Alternatives to Excel

Need to open a spreadsheet and makes some edits, but don’t have Excel to do so? In the list below will be some Excel alternatives, and just to make things a little bit better, they all save and can read standard Excel file types. Cross compatibility is where great software separates its self from good software. We’ve all had someone send us a file from a program no one had heard of and it’s almost impossible to open unless you scour the net for different programs. Well search no more!



Spread32 is essentially a free version of Microsoft Excel. It supports most the day-to-day functions you would normally use within a spread sheet such as using Auto-sum. There is however some drawbacks but nothing major. Spread32 can’t pivot tables or display multiple spreadsheets side by side and it can’t support custom lists. Minus those it’s virtually identical to Excel.

Spread32 is free to use and is what is known as shareware. As you might expect free software means adverts and pop ups, and it’s no different in this case im afraid, however they only seem to pop up when using anything in the file options, such as Open, Save, Print etc. There is however a way to rid yourself of these annoyances by upgrading to a licensed version for around £13

So overall minus a few features, if you’re looking for a cheap alternative to Excel give Spread32 a go.




Planmaker (Softmaker Suite)

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Planmaker is almost identical to Excel even more so than Spread32, the only feature that isn’t there is again no support for pivot tables. It does however support side by side viewing of spreadsheets, meaning you can place them vertically or horizontally with an easy click of a button. This makes Planmaker perfect for Excel and spreadsheet enthusiasts. Receiving regular updates means that content and feature never go out of date, and new improvements are always being introduced.

Planmaker however, does not come cheap, you can access and use the software on a free 30-Day trial, unfortunately once that time has expired to buy the license will cost you around £52. But if you’re looking for an all-round equivalent to Excel, Planmaker makes for a great all round package.




Simple Sheets

Photo by softpedia

Simple Sheets is a pared down but slick version of Excel. It lacks the ability to view sheets side-by-side, but it does have easy buttons that allow you to swap easily between each sheet. It also has all the formulae you’ll need, and the usual formatting tools. In short, Simple Sheets does what it says on the tin – it’s a straightforward, no-frills spreadsheet programme. It also provides the option to protect worksheets and allow people to edit only certain ranges. The programme is rather clunky though, and if you have a large spreadsheet you might find yourself getting rather annoyed by the large taskbar.

Simple Sheets is available to try on a free 30-Day trial, after which you can pay about £13 for the licenced version giving you full access.


Zoho Sheet

Image by Zoho


Zoho Sheet is part of the Zoho Docs group. It’s an online creation and editing suite which, with the formulae you need and pivot tables available, should enable you to create any documents you need. Again, you can’t view spreadsheets side-by-side, but you can get around this by opening the website in two browser windows and putting them next to each other instead. You only have 5GB of storage available, and if you upgrade to the other plans you’ll need to find at least 4 more people who want to use it, as it starts from around £3.50 per user a month, with a minimum of 5 users. However, downloading the spreadsheets to your computer is possible through the ZohoDocs menu, which is built into its website.


So there you have it your suitable alternatives to Microsoft Excel. If you are looking for a replacement program or just simply a spread sheet piece of software, recommendation is to try them all and see which one you get on with best. And by all means  if there is one you come across that you think is really great let us know and we can feature it on this page. 


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