10 Free Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets Alternatives

Spreadsheets are extremely useful tools to have. From calculations to graphs, there are vast arrays of applications that can be performed with them. Although Microsoft Excel is one of the most used spreadsheet application, many people look for alternatives to it as Microsoft Excel is not free. Many of them function as well as Excel does so they gain more by opting for them.

Microsoft Excel is no doubt the best choice for offices, but for people who use the application at home, it can cost quite a bit. People can choose substitute spreadsheets based on their requirements and the type of applications they will be using the spreadsheet for.

There are many alternative spreadsheet applications available in the market that is either desktop-based or web-based. Here is a brief look at some of the alternative spreadsheet applications to MS Excel:

1. Abykus

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This is spreadsheet software that is compatible with any Windows OS. It has a simple interface that is easy to use and is perfect for individuals and small-business owners who want a cheap program that has the capacity to handle a vast range of applications. This software requires only 3MB of space. 

2. GNU Oleo

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This is a spreadsheet that is full-featured and is compatible with virtually any operating system. It is light-weight which means that you do not require a lot of disk space to install it. It features character mode interface for graphic users.

3. OpenOffice

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This is one of the most popular alternative spreadsheets to Excel.  Its features are almost identical to Excel and a bonus benefit is the user-friendly interface. Sourcing data from a large number of corporate databases and performing cross-tabulation are just two of the many things that you can do with OpenOffice.

4. Numbers

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This is Macintosh’s alternative to Excel. It is packed with great templates and it is quite different from MS spreadsheet. However, it is simple to use.

5. Google Drive

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This is a web-based spreadsheet that is quite handy. It lacks extensive functionality but this is only because it was designed for basic work. Like Excel, you can create and edit worksheets, make charts, use formulas, etc. The only difference is that you can share a spreadsheet with others over the Internet.

6. Spread32

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This is a basic program that allows you to perform simple calculations and tasks on spreadsheets. Key sorting, free panes, etc. are the features that come with this program.  With Spread32, you get 255 sheets, 26 columns and 65536 rows.

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7. CleanSheets

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This is another alternative to MS Excel that has a formula language that is almost the same as Excel’s. An important note to remember is to run JRE on your PC. The software will not work unless JRE is running.

8. Zoho Sheets

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This is a web-based alternative to Excel and it is simple to work with and at the same time, it is quite a powerful tool to have. The advantage of this software is that multiple people can work simultaneously on one spreadsheet.

9. KSpread

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This is software that is a substitute for Excel in Unix and Unix-like operating systems. Compared to other commercial spreadsheet software, it lacks many of the features. However, it makes up for it by offering features such as conditional coloring, graphs and formatting.

10. Thinkfree Cal

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This is an application that is Java-based. It works well with almost all operating systems and it is quite useful. However, if you want features that are similar to Microsoft Excel, you should opt for something else.

For those who work in teams, Google Drive is great software to use as it is possible to share data online anywhere, any time. Those who use spreadsheets for home use, simple ones will do as most of the time, they are used to maintain records and keep accounts. With so many different alternatives to choose from, finding the best one is a piece of cake.


Hi, Mani Karthik here. Having lived in USA, India & Middle East, and worked for big MNC’s to startups, I have a lot to share with you. My aim is to help people, by sharing everything I’ve learned in life, through this blog. It’s read today by more than 150K people world over! I currently live in LA, California and visit India occasionally. Here’s my full story on who I am and why I blog. Connect with me on FacebookInstagram, Twitter or WhatsApp (+001-408-489-4785). Happy to help! 🙂

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