How to Use Google Sheets? (Detailed Guide)

How to Use Google Sheets? (Detailed Guide)

Google Sheets is a free to use cloud-based spreadsheet program which is powered by Google. Google Sheets developed as a part of Google’s office suite and integrated with other Google services such as Google Drive, Docs, Slides, and Gmail.

There are many amazing features in Sheets that can answer many needs. It is possible to make complex calculations, import & analyze data, store information, and many more in Sheets. You only need a Google account to use all of its features.

In this article, we gathered some of the most basic as well as very useful how-tos and tips about Sheets that can help you create amazing spreadsheets.

Google Sheets vs. Microsoft Excel

Google Sheets vs. Microsoft Excel

Sheets is often compared to Microsoft Excel, as they both are spreadsheet programs with similar features. However, they also have a couple of differences. 

  • Google Sheets is a completely free program, whereas Microsoft Excel is relatively expensive software.
  • Sheets is a cloud-based program, while Excel is desktop software. This makes Sheets better software to work on a team project with instant saves and always up-to-date versions. 
  • Microsoft Excel is better at handling bigger data sets than Google Sheets. 

Google Sheets Terminology

It is important to get yourself familiar with the basic terminology before you learn how to use Sheets. They are very similar to any other spreadsheet software. We listed them right below:

Cell: A singular box-shaped data point.

Column: A vertical set of cells.

Row: A horizontal set of cells.

Range: A specific selection of cells.

Spreadsheet: A document that contains sheets of data.

Worksheet: A single page of columns and rows.

Formula: Combinations of ranges, cells, and functions used to determine a value.

Function: An operation that can be used for various calculations and to manipulate or rearrange data.

How to Create a Google Sheets Spreadsheet

How to Create a Google Sheets Spreadsheet?

Learning how to create a new spreadsheet in Google Sheets is your first step to learn it more thoroughly. You can follow these steps to create your first spreadsheet on Google Sheets easily:

  1. Visit the Google Sheets website.
  2. Log in to your Google account.
  3. Select one of the many templates available in the “Start a New Spreadsheet” section.
  4. Type a name for the spreadsheet.

Keep in mind that there are many other ways to create a spreadsheet. As you can create spreadsheets in Google Drive using the top-right menu or from the plus icon in the bottom right in the Google Drive app.

How to Add Data to a Google Sheets Spreadsheet?

After you create a spreadsheet, you need to add data to make it functional. For smaller data sets, you can simply type in the data to cells directly. However, manually entering data can take hours for larger data sets. You can follow these steps to import data automatically to Sheets.

  1. Click on the “File” button, then click “Import.
  2. Select the file to import.
  3. Decide on the import options.
  4. Click “Import Data.”

It is also possible for you to copy & paste data from websites and other spreadsheets. Almost all spreadsheet file types are supported in Google Sheets.

How to Merge Cells in Google Sheets?

Merging cells should be on top of your priorities list while learning Sheets. This is simply because merging cells is one of the most basic yet efficient ways to format a spreadsheet. To merge cells, you should select more than one cell and click the merge icon located in the upper toolbar.

How to Arrange and Sort Data in Google Sheets

How to Arrange and Sort Data in Google Sheets?

Arranging and sorting data are two of the most common tasks in Sheets. This is because they make interacting with the data easier while simplifying the whole process. To arrange data in Sheets, you can follow these steps:

  1. Highlight the data you want to sort by selecting with the cursor.
  2. Click on the “Data” section.
  3. On the drop-down menu, select “Sort Range.”

For text-based data, it is possible for you to sort alphabetically, reverse alphabetically, numerical, dates, and etc.

How to Use Sheets Functions and Formulas?

Functions and formulas can do wonders on your spreadsheet document. Google Sheets supports numerous different useful functions and formulas, as well. A formula helps users to make simple mathematical processes at an instant in ranges or cells. While a function is there to make much more complex tasks. Both of these two always start with an “=” symbol to differentiate them from texts and numbers.

To create formulas:

To use formulas between at least two cells, you need to specify their address in the spreadsheet. It is also possible to use formulas between a cell and any number. 

  1. Select the cell that will display the calculated value.
  2. Type the “=” symbol to start the formula.
  3. Enter the cell address of the cell you want to add first.
  4. Type the mathematical process you want to use, addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication (*), division (/), and caret (^) for exponents, which are standard formulas in Sheets.
  5. Enter the cell address of the cell you want to add second in the formula.
  6. Press the “Enter” key on your keyboard to display the value.

You can also use formulas by using the point-and-click method, which is simpler but more prone to errors.

To create functions:

Functions provide solutions to much more complex tasks in Sheets. There are almost up to 500 different functions in the program that answer various needs. You can find all these functions in the upper right menu or by entering the “=” symbol on a cell. There are many different functions in Sheets that are tailored for statistical, logical, engineering, web, filter, array, and other purposes.

It is important to note that there are only a few functions from other spreadsheet programs that don’t work in Sheets.

How to Make Charts in Google Sheets?

Creating charts in Sheets might seem a bit difficult at first. However, it is an easy task to accomplish, even for beginners. This is because Google Sheets offers a variety of customizable chart types and automatically configures the best chart in relevance to your input. You can follow these steps to make charts in Sheets:

  1. Select/highlight your data to make a chart in Sheets.
  2. Navigate to the “Insert” tab.
  3. Click on the “Chart” button.
  4. Google Sheets will create a stacked column chart by default.
  5. If you are not satisfied with the result, you can adjust it from the “Chart Editor” located on the right side.
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It is possible for you to create column, pie, line, bar, candlestick, area, and many more charts in the chart editor. In addition to this, you can change their color, text, format, and etc.

How to Remove Duplicates in Sheets?

You may need to delete duplicates or check for any possible errors in a spreadsheet. Google Sheets offers an easy built-in feature that can remove any duplicates. To remove duplicates:

  1. Highlight the cells or the table.
  2. Navigate to the “Data” section located in the upper menu.
  3. Click on the “Remove Duplicates” button.

How to Collaborate with Other Users in Google Sheets?

Sheets is a great software to create team projects. Anyone with required permissions can view, edit, or comment on a document in real-time. Instead of sending files via email on other similar programs, it is possible to have all these interactions at once in Google Sheets. To collaborate with other users on a document, you can follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Sheets document you want to share.
  2. Click on the “Get Shareable Link” located in the top right or enter email addresses manually.
  3. Click on the drop-down menu to edit permissions:

Off: You can disable sharing with this option. Previously shared links get removed from any permissions they had.

Anyone with the link can view: You can enable this option to let other users view the document. They can’t edit or leave comments on the shared document. 

Anyone with the link can edit: To give shared users full access, you can enable this option. So they can read and edit the document. 

Anyone with the link can comment: You can enable this option for other users to leave comments. This is especially very useful in team projects.

How to View All the Changes on a Google Sheets Spreadsheet?

Even if you are working alone on a Google Sheets project, you might want to check revisions or small changes. The program keeps track of all the changes in a document step by step and allows authorized users to revert the file. To review a document’s history, click on the file section, then navigate to the “Version History.” 

How to Use Google Sheets Offline?

Google Sheets requires a stable internet connection to fully function. However, it is possible for you to use the software even if you are temporarily offline. There is a built-in offline mode in Sheets that enables you not to lose data and access spreadsheets while offline. To enable offline mode, you can follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Google Sheets website.
  2. Click on the menu icon located in the upper left.
  3. Click the “Settings” button.
  4. In the window, toggle the “Offline” button. 

Keep in mind that offline mode only works in the Google Chrome browser and your Google account must be in sync. You can also manually enable a file by clicking the three dots icon, then sliding the “Available Offline” toggle to on.

How to Use Sheets in Short

Google Sheets is an amazing online software that can help you and your business to keep things organized. Unlike its competitors, Google Sheets is a free to use software and integrated well with other important Google services. There are countless features in Sheets that might seem complicated at first. In this article, we covered many of its features in the most simple terms and included some tips.

If you liked this article, you might like our other article about how to insert textbox in Google Docs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Google Sheets offers an all-around integrated system that includes many other Google services. In addition to this, Google Sheets is used for scheduling, creating important business documents, storing information, and many other purposes. So it is sensible to contemplate the security of the platform. All in all, Google promises a secure environment that can keep important information safe. You can consider security improvements like enabling two-step verifications or installing anti-virus programs to increase your online security. 

Google Sheets offers an all-around integrated system that includes many other Google services. In addition to this, Google Sheets is used for scheduling, creating important business documents, storing information, and many other purposes. So it is sensible to contemplate the security of the platform. All in all, Google promises a secure environment that can keep important information safe. You can consider security improvements like enabling two-step verifications or installing anti-virus programs to increase your online security. 

If you are using the same spreadsheets over and over again, you can save plenty of time by creating your own template in Google Sheets. While Google Sheets offers various templates tailored for different needs, you may still want to come up with a new template that meets your specific requirements. So you should start with editing those templates and find ways to change them to comply with your project. You can create a file in Google Drive to keep them organized and easier to access.

There are more similarities between Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel than their differences. One of the most prominent differences between them is their pricing because Google Sheets is free software. Other than this, there are also a couple of differences between them regarding storage, performance, and collaboration. 

Google Sheets is a cloud-based software that doesn’t require installation. You can log in to Google Sheets by using your Google account.

Müge Özay

Posts: 45

I graduated from the Department of Management Information Systems at Istanbul Bilgi University. I work with the Dopinger team in the field of digital marketing and SEO. I am sharing the content that I find useful with you.

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