Google Sheets

Google Updates Sheets: Faster, More Powerful, and Works Off-Line

December 11, 2013 - Written By Cory McNutt

Google just announced that their “not so famous” spreadsheet program, Google Sheets, has been rebuilt from the ground up.  Whether you do the family budget or running a business sized spreadsheet, the new Google Sheets will now handle your numbers faster, support larger spreadsheets, includes many new features, and now you can even work offline.

Google is constantly working to improve its MS Office wanna-be, QuickOffice, and even started to include it pre-installed with their latest Android 4.4 KitKat operating system. So starting with the Nexus 5, QuickOffice will be waiting for you when you power up your new Nexus device – and in every device subsequent with 4.4 KitKat installed. The timing is right to make a move on MS Office, as Microsoft is trying to push a cloud only version so you will have to pay a monthly fee to use it. By pre-installing QuickOffice and not charging a monthly fee, Google could win over the MS Office users that feel betrayed, especially if Google can improve their QuickOffice components, like they are doing with Sheets.

Sheets can now handle millions of cells, with scrolling, loading and calculations now blazing fast, even in the most complex of spreadsheets.  One new feature is unique to Google Sheets, called Filter Views – it allows you to quickly name, save and share different views of your data.  This will allow you to share only certain data to those that are on a need-to-know basis, without affecting how others may see it.

Google Sheets 1

One of the most difficult tasks in spreadsheet can be getting a complex formula correctly formatted.  Google claims that if you are new to formulas or a whiz with complex functions, it is now easier than ever to set them up in Sheets. The new “function help” and examples will help guide you as you type – with highlights and coloring to spot and fix errors. Some other improvements is the ability of your text to automatically flow into the empty adjacent cells, with manual merge no longer needed. You can also format the cells so they show up in a particular color or style to help emphasize them. Not near an internet connection – no problem, just work with Sheets offline and make all of your necessary changes and when you reconnect to the internet and the cloud, all of your copies will sync and update automatically.

While the new version of Sheets will not be pushed out as a download quite yet, as Google wants to add a “small list of missing features,” you can still start using the new Sheets by going to the Google Drive settings and checking the box for “Try the new Google Sheets.”  Google will continue to add more features, such as colored tabs, custom number formatting, paste transpose, and more. Enjoy the short video from Google:

Let us know in the comments or on Google+ what you think of the new Google Sheets – do you currently use Sheets or will this update make you consider using it for your next project.