What Is Google Sheets?

What is Google Sheets? Simply tables and charts based on the web offering some unique benefits.

Read on to find out all you need to know!


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The great thing about Google Sheets is that it is web-based, so it can be used anywhere on any device.  To share it you only have to share the link. It is free, as part of the overall Google Docs suite.

You can also download it to work offline, and you can custom code your own sheets to fit your particular needs. You can also configure the sheets to gather data, which makes your work even easier!

Difference between a Google Doc and Google Sheet

While both Google Docs and Google Sheet are part of the Google Drive’s online tools, they have some important differences. You could say the difference is words and numbers, but it is more than that.

Google Docs is an editing and information system that is based on the web. You can create documents in the doc program. These can be stored on the web and accessed by anyone you give the link to. The docs can be edited and used by different people. It is more of a text management system.

Google Sheets are similar in how they work but are more focused on tables, charts, and numbers. These are spreadsheets, and that is the main difference from Google Docs. Google drive is a file storage system that is online, and you may keep your Google Docs and Google Sheets there.

How to use Google Forms

Google Sheets are great spreadsheets and holders of data. To get your data into the sheets though, you need a form to use, and that is what Google Forms are all about. Google Forms are one of the tools in the suite of Google tools. Sheets and Docs are also tools in that group.

You use forms for writing, or for saving data into your sheets. You may also gather data using the forms. Google Forms are free and are included in the Google program. Simply go to the program and create a form by clicking a link.

From there you can create the form you need to create your sheet. You can create as many tables, rows, graphs or whatever, as you like.  You can link this to the spreadsheet, and feed it the data you want to be collated or organized. Adding columns or questions as you like to present the data in the best way possible.

How to make a chart in Google Sheets

Making a chart is very simple once you get a feel for how the program works. Create the Google Sheet first, and then create your forms.  Create the tables, label them, and then feed in the data from the forms. Google does the rest. The cool thing is you can make adjustments and the forms will adjust the entire presentation for you.

What are Google Sheets used for

The simple answer is Google Sheets are used to create, update, and modify spreadsheets. It is similar to Excel in that you can create a spreadsheet and update it automatically.

To use a sports analogy. If you were keeping stats for a baseball team, you would put in the stats for each game as the games were finished. The sheet would automatically compile the stats into season totals. You could also organize it so you could see game by game results as well as season totals.

Google sheets and the entire suite of tools are web applications, so readily available as long as you have an internet connection. Once you create your documents you can use them offline as well, and publish them online at a later time and they will be automatically updated.

The program works on just about all browsers, such as Firefox, Explorer, Edge, Apple Safari and others. There are also apps to allow you to use them with your phone.

Another bonus is that this system allows for a lot of collaboration. Documents, or sheets, can be opened and edited by multiple users, even at the same time. Users are able to see changes made by others in real time. In theory, two people, or more, could be editing the same document at the same time.

Another feature that protects the data is the “suggested edit” feature. This is where a suggestion is added, or alternative data is added to the document but does not change the original.  There are also places to add comments which do not affect the original document. This way you can exchange messages back and forth as the spreadsheet is used or prepared.

More Recently…

Recently an “action item” feature was added. This feature allows one person to assign part of the project to one person, and the program will make that notification to the person assigned.

Google sheets make creating datasets and spreadsheets easier. It also takes using them to a new level.

Also recently Google created a means for third-party developers to alter the programming of the sheets. This means you can create new apps or new programs and make them compatible with your Google sheets.

Google Sheets, as well as the whole suite of tools, is free. You may use it online at any time, and with an app or an extension, you can use them offline as well. This works great for individuals and small businesses. There are more detailed, and more capable programs available for larger businesses. These come with a monthly subscription.

Additional functions

There is a find and replace tool, which is something that is as old as word processors, but it is still a valuable tool. You may also use this extension to copy and replace to other documents and even to other computers that are linked.

There is another extension that will allow you to open Microsoft Office documents, whether they be a doc or a spreadsheet file.


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