How to Open a Spreadsheet Without Microsoft Excel

By | May 4, 2023

Sometimes you might have to open a spreadsheet without Microsoft Excel. Of course, there is about way to work on spreadsheet files without Microsoft Excel.

Microsoft Excel has been the most popular tool for opening spreadsheet files. It is so popular that most people think Spreadsheet means Microsoft Excel.

Difference between spreadsheet and Microsoft Excel

A spreadsheet is a document in which rows and columns intersect each other to create cells. These cells are where the information on the file is kept.

Most spreadsheet files are used to collect, manage and analyze data. With the spreadsheet coming with predefined rows and columns, it is to collect data than having a plain white page document.

Microsoft Excel on the other hand is one of the tools that is used to create or open spreadsheet files. This application is part of the Microsoft Office Suite which contains a set of tools capable of running an office.

Most users have relied on Microsoft Excel for opening spreadsheet files that they cannot do without it.

How to Open a Spreadsheet Without Microsoft Excel

If your choice of a spreadsheet application is Microsoft Excel, that is fine. You can even learn some of the Great tips to use in Microsoft Excel as covered in an earlier article.

However, you should know that there are times when you will have to open a spreadsheet without your laptop. This means you will have to use other tools and not Microsoft Excel. Let us look at some of the tools below.

Google Sheets

One of the amazing apps you can use to open a spreadsheet file is Google Sheets. Google Sheets is part of the top Google Cloud Platforms I listed in an article earlier. This spreadsheet application is fully online and does not require you to install anything to use it. Follow the procedure below to open a spreadsheet without Microsoft Office.

  • Visit the Google Sheets online application on You should see a page similar to the one in the image below.
How to Open a Spreadsheet Without Microsoft Excel - Google sheet home
  • Click on the “Blank” icon if you want to create a completely new file. If you want to open an existing file from your computer, then click on the folder icon as indicated in the screenshot above.
  • After clicking on the folder icon, make sure you select the upload tab and click on the “Browse” button. This will open an explorer window that will help you locate the files from your computer.
How to Open a Spreadsheet Without Microsoft Excel - Upload file

Immediately you double-click on the file from the Explorer window, and the file opens in your spreadsheet application.

Advantages and Disadvantages of using Google Sheet

Just like any other thing, Google Sheets has some advantages and disadvantages too.

1. The Google Sheet application is fully online and does not require you to have any form of installation done before you can use it.
2. Google Sheets automatically saves your work so other users can simultaneously work with you on a single spreadsheet app.
3. The application loads faster in the browser compared to similar apps installed on your computer.
1. Google Sheets is fully online and this means you must always have an internet connection to use it.
2. The functions in Google Sheets are quite less compared to that of Microsoft Office Excel.
3. Most users prefer Microsoft Excel over Google Sheets so finding solutions on online platforms is almost impossible.

Other applications

If you don’t have Microsoft Excel, there are other applications you can use offline as well. These are applications that can do the same or similar things that the Microsoft Office can do. Check out the list below.

LibreOffice Calc

The LibreOffice Calc is the spreadsheet application that comes with the LibreOffice software package. It also has functions and everything you need in a spreadsheet application. You can download and install this if you want something that you can use offline.

Numbers App (Apple Devices Only)

If you are using an Apple device, then you are in luck. This application is available for Mac OS and iOS devices. It is a spreadsheet application that allows you to create new or open existing spreadsheet files. It is also supported on mobile devices so you can still open your file even if you are on your phone.

Apache OpenOffice Calc

Apache OpenOffice Calc is one of the best spreadsheet applications out there for highly skilled professionals. If you want something for a very professional job that is packed with a lot of functions, then you ditch Microsoft Excel and go for OpenOffice Calc.


Opening spreadsheets without Microsoft Excel is not only possible but also easy and convenient. There are numerous online tools, free software options, and other popular alternatives available that can help users open spreadsheets without the need for Excel.

With the information provided in this article, you are well-equipped to make an informed decision and choose the best option for your needs. So go ahead and start exploring the different alternatives to Microsoft Excel, and discover a whole new world of possibilities. If for some reason you get stuck trying out these alternatives, you can always leave a comment and I will reply as early as possible.

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