve that. This tool falls under Apple’s iWork Suite.
You can choose from the available templates and modify them to suit your needs. The application’s templates are for various purposes, including checklists and budgets.
Each template consists of predesigned styles for shapes, tables, text, and other objects, making it easy to customize your spreadsheet into a beautiful piece.
When working with Numbers, I’m not afraid to make errors because even if I do, I can always undo or redo the changes.
If you’ve worked on so many spreadsheets and want to access a specific one, you can easily find the file by searching for any words from the content or title.
Did you accidentally close the spreadsheet while still working on it? You can retrieve it within seconds. Simply go to File > Open Recent. You’ll see the last 10 spreadsheets you’d opened. Choose the one you want.
Like Excel, Numbers lets you add multiple sheets to a spreadsheet so you can better organize charts, tables, and other data.
It gets better. You can use the Media Browser to insert video, music, and photos into your sheets. Once you’re done personalizing a sheet, you can share it publicly via Facebook and Twitter. You can also share it with specific people.
Numbers comes with cloud storage as well, making it easy to access your spreadsheets from any device, including iPhone and iPad.
The app comes pre-installed on the Mac and is free.
LibreOffice is popularly known for being an open-source alternative to Microsoft Office. In simple terms, it’s free and available on multiple platforms, including Linux, MacOS, and Windows.
Notably, Calc is the application’s alternative to Excel. Even novices will find Calc easy to navigate and work with. In a similar fashion, professional users and everyone else who handles complex equations will appreciate the app’s advanced features.
One of the features I like about LibreOffice Calc is that it allows you to add a PDF document as an image. As a cherry on top, this application lets you import a file from Apple Numbers with ease.
The drag and drop feature, which involves moving cells from one area to another, is probably my favorite. Unlike Excel which requires me to click a selected cell’s border after the cursor turns into a hand symbol, Calc requires me to simply drag and drop.
Additionally, you can compare any two documents side-by-side and even export your Calc files in XHTML format. What’s more, if you’d like to rotate a chart, Calc is the right tool for that.
The web-based spreadsheet viewer and editor can import XLSX and XLS formats. It supports the full range of formulas that Excel has.
If you’re a developer who would like to include spreadsheets in a content management system, you’ll find Sheetster useful.
To help developers work effectively, this tool provides a rich REST API to help manipulate an open spreadsheet. It also provides a server-side API for file storage connectors.
What impresses me about Sheetster is that several users can collaborate and edit one document in real-time.
Additionally, the app supports split panes and conditional formatting. While the tool works online, you can still export a spreadsheet to PDF and download it.
The best part? Sheetster is free.
Check Out: Best Google Doc Alternatives
If your work involves using spreadsheets often and they aren’t that big, then Spread32 is a go-to tool. This web-based application supports online collaboration in real-time. In other words, you can work on the same document with colleagues at the same time.
Unlike Excel, Spread32 supports a dark or night mode theme. When working on an involved project that might take hours, I like turning this app into dark mode. It decreases eye fatigue and uses less energy.
Like common spreadsheet apps, this tool comes with hundreds of formulas and other basic functions like inserting charts, data filtering, and conditional formatting.
The other reason that makes Spread32 stand out is its lightweight and portable nature that makes its files easy to transfer. In fact, you can transfer data from this app to Google Sheets.
Calligra Sheets is a feature-rich spreadsheet and calculation tool. It’s vital for creating business-related spreadsheets like employee working hours, income and expenditures, and more others.
The application was originally created for Linux, Unix, and BSD operating systems. But it now supports Mac OS and Windows.
Are you in a field that requires you to struggle remembering formulas? Calligra Sheets has a comprehensive formula list ideal for tackling different calculations, whether scientific or economic.
The templates make working with this spreadsheet a fun-filled experience. Instead of starting from scratch, just choose a relevant template and instantly create an invoice, a balance sheet, a vacation list, or a credit card tracker.
Besides, Calligra Sheets uses the same technology as the rest of the Calligra products, which simply means you can do a lot more with this tool. For example, you can create mind maps and flowcharts while working.
Also, the tool is easy to use, allowing you to explore most of its features.
The unique productivity app combines team chat, documents, and spreadsheets all into a single application.
Quip was founded in 2012, but Salesforce acquired it in 2016. The tool offers customization and flexibility. For example, I noticed, while working, I can toggle between a spreadsheet and team chat without much trouble.
Quip has over 400 built-in functions plus tons of keyboard shortcuts for various menu items. For example, to select a column, I simply press Ctrl + space on my Mac. Similarly, press Shift + Space.
Like Excel, creating a chart or graph is as straightforward as selecting a data range followed by clicking ‘insert’ and then ‘chart’.
The tool’s pricing starts at $10 per user/month and gives you access to unlimited spreadsheets and documents. This package also lets you use the app on a tablet, Mac computer, and mobile phone.
Additionally, you can use group chat and one-on-one messaging features.
If you’re looking for a tool that’s less cumbersome than a conventional spreadsheet app, EtherCalc might be useful.
Like Google Sheets, EtherCalc is a web-based spreadsheet tool that’s free to use.
What excited me most about EtherCalc is that I don’t even need to sign up to start using it.
After visiting the website, I simply need to click Create Spreadsheet, and voila, a page appears with all the features.
For each sheet, this site creates a unique URL that you can share, copy, or paste.
EtherCalc’s quick sharing abilities and easy access make it one of the best free Excel alternatives out there.
This open-source and free tool lets you modify your data according to your needs. It’s designed mostly for those of us looking for highly accurate spreadsheet software to solve statistical problems.
Gnumeric is a fast and lightweight Excel alternative. Not only does it start up quickly, but it also handles large spreadsheets and remains responsive throughout its operations.
Accuracy is crucial when working with this application; the built-in functions and formulas work correctly.
If you like using a spreadsheet to analyze and manipulate numeric data, this tool may work for you. You can use it to run Monte-Carlo simulations and produce essential reports.
Unlike most spreadsheet tools that may require you to select an element from a graph to edit it, Gnumeric shows a window listing all the graph elements for hassle-free editing.
In terms of pricing, Gnumeric is free.
ONLYOFFICE is an open-source spreadsheet editor that utilizes XLSX as a native format.
Its compatibility with formats like CSV, ODS, and XLS makes it versatile to use.
ONLYOFFICE comes with an intuitive, tabbed interface with a set of unique features. It allows you to create, visualize and sort data, and make complex calculations using different formulas and functions.
Your work is much easier to accomplish with features like data validation, pivot tables, customer number formats, and slicers.
This tool has pre-built table templates, data filtering, pivot tables, and more. There are also plenty of shapes, text art, images, equations, and hundreds of formulas available.
The community edition of ONLYOFFICE is free. It also comes with a lifetime license that costs $1750 per server.
Its Cloud Service pricing depends on the number of active users. There are 1-month, 1-year, and 3-year plans that go for $5, $3, and $2 per user per month, respectively. Other plans include 1-2 and 3-5 active user models for annual subscribers.
What makes ONLYOFFICE better than MS Excel is the ability to automate everyday and repetitive tasks using macros. It’s also simple to edit spreadsheet visuals with additional plugins.
12. Mac TableEdit
TableEdit is a spreadsheet program specifically designed for Mac users. It is created with a minimalistic, easy to navigate and master interface.
TableEdit supports various Mac technologies, including document versioning, autosave, iCloud and more.
Its toolbar contains the main cell editor and other elements/functions of the spreadsheet. It can be used to insert common functions such as SUM and display other cell contents.
You can use different graphs and charts to visualize data. This simple, fast, and convenient Mac platform has modifier keys and keyboard shortcuts to work with.
To highlight your work, you get to select different background colors and control the cell display. There are also different customizable time and date formats to choose from.
TableEdit works with complex formulae and allows you to import files and write python scripts to edit.
TableEdit has built-in formulas to use in automating functions. The import panel allows you to upload and download different files for editing.
TableEdit is a free app to use.
Compared to MS Excel, TableEdit is designed for Mac users and supports different Mac technologies.
Using Hancom Office Cell, you can create, organize, format, analyze, and rearrange data for modeling.
Cell is compatible with Excel, ODF files, and other formats.
The user interface adds smart tags that enable automatic paste options and filing conditions.
Hancom Office Cell offers conditional formatting and sparkline to help you highlight particular cells and make figures easy to identify. This is great for presenting data visually.
With Hancom, you can easily create, run and edit macros, automate tasks, and use the VBA Script Editor for editing.
The software is a full productivity suite with spreadsheets, presentations, word processors, PDF, video conferencing, and document converter.
You also have access to 73 chart types in various styles.
Hancom Office Cell doesn’t have a free version or free trial. Their pricing model is per feature.
Hancom Office Cell stands out from Excel because of its conditional formatting and VBA Script Editor that helps you edit files easily.
Apache OpenOffice Calc was formerly called OpenOffice.org. It is a widely-used open-source suite with a spreadsheet editor.
Established in 2012, Apache OpenOffice is an open-source program you can use on macOS and other platforms.
The tool also has other tools for drawing, database processing, formula, and presentation.
Calc works the same way as Excel, and the functions and appearance are similar. You can save your spreadsheets in OpenDocument formats.
This is the best Excel alternative for managing small data sets.
It comes with pre-built templates, backgrounds, and frames for effortless data management. In addition to being compatible with XLSX files, Calc also supports simple shortcuts, pivot tables, formatting, collaboration, and editing.
What makes it a better alternative to Excel is its customization abilities. Since it’s open-source, you can alter it to meet your business needs.
It Is portable, and you’ll be able to work offline on your Mac OSX computer. If you want to write or read files from other office software, this is your platform.
Pricing: Apache OpenOffice is a free, open-source platform.
WPS Office is a valuable spreadsheets tool with hundreds of commonly used formulas and functions. The application runs on Windows, MacOS, Linux, and even Android.
The application is compatible with 51 file formats, such as xls, ppt, PDF, and others. On top of that, you can directly open and save Excel files.
The tool’s what-if analysis allows you to find and forecast solutions for various problems. Besides, there are over 50 keyboard shortcuts, making it easy to work on your spreadsheets.
Like Excel, this app supports pivot tables, making data summary and analysis a piece of cake.
I like using the application’s customizable charts, such as bar, pie, scatter, line, and column. It’s easy to include my own data in these charts and see how it looks.
The other powerful feature is the small size of the software. It won’t take a lot of space on your Mac computer, but it’s useful. You can write, edit, and save spreadsheets.
WPS also includes automated backup, file repair and recovery, template gallery, multi-language support, cloud storage, and more.
Most importantly, the app allows for integration with third-party apps like MS Office 365, Adobe PDF, Google Drive, Dropbox Business, Microsoft OneDrive, and more.
The application is free for Mac users.
16. Excel Online
This is the online version of Microsoft Excel with tools that let you create, edit, view, and store data on the cloud. From there, you can share information seamlessly with teams.
It promotes coworking and sharing, which eliminates the uploading and downloading process.
This application enables you to work directly with workbooks. It works well with other Office Web Apps in Windows Live.
It’s similar to Google Sheets, where you co-work in one sheet instead of sending work via mail.
Excel Online provides every function MS Excel has, including the tools you need to collect, analyze and visualize data. It’s also easy to add charts and tables, create surveys, filter tables, and use the AutoSum function to add totals.
You can take advantage of all the web add-ons, business analysis features, macros, and other online features that make work effortless.
The application has more than 400 functions. Some of its key features include cells, calculations, external references, pivot chart/report fields, slices, filters, named items, sparklines, formatting, timeline controls, and more.
The software supports various file formats including .xlsx, .xls, .xlsb, .ods, and .xlsm.
What gives it an edge over MS Excel is its web functions and the fact that it’s free for every user.
I have used most of the above spreadsheet tools, but Google Sheets is the winner.
I like this application because it’s free and easy to use, which means I don’t have to spend extra money or time teaching myself or my team how to use it.
We can also collaborate on spreadsheets with colleagues and clients in real-time.
After editing a document on my Mac, I can access it on the iPhone and edit it from there. Not to mention, I can auto-save sheets and install useful addons to this application.
Besides, Google Sheets has lots of functions that make auto calculation easy.
Scott L. Macarthur is a marketing consultant and an online author. He is mostly engaged in providing his expertise to startups and SMBs. He is also an author on TheNextWeb.