How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets

You can establish links across multiple spreadsheets and workbooks in Microsoft Excel to streamline data management. A link enables a cell in one spreadsheet – the destination spreadsheet – to reference or obtain information from a cell in another spreadsheet – the source spreadsheet.

Microsoft Excel can’t map nonadjacent cells from the source spreadsheet to nonadjacent cells in a destination worksheet, however. While it has no problem linking groups of cells, nonadjacent cells must be copied individually.

Open Both Workbooks

Open both workbooks, if applicable.

Select the Source Spreadsheet

Select the source spreadsheet. Highlight each cell you want the destination spreadsheet to link to. Hold “Ctrl” while clicking to select multiple cells.

Choose Cells and Copy

Right-click a selected cell and then choose “Copy” from the context menu. Switch to the destination spreadsheet.

Select the Cell to Populate with Data

Select the cell where the source data should be populated. If transferring data from multiple cells to a group of cells, choose the upper left-most cell in the group.

Establish a Link Between the Two Spreadsheets

Right-click the target cell. Point to “Paste Special” and then press “N” to establish a link between the two spreadsheets.

You can also create links in Excel from the destination spreadsheet. Select the destination cell and then press “=”. Go to the source spreadsheet, select the cell to link the destination cell to, and then press “Enter.”

I’m trying to Link multiple Excel files with each other in SharePoint online. I’ve linked to the excel document directly to the SharePoint server’s UNC path. It imported data but its not updating the changes even when I am updating manually.

I am not sure if its the best way to connect to Excel file or I need to use OLE connection.

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You can connect a worksheet to the master worksheet by following the steps below:

1. Open the worksheet which you want to connect. For example, I want to connect the New sheet to sample. Then I need to open New sheet file. The sample file is the master worksheet.

2. In New sheet file, under Data tab, go to New Query > From File, choose From Workbook.

3. Choose the master worksheet. For example, I choose sample.xlsx here.

4. In Navigator, choose the sheet you want to connect then click Load to.

5. Click Load in Load To.

Then the New sheet.xlsx is connect to the sample.xlsx.

Once you update the data in sample.xlsx then save and close the file. Go to New sheet.xlsx, click Refresh All in Connections section under Data tab. The data will be updated in New sheet.xlsx.

Then you can upload those two files to your OneDrive for Business library.

Please note that, you need to open Excel desktop application to update the data instead of Excel Online.

Microsoft Excel is one of the staple productivity applications that you should have on your computer along with Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. For more than 30 years, this office suite from the software developing giant, Microsoft, has been setting the standard for what a spreadsheet app should be.

Excel continuously adds refinements to make sure that you get a smarter workbook. Enhanced by artificial intelligence, this solution determines the patterns of your data and organizes them into insights that can save more time. In terms of performance and features, no similar app has come close to its power.

Comprehensive spreadsheet with neat interface

Microsoft Excel actually comes with pre-set templates, thus, you only need to input your numbers and the handy program can do the rest. Although, it provides you the option to create your own as well as perform commands and calculations from the ground up if you prefer. Excel is equipped with charts and graphs, helping you to present your data in compelling ways. This function comes with formatting, sparklines, and table options for you and other approved users to better understand the data you have input.

Moreover, Excel has the capability to create a forecast with a single click to predict trends. Microsoft has revamped the package’s interface and made it tidy. However, this does not mean that complete beginners can immediately fire up the bundle, and master the use of it instantly. Beginners will need to spend some time with the app to understand how each feature works. What many appreciate the most about this utility is it permits the creation of a custom tab and designation of commands.

Work better together

For years, Microsoft Excel has only been an excellent output aid for desktop users. The software installs on one PC or Mac and works well with Windows and macOS. Not to mention, Microsoft has made it also accessible even on your mobile devices. This gives you the authority to view spreadsheets even if you don’t have a laptop or computer. With its latest upgrades, Excel also supports real-time collaboration to help you get the job done faster.

Adding to its convenience benefits, you can now share the spreadsheet file you’re currently working on with other users and gram them the capacity to either view or edit. Furthermore, it’s capable to work together with other users through co-authoring. With this, you and the users you co-author with can operate on the same file simultaneously. The suite will show exactly what each person has done to the spreadsheet using colored cells. That way, you can efficiently track all changes made on the file.

The workbook for you

The bottom line, Microsoft Excel is a powerful spreadsheet companion that can cater to all of your demands. This impressive tool has all the functions you need to record, organize, and store numeric data. It can even be customized according to your preference. If you are looking for a productivity application that can keep up with your desires, this is the program appropriate for you.

Excel for insightful spreadsheets – anytime, virtually anywhere, and with anyone

A modern take on Excel with new built-in tools help you get more out of your data.

  • Enhanced by intelligence, Excel learns your patterns, organizing your data to save you time.
  • Create spreadsheets with ease from templates or on your own, and perform calculations with modern formulas.
  • New charts and graphs help you present your data in compelling ways, with formatting, sparklines, and tables to better understand your data.

Get premium versions of Excel and other Office apps like Word and PowerPoint by subscribing to Office 365. With Office 365 you’ll get great Excel features like real-time collaboration. Plus, you’ll receive exclusive, new features every month ensuring you’re always up-to-date.

Spreadsheet design is often overlooked, but the method is quite simple. Learn how to make professional-looking ones in Excel.

Microsoft Excel is a great general-purpose spreadsheet program. Given how easy it is to use, mistakes are bound to occur while creating more complicated spreadsheets.

Some of the most common errors include complex relations, hidden information, incomprehensible calculations, or just plain mistakes. In order to create and maintain consistently good Microsoft Excel files, there are a couple of things you should always keep in mind.

How to Prepare a Good Spreadsheet?

The first thing you need to do is choose an organizational standard before you start developing your spreadsheet. If you work in a professional setting, this organizational standard will set the stage for all the users who will be using/working on your spreadsheet.

A shared standard improves your communication with the team and will save up on development time.

That said, it is crucial to create your spreadsheet with the future in mind. You need to be prepared, as you will surely come across instances that you weren’t aware of when you started setting up the spreadsheet.

By keeping future changes in mind, you can make your worksheet more durable. This in turn means you waste less time having to create a replacement worksheet.

Take Advantage of Multiple Worksheets

You might be surprised to know just how many professionals make this mistake! Microsoft Excel offers multiple worksheets, and it is important that you learn how to utilize them. You should start by putting different types of data on different worksheets.

For example, you can use the first couple of worksheets for the basic information; the following worksheets can be used for calculations, while the last sheet is often used for the results and graphs.

Of course, this also varies depending on the type of work you are doing and what you are most comfortable with. Keep in mind that having multiple tables per worksheet can cause a lot of problems when you try to sort them out, insert, or format cells.

When working with a team, having multiple worksheets dedicated to different parts of the work will make it easier for everyone to understand what is happening.

Organizing the Information Flow

The information should flow from the top left to the bottom right, and you should organize your worksheets to follow this structure. Your timeline should be consistent across all of your worksheets, since that will make it easier for everyone to understand how the spreadsheet works.

When you are managing the flow of the information, avoid criss-cross patterns, as they tend to distract the readers. On that note, you should also avoid any kinds of circular references.

Labeling Columns and Rows

Although having a simple spreadsheet without any labels might not be confusing to you (as the worksheet creator), other users might find it quite problematic.

This is why it is important that you start labeling your columns and rows with simple names. Make sure that you consistently use the same names for the same kinds of data.

What to Avoid When Writing Formulas?

If your Excel spreadsheet has a lot of formulas, there are a couple of things you can do to make it look a lot more professional. First of all, avoid doing any repeated calculations and only calculate formulas once.

If you copy a formula, you increase the chances of having errors. Not to mention that if you change one formula, the duplicate that you made previously will not be changed. This can lead to a lot of confusing errors.

If you need to use the exact same formula again, it is better to refer back to the first instance where you had to use the formula.

In addition, you should always avoid using fixed numbers in formulas. Instead, what you should use for fixed values is separate input cells and employ the references to this cell when using it in calculations.

Additional Things You Should Avoid When Making Spreadsheets

One of the most important things to avoid when using Microsoft Excel is the option to Merge Cells. This is rarely a good idea, and more often than not, it is just used to improve the aesthetics. By merging your table cells, you will have a higher probability of experiencing problems with references and calculations.

One of the biggest risks is if you make a reference to a merged cell. When referencing a merged cell, all of the cells will be a part of your calculations, while only one of them is actually going to be correct.

Another thing you should avoid is hiding information, such as rows, columns, and even worksheets. This will just increase the chances of other users missing out on something important when they are working with/on the spreadsheet.

Save the Aesthetics for the End

Excel’s styling options are extensive, enabling you to adjust the cell values to your preference in many ways. You can choose different borders, colors, themes, and other features.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to have a specific design of your spreadsheet, but usually, doing that will abstract information for the viewer.

If you are planning to style your spreadsheet, try and keep it consistent throughout the entire document. A consistent and simple style of formatting will help readers understand your spreadsheet a lot easier!

In addition, it is also important to create a legend and clarify your sources clearly. You can learn how to properly create a chart legend in Excel on the official Microsoft website.

Learn How to Make Your Excel Document Look Professional

Creating and maintaining consistently good Excel files is not that difficult if you know the basic tips and tricks. There is nothing wrong with wanting to style your Excel document, but try to leave the styling/aesthetics for the end.

First, you should create a clear and concise spreadsheet, from start to finish. After that, you can add some fine-tuning to your Excel document, but try to keep it simple and consistent across all the worksheets!

Here’s what you need to know about circular references in Microsoft Excel and how to deal with them when they appear.

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets

Logan tried many things before he fell in love with writing in 2011. MakeUseOf gives him a chance to share his knowledge and produce useful and fact-filled articles about productivity.

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How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets

Outlook is one of the best email programs available and is the first choice for many business email users. The platform is powerful because it organizes large quantities of emails well, integrates with numerous third-party extensions, has high sending limits for commercial use, and multiple accounts are easily created and managed across a single server.

One of Outlook’s shortcomings involves an easy method for exporting emails or the ability to quickly extract data from email. There are numerous possibilities, ranging from copying and pasting individual emails into text documents to exporting into a CSV or Excel format. No option is perfect, and custom formatting is often lost during the process.

Why Export Emails?

There are really only a few reasons to export emails from Outlook. Moving your inbox to a different server and platform calls for an export when you don’t want a fresh start. And moving to a new system can lose all your important email conversations from past exchanges.

To avoid losing valuable email data, export into an Excel workbook or one of many other formats. Be aware that uploading into a readable and easily defined format on a new system is likely difficult or impossible. The Excel sheet can organize conversations and act as a database where you can search for old contacts and conversations by context or date.

The other reason to export emails is to save the data in a backup file. Sensitive information that may require a recall for legal or personal purposes is worth backing up. If your server is ever wiped clean, the Excel file will store everything from previous email conversations.

Export Emails From Outlook to Excel

Exporting emails from Outlook to Excel is easy. Keep in mind, however, that you will only retain plain text and basic links. All other formatting is lost. If you eventually want to restore formatting, saving as HTML files is a good alternative.

Open Outlook and click the “File” option, followed by the “Open and Export” option. Click “Import/Export” and “Export to a File” before setting the file type to Excel. A CSV is similar, and will transfer easily to an excel workbook later if you wish.

Finally, choose the destination folder where the file should be saved. Select “Finish” to save the emails into the specified folder. Exit Outlook and navigate to the folder. Check to ensure the file is saved and attempt to open it. The Excel workbook or CSV file should open with all the email data.

Alternative Options

Other file types are supported by Outlook, as well. The .PST label is specifically for backing up Outlook emails and other data stored on the server. The .OLM serves the same function on Mac systems. The catch here is that the file is only compatible with other Outlook emails. If you want to open or transfer the email data, it must happen within another Outlook account.

The other workaround is specific to Gmail. You can setup a Gmail account within Outlook, which essentially means you are using a Gmail server but an Outlook face to manage your emails. The systems are working together, and you can copy all the Outlook emails in the individual folders and move them to new Gmail folders. If you abandon Outlook after moving the emails, they will remain on the Gmail server.

Transferring emails from an entire business with multiple accounts is difficult, and no clear route exists for switching platforms. Integrating with a system like Salesforce that tracks all actions separately helps, because those actions remain stored on the Salesforce account. Change servers, and at least you still have the email addresses and history for each email. Otherwise, a server change is difficult and somewhat messy.

You are trying to open an Excel file and you get a message about the file being locked. Sometimes the file is locked by another user, and other times the “another user” is actually you. If you have locked the file yourself, it might be because the file is open on a different device, or the previous instance of the file didn’t close properly.

Tip: Sometimes a file may get locked if everyone editing isn’t using a version that supports co-authoring. To co-author together, make sure everyone is using the Microsoft 365 subscription version of Excel or Excel for the web.

Make sure the file is closed on all your devices. If the error still occurs, wait a few minutes for the server to release the lock on the file. (Sometimes the server thinks you have the file open, and just needs to catch up with what’s really going on.)

If the other user is not you, you can wait until the other person is done and has closed the file. You can also choose to view it as read-only. Or, you can ask the person to close the file, check it in, or give you edit permissions.

If you want to work on the file at the same time as other people, then make sure everyone uses a version of Excel that supports co-authoring. When you co-author, more than one person can open the file, and you can see each other’s changes quickly — in a matter of seconds.

Note: * Co-authoring in Excel for Microsoft 365 and Excel for Microsoft 365 for Mac requires you to be signed in with your Microsoft 365 subscription. If you have a work or school account, you might be able to co-author if your administrator hasn’t provided the latest version to install.

Versions of Excel that support co-authoring:

Excel for Microsoft 365*

Excel for Microsoft 365 for Mac*

Excel for the web

Excel for Android

Note: Excel 2019 does not support co-authoring.

If just one person uses a version of Excel that doesn’t support co-authoring, then everyone else will get the “locked” error — even if everyone else is using a version of Excel that does support co-authoring.

If people aren’t sure which version of the app they have, then encourage everyone to use Excel Online to co-author in a web browser.

If you want to avoid the error by co-authoring with others, put the file on OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint in Microsoft 365. If the file is saved to another location that doesn’t support co-authoring, people will get the “locked” error.

The following locations do not support co-authoring:

Server paths like \\server\folder and smb://server/folder

Cloud locations like DropBox, Box, and Google Drive

Local folders on your Windows or Mac computer

Libraries on SharePoint On-Premises sites. If you have an on-premises site and Excel for Microsoft 365, try using Excel Online to co-author instead.

For Windows: If you are trying to co-author, check the file name of the file and make sure it is in either .xlsx, .xlsm, or .xlsb format. If the file is in another format, go to File > Save As > Browse > Save as type and choose the .xlsx, .xlsm, or .xlsb format.

For Mac: If you are trying to co-author, check the file name of the file and make sure it is in either .xlsx, .xlsm, or .xlsb format. If the file is in another format, go to File > Save As. and choose the .xlsx, .xlsm, or .xlsb format.

Note: Co-authoring does not support the Strict Open XML Spreadsheet format.

If you are using the OneDrive sync app for Windows, make sure you are using the latest version. Also, make sure the sync app is not paused.

If you are trying to co-author, the “locked” error can occur if the file uses a feature that is not supported by co-authoring. Ask the person who has the file open to do one or more of the following. The first thing to try is to turn off the Shared Workbook feature. Also, if you are opening a snapshot from SharePoint, open the workbook itself instead. If those two solutions don’t work, try one or more of the following.

If possible, remove password encryption or restricted access from the file. Go to File > Info > Protect Workbook and remove any passwords or restricted access settings.

Turn off the Refresh data when opening file setting on all tables and PivotTables in the file. Select the table or PivotTable, then go to Table Tools Design > Refresh > Connection Properties. Then uncheck Refresh data when opening file.

Inactivate an add-in that’s causing the lock. Select File > Options > Add-Ins > Excel Add-ins > Go and then clear the check box for the add-in.

If possible, remove password encryption from the file. To do that, go to the Review tab. If Protect Workbook is highlighted, click it to turn off protection. Enter the password if prompted.

If possible, remove restricted access. Go to File > Restrict Permissions > No Restrictions.

Turn off the Refresh data when opening file setting on all tables and PivotTables in the file. Select the table or PivotTable, then go to the Table tab > Refresh > Connection Properties. Then uncheck Refresh data when opening file.

Inactivate an add-in that’s causing the lock. Select Tools > Excel Add-ins and then clear the check box for the add-in.

Creating a budgeting plan for your household can feel overwhelming and hard, but Excel can help you get organized and on track with a variety of free and premium budgeting templates.

Get a lay of the land

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets

The purpose of a household budget is to summarize what you earn against what you spend to help you plan for long and short-term goals. Using a budgeting spreadsheet can help make your financial health a priority by keeping spending in check and savings on the rise!

Smart money with Money in Excel

Money in Excel can help you take control of your finances. It’s the only template that securely connects to your financial institutions to import and sync accounts into an Excel spreadsheet. Track finances and get personalized tips without ever leaving Excel.

Note: Money in Excel is a premium template available as part of a Microsoft 365 Personal or Family subscription and is currently only available in the United States.

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets

DIY with the Personal budget template

Prefer to do things yourself? This Excel template can help you track your monthly budget by income and expenses. Input your costs and income, and any difference is calculated automatically so you can avoid shortfalls or make plans for any projected surpluses. Compare projected costs with actual costs to hone your budgeting skills over time.

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets

Tip: Track monthly expenses
Utilities, credit cards, and insurance are billed monthly, so the easiest way to keep an eye on expenses is to determine how much you spend on a monthly basis.

Don’t forget the “extras”

Beyond your electric bill, do you have a movie or game subscription? What about a gym membership? Be sure to keep track of those, too.

Tip: Pay attention to variable expenses
While gas and phone bills generally don’t vary in amount month over month, other expenses, such as dining out or clothes shopping, can vary wildly.

Categorize expenses

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets

Now that you have an overall idea of monthly expenses, it’s time to categorize them so you can review your fixed, variable, and discretionary expenses.

Fixed expenses

Fixed expenses stay the same amount month to month. Examples include a mortgage or rent, health insurance, a car payment, or house taxes. You can capture all of these in a “fixed expenses” category.

Tip: Variable expenses

You can’t do without variable expenses, but they can fluctuate from month to month. Such expenses include groceries, car maintenance, electricity, and water usage.

Discretionary expenses

Discretionary expenses can vary wildly from one month to the next. Examples include dining out, streaming service subscriptions, a club membership, cable, and clothing.

Set your goals

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets

Once you have a good idea of how much money is coming in versus what you’re spending, you can start prioritizing for your short and long term goals.

Budget a home remodel

Is your washing machine on the fritz? Are your cabinets getting shabby? Master bath need an upgrade? Remodeling your home can present many contingencies. Remember to include these expenses as you look at your financial goals.

Tip: Keep your wedding options open

Consistent review of your finances helps you figure out if you’ve saved enough to purchase an item that’s essential or just “nice to have.” Do you need that rose archway for your wedding procession or just really want one? Either way, be sure to track this against your goals.

Plan for fun at college

If you stick to fixed expenses, you can get to your short and long term goals more quickly. But, you can also include a certain amount in your monthly budget for fun and entertainment – a variable expense you certainly might want to track while attending college.

Microsoft Excel 2016 for Windows is a workhorse of a spreadsheet software, offering powerful methods for summarizing, analyzing, exploring, and presenting your data.

Excel comes as part of Microsoft Office 365: Microsoft Excel is the spreadsheet portion of the Microsoft Office applications. For $69.99 a year, get the Office 365 Personal edition, which along with Excel, comes with Word, the word-processing workhorse; PowerPoint, the ubiquitous slideshow app; OneNote, for note-taking across platforms; Outlook, a full-featured email service; OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage service; and Skype, for voice and video calls.

For $99 a year, subscribe to the Office 365 Home edition, which includes the same productivity apps and lets you share your subscription with four other users.

If you’d rather just buy Office and be done with it, for $149.99, you can purchase the Office Home and Student 2016 for PC edition, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

Or buy Excel separately: If you don’t need the other apps that make up the Office apps, you can get the Microsoft Excel 2016 separately for $129.99. The standalone Excel for Windows includes bug fixes and improvements, but it doesn’t get you an upgrade to the next major edition of the software. The standalone version also doesn’t include OneDrive services and Skype.

Tons of formulas and functions: With formulas, you can perform calculations on data in your Excel spreadsheet, such as finding the total for a row of numbers. You can quickly access formulas via Excel’s formula bar.

A good part of what makes Excel so powerful is the breadth of its functions, which build on formulas. Among the most useful are the SUM, IF, LOOKUP, VLOOKUP, MATCH, CHOOSE, DATE, DAYS, FIND, and INDEX functions. Excel also comes with specialized functions for cube, database, date and time, engineering, financial, information, logical, lookup, math, statistical, text, and Web functions.

Pivot tables: Along with functions, Excel’s not-so-secret weapon is the pivot table. Pivot tables let you quickly make sense of data in rows and columns by analyzing and displaying a summary of your data. Excel also comes with what Microsoft calls “slicers” — buttons you can click to filter tables or pivot table data.

VBA: It is not the beloved Visual Basic, but Visual Basic for Applications, or VBA, lets you automate repetitive tasks and extend Excel, create custom user interactions in Excel spreadsheets, and work with other Office products. You can also add optional commands to an Excel file via Excel add-ins.

Templates: Excel offers a broad collection of templates that give you a running start in presenting your data and let you add polish to your spreadsheet files. You can choose from a range of personal templates, including a back-to-school planner, weekly meal planner, streaming show list, group event planner, money manager, and personal budget manager. Business templates range from those for a weekly assignment schedule and 12-month calendar to annual financial budget and channel marketing budget.

Office in cloud: As with the other apps in the Microsoft Office suite, Excel 2016 lets you store, sync, and edit your spreadsheets online, via Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud service.

Collaborate: Through OneDrive, you share and work on spreadsheet files with colleagues via real-time collaboration on documents.

Moving across platforms: In addition to the PC version of Excel, Microsoft has spreadsheet apps for Mac, Android, iPhone, and the web via a browser.

Read: For a free alternative, check out Google Sheets.

Pay for the power: If you need an industrial-strength spreadsheet, you want Excel. But if you’re just doing simple calculations, Excel’s price may be a bit much, so you should consider another spreadsheet program, such as Google Sheets.

Bottom Line

The Windows version of Microsoft Excel 2016 is a powerful, dependable spreadsheet application that can crunch just about any number. If you need the horsepower Excel offers and want to take advantage of pivot tables, the price of Microsoft’s spreadsheet software is well worth it.

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets

The best spreadsheet software makes it simple and easy to not just use spreadsheets to collate and process data, but also allows teams to collaborate on the same files.

Spreadsheets are used by many businesses to manage, display, and manipulate data. Every company’s needs are different, so finding the best spreadsheet software depends on which features are most important for the required task.

There are basics that need to be met, and not all the options available are up to the task. The best spreadsheet software will be easy to use, flexible, and feature-rich; support engaging graphs and charts that are easy to create and personalize.

Additionally, collaboration has become an integral part of the modern working office, so these features need to be present.

Here therefore are the best spreadsheet software platforms currently available.

1. Microsoft Excel

Best for advanced number crunching

Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

Microsoft Excel was built for manipulating data and includes over 400 distinct operations. The formula autofill feature makes it easy to find what you’re looking for, while the arguments tooltip is a helpful mnemonic aid. It doesn’t provide definitions like Google Sheets does, but the Formula Builder serves this function well, with detailed descriptions.

Graphs and charts are easy to insert and personalize, with almost every element clickable and customizable. There’s no shortage of styles or templates, and everything integrates well with the rest of the Microsoft Office suite.

With Microsoft OneDrive, collaboration is simple and effective. Changes update automatically across all devices. While there’s no generalized chat feature as with Google Docs, threaded comments make it easy to discuss data.

All this functionality comes at a price: the sheer volume of features makes this software a bit daunting for first-time users, so expect something of a learning curve. That being said, there are a load of online resources to help as well as a range of Excel online courses.

2. Google Sheets

Best for simple and easy collaboration

Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

While recent updates to Excel have improved collaboration tools, Google Sheets is still a leader in that regard, with chat, comments, real-time co-editing, and simple sharing. With no software to download and everything stored in the cloud, the collaborative experience is remarkably smooth.

Google Sheets is quite powerful when it comes to crunching numbers. It may not have as many advanced features as Excel, such as what-if scenarios, but for most businesses that want to organize data and perform basic operations, Sheets will get the job done.

It’s clear that the Google team has put a great deal of thought into ease of use. Formula tooltips provide definitions and arguments, for example, which is a step up from Excel. The Filter view is also easy to use, and the ability to share custom Filter views is quite practical.

There aren’t quite as many chart types available as Excel, and the charts can’t be edited outside Sheets like they can be in Microsoft Word, making visualizations less flexible. That being said, the spartan interface is clean and pleasing to the eye.

3. LibreOffice

Best for single users looking for free spreadsheet software

Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

LibreOffice’s spreadsheet program is called Calc, and while it has many good features, it’s not a great tool for collaborations. There’s also limited cloud support and real-time co-authoring isn’t supported. However, if you’re looking for a free, robust tool for your own projects, LibreOffice is a decent choice.

The layout is a bit dated and cluttered, but once you get to know where everything is, most of the features are just a click away. You can also add new toolbars to easily access what you need.

Graphs are simple to create, although customizing them is time-consuming – clicking an element brings up a dialogue box, rather than a side-bar or pop-up menu.

A great deal of thought has been put into helping new users get started. The DataPilot feature facilitates copying over data from a company database, while the Function Wizard makes it easy to create complicated functions.

4. Zoho Sheet

Best for collaborative power-users

Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

Zoho Sheet is completely web-based, so collaboration is smooth and intuitive, with real-time co-authoring, chat, individual cell versions, and sharing permissions. In this regard, it’s similar to Google Sheets, but it’s also an incredibly powerful spreadsheet app, with more than 350 different functions, giving even Excel a run for its money.

The layout is similar to Google Sheets and quite spartan, so you’ll have to dig through menus to find more advanced features. However, the app does sport a basic formula builder with function descriptions, which Google Sheets lacks. The ability to link external data, like a CSV file or RSS feed, is a handy feature for businesses. Excel can manage this but it’s much more complicated.

Charts and graphs are easy to create and customize, although, like Google Sheets, there are fewer types, and overall, they are less powerful than Excel. That being said, the interface is intuitive, with multiple trend lines and aggregation.

5. OnlyOffice

Best for Excel-like power in a self-hosted cloud environment

Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

OnlyOffice is a robust office suite with software for computers, tablets, and smartphones, as well as a powerful web app. Collaboration is fully supported, even giving you the choice between real-time co-editing and save-to-sync formats. There are also comments and chat functions.

In terms of features, OnlyOffice rivals Excel, with more than 400 functions and advanced features like filtering, Text to Columns, and pivot tables. That said, the formula auto-fill could be improved: the tooltip doesn’t provide much information, and there’s no function builder to speak of.

The interface is familiar and easy to use, with all main functions available in ribbons. However, if you rely heavily on error parsing, OnlyOffice may let you down: clicking an error doesn’t give more information, and there’s no support for error tracing.

Charts and graphs, on the other hand, are easy to create and customize, and while Excel still wins in the sheer number of chart types available, all the basics are here, with great templates for easy formatting. Adding shapes, images, and header and footers are a breeze, so you can quickly create attractive visualizations.

Christian is a freelance writer and content project manager with 6+ years’ experience writing and leading teams in finance and technology for some of the world’s largest online publishers, including TechRadar and Tom’s Guide.

A high-performance and feature-rich .NET Excel framework to work with Microsoft Excel documents. This framework has an Excel creation and editing library that allows you to create, read, and edit Microsoft Excel files in any .NET application. It offers an Excel-inspired Spreadsheet UI control to create, edit, view, and format Excel documents. Its powerful conversion APIs make it easy to convert Excel files to PDF, images, and more.

Why Syncfusion?

No server deployment fees

There are no distribution fees, per-server licensing fees, or royalties, which makes Excel Library very cost-effective.

Blazing-fast performance

Optimized for usage in a server environment where speed and low memory usage are critical.

Powerful and comprehensive API

All the elements in a typical Excel document such as text, formatting, images, shapes, and tables are accessible through a comprehensive set of APIs.

Proven Excel library

Syncfusion Excel Library (Essential XlsIO) is a mature and proven product, having evolved for over 13+ years.

Fully documented

Syncfusion Excel Library comes with extensive documentation, knowledge base, and samples.


Use a single API across all platforms.

Excel – creating and editing APIs

Syncfusion Excel Library (Essential XlsIO) is a high-performance .NET Excel library that allows users to create, read, edit, and protect Excel documents in .NET applications without Microsoft Office or interop dependencies.

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets

Import and export

Import data from various data sources, collection objects, and HTML tables. Also, export data to data tables, collection objects, and nested classes.

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets

Excel charting

Excel Library supports 80+ charts to visualize data. Similarly, sparklines are supported to visualize data within a cell.

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets


More than 400 Excel functions are supported to evaluate formula cells quickly. Similarly, add-in functions, external formulas, and an array of formulas are supported.

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets

Template markers

Import data to Excel worksheets like mail merge in a Word document. Customized data importing is also supported.

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets


Use various cell and text formatting options along with advanced conditional formatting features.

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets

Data processing

Perform various kinds of data processing such as data validation, sorting, and filtering.

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets

Pivot tables

Pivot tables and pivot charts are widely used features in the Spreadsheet control due to their ease-of-use in summarizing data. Syncfusion Excel Library allows you to create and edit them with a few lines of code.

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets


Encrypt or decrypt password-protected Excel files. Also, protect the editing of workbooks, worksheets, and cells.

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets


Create and edit various form controls, autoshapes, and comments.

Merge Cells in Excel

You can merge multiple cells into a single large cell. Cells in a column will be merged row by row, and cells in a row will be merged column by column. The value of a top-left cell will be added to the merged cells and all other cell values will be deleted.

Spreadsheet viewer and editor

The Spreadsheet control provides a Microsoft Excel-like control with the major features of Microsoft Excel, including editing, formulas, charting, importing, and exporting.

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets

High performance

Open and save large Excel files in less time with minimal memory consumption. Experience smooth scrolling even with many cells in a view.

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets

Open and save

Import and edit existing Excel files in the Spreadsheet control. Spreadsheets can be exported to XLS, XLSX, CSV, and PDF file formats.

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets


Spreadsheet supports charts and sparklines. Visualize data in an easy way.

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets


More than 400 Excel-compatible functions are supported, such as cross-sheet references, named ranges, table formulas, and formulas.

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets


The Spreadsheet control provides a variety of text and number formatting options along with conditional formatting to improve the appearance and effectiveness of any spreadsheet.

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets

Data virtualization

The Spreadsheet control supports on-demand data loading when bound to data sources. It improves initial loading time by requesting only the visible data from the data source.

How to sync microsoft excel spreadsheets

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Get the Periodic Table as a Poster

Yes, indeed. OneDrive, that thing you likely know as a place to store a bunch of stuff, actually is a name for a few different experiences/tools, even if that makes the overall name a bad or confusing brand. And that's the basis of this post: how you can sync your OneDrive, SharePoint, and, yes, even Microsoft Teams files directly to your computer or smartphone for offline access using the OneDrive sync tool. If you prefer to read, continue on. Though the video below covers the same content plus live demos. Everyone loves live demos!

With sync, you’re able to access files stored in OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams through Windows Explorer and macOS Finder, which is especially useful if you love the days of shared drives and click click clicking through to get your files right through Explorer or Finder.

OneDrive also lets you choose which files you want to save on your device so you don’t overflow its storage with tons of folders and files you don’t actually care about. Open an Office file while connected to the internet and it’ll save all changes automatically just like if you opened it through OneDrive, SharePoint, or Teams directly. Open the file while offline and changes will be automatically uploaded the next time you get reconnected.

Let’s run through some demo on how to do it on a PC. The PC and Mac experience are almost identical, so I’ll stick to just the one. First, make sure you either have the the OneDrive Sync Client—that’s the official name of the sync tool—or that you’ve downloaded and installed it. If you have Windows 10, you should already have it installed. Otherwise, you want to download it (Windows | macOS | iOS | Android). The same app is used for OneDrive personal, like a Live or Microsoft account, and OneDrive for Business for work and school accounts. You can find it through the Start menu and searching OneDrive. Once it’s open, you’ll see a little blue OneDrive logo in the system tray. Click that to log in and you should be set for syncing. You can log in with multiple accounts if you’d like.

For a full demo, check out the video below (start at 1:55 if it doesn't do so automatically). The general instructions from Microsoft are helpful too: sync OneDrive files and sync SharePoint/Teams files.

Now let’s run through some demo on how to do this on a smartphone. First, make sure you’ve installed the OneDrive app from the respective app store. Log in with your work or school account and you should be set for syncing. Like the desktop app, you can log in with multiple accounts if you’d like.

For a full demo, check out the video below (start at 11:33 if it doesn't do so automatically). The general instructions from Microsoft are helpful too: sync OneDrive files .

Now let’s cover some tips and best practices on this.

Use sync to upload large files

First, SharePoint and OneDrive can hold files up to 250 gigabytes in size. That’s huge. If you’re uploading large files, don’t drag and drop them into Teams, OneDrive, or SharePoint directly. Instead, drag them into a folder in Explorer or Finder and let the sync tool do the work. If you disconnect or turn off your computer, it can resume the upload, whereas if you’re depending on a browser to upload stuff, it will just fail in that situation.

Only sync what you need

Second, keep an eye on those blue and green icons and if you’re starting to run out of space on your computer, you want to set some of those bigger files and folders that you might not use all that often to be cloud-only. Use only what you need at a given time rather than trying to hoard everything on your device. The more space you use on your device, the slower it may run. For a quicker experience, save only the really important stuff. Quick tip: when you stop storing a file locally, it goes to the trash. Empty the trash to get the space back.

Stop syncing Teams and sites you leave

Third, stop syncing individualTeams and SharePoint sites when you’re not using them anymore. Theoretically, when you’re removed from a Team or Site, you lose access, so you shouldn’t see those files anyway, but if you’re just hanging around for random input here and there, you don’t need a 100 gigabyte site full of stuff bloating up your hard drive.

Sync things before you need them

Fourth, download things before you need them. If you’re going to a customer site for a big meeting where you’re presenting, you want to make sure you have all the necessary files on your device before you leave your home base. That way, if you have trouble getting on their wifi or they have bad cell reception and you can’t hot spot it, you still have the files available and can follow the agenda or share your slides. Same goes for the phone, really. Being able to pull up the agenda once in a while on your phone even in an area with no cell service and a hard-to-join wifi network is incredibly helpful.

Don't discount the mobile app

Fifth, get to know the OneDrive mobile app. Did you know you can scan documents and whiteboards and create pdfs using the app? Pretty slick. For the next level up, download the Office mobile app. You can scan documents and tables and automatically create Word documents and Excel spreadsheets. The tech is pretty cool.

Make use of 'Add shortcut to OneDrive'

Sixth, the Add shortcut to OneDrive feature can be really handy if you like having your files listed in one central place. Grabbing one library or folder at a time and seeing it directly in your OneDrive can be a major win. Don’t forget about that.

Keep an eye out on syncing for errors

Seventh, keep an eye on thatOneDrive icon in Windows and macOS. If there are syncing problems, it has an easy-to-miss X symbol which means your files aren’t actually pushing to the cloud, which can lead to issues ranging from minor to massive. So always always be aware of the status of the app. Never take it for granted. Because sometimes it just craps out.

Which tool when?

Last, know when to use which tool. OneDrive is great for your personal files, SharePoint Team sites and Microsoft Teams are great for collaboration, and SharePoint Communication Sites are perfect for sharing information to a broad audience. Check out my which tool when overview in this video.