Google Sheets

Google Sheets 42.0

Free
Browser plugin that allows accessing Google Sheets web-based app.
 
42.0 (See all)
Google

Google Sheets is an online app intended for creating and editing spreadsheets. However, it is also a browser plugin that allows you to take better advantage of the app. The plugin is very light and is supported by some of the major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox and Safari. However, you have to make sure you are using one of the browsers’ latest versions.

Just like with any other tool in the G Suite, Google Sheets requires logging in with a Google account, which also gives you access to storing your files on Google Drive. Although Google Sheets is not available as a desktop app, its web interface is very complete and reminds me of other spreadsheet tools. This means that you will probably have no big difficulties to use it even if it is your first time.

Google Sheets has multiple advantages which make it a great choice. Let us take a look at just some of them. For me, if you compare it with its desktop competitors, the application has the main advantage of supporting collaboration. In this respect, it is great that the tool supports various modes of collaboration, for instance, many people can work independently and then share their versions or they can actually work on the same document at the same time. Fortunately, you can give participants different types of rights to allow them to perform given tasks only.

Besides, when many people are working on the same source files, it is good to have version control. In this respect, Google Sheets automatically records every change made to the document, including the name of the responsible user.

In terms of functions, Google Sheets supports practically everything you would expect a spreadsheet to do. It can manage really large volumes of data and allows using a wide array of formulas, not only mathematical but also financial, statistical and logical. In this respect, if you need to work with what I would call “huge datasets”, Google Sheets can integrate with Google BigQuery.

Another of its advantages that should not be taken for granted is its integration to other tools of the G Suite. For instance, you can link charts and tables in your Google Slides presentations to the source data in Sheets, which allows you to update them without much trouble. Likewise, you can link to data between different sheets, and what is great about it is that the links will never get broken when you move the source files.

However, integration goes way beyond the G Suite, as you can import data from external sources, like databases and Excel files. In this regard, the possibility to get data straight from an HTML table published on a web site is really awesome. Finally, it is good to know that Google Sheet’s features can be expanded by writing your own code in a language called Google Apps Scripts, which is common to all tools of the G Suite.

The tool has some weaknesses if you compare it with its desktop counterparts. In my opinion, needing an Internet connection at all times is a problem for some people. Besides, its being browser-based makes it somewhat more uncomfortable to use.

All in all, I insist that the one thing making Google Sheets a better option than other desktop tools is collaboration. In this respect, it is great that many people can access the same files from anywhere and process them with practically any device, provided a supported browser is installed. Therefore, this is a product that deserves your attention, and luckily, it is absolutely free

Pedro Castro
Editor rating:

Review summary

Pros

  • Powerful collaboration features
  • Version control
  • Integration with other tools in the G Suite
  • Can manage large datasets
  • Can extract data from an HTML table published on a web site
  • Creates unbreakable links to other documents stored in Google Drive

Cons

  • Requires a permanent Internet connection
  • More uncomfortable to use than a desktop app
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