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5 Excel Alternatives For Your Small Business

Excel_Web_App1 Relying on a single program is not a good idea, therefore you should try to find some good Excel alternatives that will work for you


The service offered by Excel is a vital part of many businesses, to the point where some accounting departments would be in utter chaos without it. However, as the prices for Microsoft Office products have risen, other programs have evolved to do the job better and more cheaply.

1) Excel Web App

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If the only thing holding you back from using Excel is the cost, the free web app that Microsoft released in 2011 may solve your issue. While this is a very stripped down version, it does still have enough function for the most basic uses. You may open, create and edit spreadsheets, though the editing is a bit more roundabout than in the full program. If you only use Excel occasionally or only on the most basic level, this may be the solution for you.

2) Zoho Sheet

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This is another web based, free service, but it’s much easier to use and has more features than the Excel web app. Because of the expanded functionality, it may be harder to learn, but most users find this worth it. This spread sheet comes in various formats, for text or numbers, and allows you to rearrange the data in many different ways. Those who have used this program in the past may have had issues with printing, but Zoho insists it has resolved them.

3) Google Docs

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Google Docs has many different office uses, including a word processor and a calendar. It also has spreadsheets. While this isn’t the most powerful Excel alternative available, it does come with one huge perk. Like the rest of Google docs, multiple users can make changes on the document and have those changes show up in real time. If you have a hard time getting all the members of a project together, this may be the perfect solution for you.

4) Gnumeric

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For personal financial planning spreadsheets, such as monthly household budgets, the stripped down, free utility, Gnumeric is probably the best option. The program is small, lightweight and runs fast. It doesn’t generate charts or deal with the more involved functions that Excel has. However, it does keep records, tally up sums, and is easy to operate. While it’s not fancy, if you only need a basic spreadsheet program, it’s great for both beginners and old pros.

5) Open Office

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If you want your spreadsheet software to come with more than just a spreadsheet option, one of the Open Office projects may be to your liking. These programs are all based on the same set of programming, and are similar. In many cases, the decision between which “flavor” you want may come down to preference and your personal technical setup. Whether you choose Apache, Lotus or Libre, they are all free and come with a full office suite of software.

There’s no need to pay the exorbitant prices of Microsoft’s Excel licenses when there are so many other options available to you. These free options all ensure that you will be able to keep, access and edit reliable spreadsheet records for no cost to you.

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Published: Monday, May 6th, 2013 Last Modified: April 15, 2014

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