Google Spreadsheets Hands-On

by Ming Chow

I was fortunate to receive an invitation to test Google Spreadsheets. So how does it stack up against a desktop spreadsheet application --can I do everything that I can do in Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice? I am particularly interested in:

1. Formatting cells
2. Creating and editing formulas
3. Loading and saving
4. Importing an Excel spreadsheets
5. Creating multiple sheets
6. Reference cells from multiple sheets
7. Cutting, dragging, and pasting
8. Advanced stuff (e.g. pivot tables, macros)

So here are some screenshots in action (click on thumbs to enlarge):


Above: Renaming a spreadsheet


Above: Selecting a column


Above: Formatting cells


Above: Reference cells from another sheet


Above: Simple formula editing


Above: Saving the spreadsheet


Above: Opening an existing spreadsheet (saved from Google Spreadsheets)


Above: Exporting the spreadsheet to Microsoft Excel


Above: Importing an Excel spreadsheet from my hard disk


Above: The imported Excel spreadsheet from my hard disk


Above: Uh oh... Trying to open a complicated spreadsheet with macros and pivot tables

Note: tested on Windows XP w./ Firefox.

Overall, it is great. It should suit most computational needs. Most of the common actions, such as keystroke commands in Excel/OpenOffice, are applicable in Google Spreadsheets. The only things that I see are missing are support for macros (ugh!), pivot tables, and of course, charts.


Borgna Marco
2006-06-07 01:45:15
Really nice. Web look a lot more interesting thanks to google and web 2.0. Still we need to find new way to display all this data.

I hope the graphical part will be better than ms excel.

Simon Hibbs
2006-06-07 03:40:27
Since this is (presumably) AJAX, it would make a lot of sense to support Javascript macros. In fact this may actualy be possible right now, e.g. through Firefox extensions, through an officialy documented and supported interface would be preferable. Any talented hackers care to have a crack at this?