Spreadsheet Wars!  Microsoft Excel for Mac 2011 versus Goggle Spreadsheets
I love spreadsheets, but which one?

Spreadsheet Wars! Microsoft Excel for Mac 2011 versus Goggle Spreadsheets

11/26/2010 by Larry Salvatoriello
A comparison of the newest version of Excel for Mac and Google spreadsheets with a few tips for users of the Salesforce.com APEX dataloader.

I always was an Excel guy when it came to spreadsheets but recently I was introduced to Google spreadsheets and began using them with some of our clients. I also recently got my hands on the latest version of Excel for Mac and thought it might be a good idea to do a little comparison. So here it goes, and for you Salesforce.com APEX Dataloader users, look for a few tips!

Speed Test

The old version of Excel for Mac was super slow. It would literally take 10 seconds to boot up. I started to use Google spreadsheets to do some quick work based soley on speed. Though Google is based on how well your internet connection is it still was way faster then opening Excel. In Excel 2011, 1 click on the icon and I am up and running in a second. The speed doesn't stop there, the calculations are much faster as well. So since Excel is an installed application, I have to give the leg up to Excel.

Look and Feel

The worst thing Microsoft did to the newer versions of Excel was take away the formula toolbar in the menu. Well hallelujah, it's back! That toolbar being as a floater literally wasted hours of my time. Google Spreadsheets have a pretty classic Excel look to it which holds close to my heart. Google gets the leg up here for 2 reasons. First, most people don't need anymore then the formula bar and drop-down menu which in Excel's case, can get a bit overwhelming when all that is displayed. Secondly, even though Excel put the formula bar back, I'm still bitter that they removed it in the first place!


Google wins hands down on this topic. I can easily share spreadsheets with clients and colleagues in real time and truly collaborate with them. Excel is not even close, even though they say they can in their awful "To the cloud" commercials. Google spreadsheets can be shared and viewed with 2 things, an internet connection and an email address. That simple.


From a functionality perspective, I go with Excel but that is based on the type of work I use it for. I don't think Google's first intent was to tackle the hardcore Excel users or programmers for that matter. Google provides all the same standard functionality that a regular spreadsheet user should need like standard calculation formulas. I have used Excel for years and years and from a functionality perspective, I get more. I cannot live without the "text to columns" feature and for you Salesforce.com dataloaders, this is a great way to correct formatting issues. Curious, shoot us an email and I will gladly provide more details!


All in all both are great spreadsheet tools and the release of Excel for Mac 2011 makes me very happy. Google docs are good but for now, I will use them for collaboration purposes only. I love Google, so in a way, I guess I challenge you to take me from my Excel island that I love so dear...

Salesforce.com Dataloader Tip #2: For data migration with complex owner hierarchy, use a master spreadsheet to hold all your ID's and then Vlookup formulas to pull them in.