10+ Best Alternatives That Can “Excel” Microsoft Excel

The most popular spreadsheet platform right now, regarding professional space, is Microsoft Excel. Excel’s extreme focus on ticking the boxes, as per the client’s requirements, has contributed heavily to it being one of the most popular spreadsheets to work on.

Year Founded: 1985
Headquarters: Redmond, Washington, United States

Microsoft Excel is the essential software in any business toolbox. With Excel, arranging, formulating, analyzing, and visualizing data is a smooth process. Calculations in Excel can be done in seconds using formulas.

Microsoft Excel has formulas for almost every operation that can be performed. Excel’s intuitive nature is reflected in the form of the wide variety of charts it offers to visualize any data. With Excel, one can even build models for the purpose of financial engineering and also forecast data using the various complex methods available.

However, not every bit of Excel suits a user. For people using other operating systems, Excel, at times, might be a little challenging to use. Thus, alternatives to Excel play a huge role then. 

List of Excel Alternatives And Competitors

Even though a rarity, it might be that some users are rendered dissatisfied with Excel’s overall experience and are looking for an alternative. Well, here are some great Excel alternatives one can opt for!

Google Sheets

Year Founded: 2006
Headquarters: Mountain View, California, United States

Talking of competitors, that too concerning business tools, and Google not being on that list, is quite impossible. Google Sheets is probably the best Excel alternative. It also offers every feature that Excel offers, including pivot tables, charts, formulas, etc.

Along with that, Google Sheets also lets users edit documents that have been created through Microsoft Excel. Compared to its peer, Google Sheets’s biggest advantage is that all the documents are stored in the cloud by default; thus, accessing them is super easy. 

Apache Open Office

Year Founded: 2012
Headquarters: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Arguably one of the best “free” Excel alternatives, Open Office is another business productivity tool. It has the same capabilities as Excel does, for example, intuitive charts and very helpful formulas.

However, what segregates it from Excel is its integrations. Open Office comes integrated with other software equivalent to Word, Access, and more. It has a great edge over Excel as the code is open-source, allowing the client to modify it conveniently. 

Zoho Sheet

Year Founded: 2006
Headquarters: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

A strong alternative to Excel, Zoho’s biggest advantage is the fact that it offers operational support to both small and medium-sized businesses. It has a great user-friendly interface, enhancing the experience.

With Zoho, one can easily switch between document formats like .xlsx, .xls, .csv, and .ods. What makes it a great alternative to Excel is the fact that both the application and the documents prepared through it are cloud-based, and thus it’s just internet connectivity that is needed to access them.


Year Founded: 2010
Headquarters: Berlin, Germany, Europe

A better version of Open Office, LibreOffice, just like its parent organization, is another great Excel alternative. LibreOffice’s derivation from Open Office makes it another open-source alternative to Excel, making it another tool that the user can customize and use as per their requirements.

Files on LibreOffice get stored in the cloud, and thus accessing them is easy. It also comes in with all the essential Excel features like Pivot tables, charts, and formulas. However, formatting is a little challenging. 


Year Founded: 1999
Headquarters: Tracy, California, United States

ThinkFree Office is another really great Excel alternative. It offers a plethora of options to choose from in its Office suite. Mostly, ThinkFree is web-based. It is compatible with any operating software, be it Linux, MAC, or Windows.

ThinkFree comes with all the features that Excel provides, ranging from charts and going all the way to tables. It offers free storage even to its users, which is roughly around 1 GB. Thus, ThinkFree is a competitor of Excel, if not the best.

Free Office 2016

Year Founded: 2016
Headquarters: Nuremberg, Germany, Europe

Part of Soft Maker’s FreeOffice program is their developed spreadsheet tool to give Excel tough competition is PlanMaker. The previous versions of FreeOffice were quite buggy to use. However, the 2016 version proved to be an absolute game-changer for SoftMaker.

FreeOffice comes bundled with free-to-use alternatives to Microsoft’s productivity applications like Access, Word, Publisher, etc. PlanMaker has the edge over Excel as the loading time is significantly low, and almost all Excel features are incorporated into it. 


Year Founded: 2007
Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States

Even though it is not as widely recognized as other Excel counterparts, Sheetster has the meat to be one of Excel’s toughest competitors. It is an open-source standalone web-based program that allows users to edit spreadsheet files of different formats.

It can also import and export file formats that include files of formats like .xls and .xlsx and also supports a range of formulas. It is a great alternative to Excel because it is a great choice for developers to integrate sheets into their web pages. 

Birt Spreadsheet

Year Founded: 2005
Headquarters: San Mateo, California, United States

When automation and centralization of the spreadsheet it needed, BIRT Spreadsheet is hands down the best tool to use. BIRT Spreadsheet is quite an easy-to-use tool that can create authentic files retaining formulas, formatting, charts, and data links.

BIRT also offers features that can facilitate us with data analysis. These include live formulas, pivot tables, hyperlinks to navigate to other documents, and data-driven layouts, among many others.

Numbers for Mac

Year Founded: 2007
Headquarters: Cupertino, California, United States

We are talking about productivity, and we have already integrated the likes of Microsoft and Google into that list. So, Apple had to step in. In some Numbers, the spreadsheet tool designed by Apple, specifically for Mac, is arguably its biggest advantage, robbing it of versatility.

Numbers have pre-made templates integrated into them, facilitating data visualization even from small data sets. The resultant data is extremely pleasing to look at. With great tools incorporated and with Apple being at the helm, Numbers is an obvious major nemesis of Excel.


Year Founded: 2013
Headquarters: London, United Kingdom, Europe

Unlike all the other software in this list, Scoro is more of a visual tool, relying heavily on its capability to comprehend, analyze, and represent data in the form of visuals. With Scoro, one can oversee and keep track of every aspect of the business in the form of interactive dashboards.

The functionalities might be a little lackluster for Scoro compared to Excel, but its innovative way of data analytics, outweighs it, making it another amazing Excel alternative.

Microsoft Excel Competitor

FAQs for Excel Competitors And Alternatives

What Is the Best Alternative to Excel?

Based on their feature sets, Numbers for Mac and Google Sheets are the closest when it comes to battling Excel out.

What Are Some Free Alternatives to Excel?

Open Office is clearly the best free-to-use alternative to Microsoft Excel.

Which App Is the Most Attractive Alternative to Excel?

Of all the above-mentioned software, Scoro and Numbers are the most attractive alternatives to Excel.

Do We Need an Account to Use Excel?

Yes. One needs a Microsoft account to use Excel.

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