Google Sheets

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Google Sheets
Google Sheets icon
Google Sheets icon
An example of a Google Sheets spreadsheet
An example of a Google Sheets spreadsheet
Developer(s)Google LLC
Initial releaseMarch 9, 2006; 12 years ago (2006-03-09)
Written inJavaScript
Operating systemAndroid, iOS, macOS, Windows, BlackBerry, ChromeOS
PlatformGoogle, Apple, Microsoft
Available in83 languages[1]
Type
WebsiteGoogle Sheets

Google Sheets is a spreadsheet program included as part of a free, web-based software office suite offered by Google within its Google Drive service. The service also includes Google Docs and Google Slides , a word processor and presentation program respectively. Google Sheets is available as a web application, mobile app for Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry, and as a desktop application on Google's ChromeOS. The app is compatible with Microsoft Excel file formats.[2] The app allows users to create and edit files online while collaborating with other users in real-time. Edits are tracked by user with a revision history presenting changes. An editor's position is highlighted with an editor-specific color and cursor and a permissions system regulates what users can do. Updates have introduced features using machine learning, including "Explore", offering answers based on natural language questions in a spreadsheet.

History[edit]

The Drive suite emerged from Google's acquisition of other products, and ‘’’Google Sheets’’’ had its beginnings as the application XL2Web. XL2Web was a web-based spreadsheet application developed by 2Web Technologies, which was acquired by Google in 2006[3] and turned into Google Labs Spreadsheets. It was launched as a test for a limited number of users, on a first-come, first-served basis on June 6, 2006.[4][5] The limited test was later replaced with a beta version available to all Google Account holders, around the same time as an official announcement press release was issued.[6] In March 2010, Google acquired the online document collaboration company DocVerse. DocVerse allowed multiple-user online collaboration on Excel-compatible document as well as other Microsoft Office formats such as Word and PowerPoint.[7] Improvements based on DocVerse were announced and deployed in April 2010.[8] In June 2012, Google acquired Quickoffice, a "leader in office productivity solutions", with particular emphasis on Quickoffice's "seamless interoperability with popular file formats".[9] In October 2012, Google Spreadsheets was renamed Google Sheets and a Chrome app was released that provided shortcuts to Sheets on Chrome's new tab page.[10]

Platforms[edit]

Google Sheets is available as a web application supported on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Apple Safari web browsers.[11] Users can access all spreadsheets, among other files, collectively through the Google Drive website. In June 2014, Google rolled out a dedicated website homepage for Sheets that contain only files created with Sheets.[12] In 2014, Google launched a dedicated mobile app for Sheets on the Android and iOS mobile operating systems.[13][14][15] In 2015, the mobile website for Sheets was updated with a "simpler, more uniform" interface, and while users can read spreadsheets through the mobile websites, users trying to edit will be redirected towards the mobile app to eliminate editing on the mobile web.[16]

Apps Script
Developer(s)Google
Initial releaseAugust 19, 2009; 9 years ago (2009-08-19)[17]
Written inJavaScript
TypeWeb application framework, scripting language
Websitescript.google.com

Features[edit]

Editing[edit]

Collaboration and revision history[edit]

Google Sheets serves as a collaborative tool for cooperative editing of spreadsheets in real-time. Documents can be shared, opened, and edited by multiple users simultaneously and users are able to see character-by-character changes as other collaborators make edits. Changes are automatically saved to Google's servers, and a revision history is automatically kept so past edits may be viewed and reverted to.[18] An editor's current position is represented with an editor-specific color/cursor, so if another editor happens to be viewing that part of the document they can see edits as they occur. A sidebar chat functionality allows collaborators to discuss edits. The revision history allows users to see the additions made to a document, with each author distinguished by color. Only adjacent revisions can be compared, and users cannot control how frequently revisions are saved. Files can be exported to a user's local computer in a variety of formats such as PDF and Office Open XML. Sheets supports tagging for archival and organizational purposes.

Explore[edit]

Launched for the entire Drive suite in September 2016, "Explore" enables additional functionality through machine learning.[19][20][21] In Google Sheets, Explore enables users to ask questions, such as "How many units were sold on Black Friday?", and Explore will return the answer, without requiring formula knowledge from the user. In June 2017, Google expanded the Explore feature in Google Sheets to automatically build charts and visualize data,[22][23] and again expanded it in December to feature machine learning capable of automatically creating pivot tables.[24][25] In October 2016, Google announced the addition of "Action items" to Sheets. If a user assigns a task within a Sheet, the service will intelligently assign that action to the designated user. Google states this will make it easier for other collaborators to visualize who is responsible for a task. When a user visits Google Drive or Sheets, any files containing tasks assigned to them will be highlighted with a badge.[26] In March 2014, Google introduced add-ons; new tools from third-party developers that add more features for Google Sheets.[27]

Offline editing[edit]

In order to view and edit spreadsheets offline on a computer, users need to be using the Google Chrome web browser. A Chrome extension, Google Docs Offline, allows users to enable offline support for Sheets and other Drive suite files on the Google Drive website.[28] The Android and iOS apps natively support offline editing.[29][30]

Files[edit]

Supported file formats and limits[edit]

Files in the following formats can be viewed and converted to the Sheets format: .xls (if newer than Microsoft Office 95), .xlsx, .xlsm, .xlt, .xltx, .xltm .ods, .csv, .tsv, .txt, .tab[31] Overall document size is capped at 2 million cells.[32][33]

G Suite[edit]

The Sheets app and the rest of the Drive suite are free to use for individuals, but Sheets is also available as part of the business-centered G Suite service by Google, which is a monthly subscription that enables additional business-focused functionality.[34]

Other functionality[edit]

A simple find and replace tool is available. The service includes a web clipboard tool that allows users to copy and paste content between Google Sheets and Docs, Slides, and Drawings. The web clipboard can also be used for copying and pasting content between different computers. Copied items are stored on Google's servers for up to 30 days.[35] Google offers an extension for the Google Chrome web browser called Office editing for Docs, Sheets and Slides that enables users to view and edit Microsoft Excel documents on Google Chrome, via the Sheets app. The extension can be used for opening Excel files stored on the computer using Chrome, as well as for opening files encountered on the web (in the form of email attachments, web search results, etc.) without having to download them. The extension is installed on Chrome OS by default.[36]

Google Cloud Connect was a plug-in for Microsoft Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 that could automatically store and synchronize any Excel document to Google Sheets (before the introduction of Drive). The online copy was automatically updated each time the Microsoft Excel document was saved. Microsoft Excel documents could be edited offline and synchronized later when online. Google Cloud Connect maintained previous Microsoft Excel document versions and allowed multiple users to collaborate by working on the same document at the same time.[37][38] However, Google Cloud Connect has been discontinued as of April 30, 2013, as, according to Google, Google Drive achieves all of the above tasks, "with better results".[39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hill, Ian (June 18, 2013). "18 New Languages for Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides". Google Drive Blog. Google. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  2. ^ "About Fusion Tables". Fusion Tables Help. Google. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  3. ^ Dawson, Christopher (October 30, 2010). "Google's 40 acquisitions in 2010: What about integration?". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  4. ^ Rochelle, Jonathan (June 6, 2006). "It's nice to share". Official Google Blog. Google. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
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  6. ^ "Google Announces Google Docs & Spreadsheets". Google. October 11, 2006. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  7. ^ Jackson, Rob (March 5, 2010). "Google Buys DocVerse For Office Collaboration: Chrome, Android & Wave Implications?". Phandroid. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  8. ^ Belomestnykh, Olga (April 15, 2010). "A rebuilt, more real time Google documents". Google Drive Blog. Google. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  9. ^ Warren, Alan (June 5, 2012). "Google + Quickoffice = get more done anytime, anywhere". Official Google Blog. Google. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  10. ^ Sawers, Paul (October 23, 2012). "Google Drive apps renamed "Docs, Sheets and Slides", now available in the Chrome Web Store". The Next Web. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  11. ^ "System requirements and browsers". Docs editors Help. Google. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  12. ^ "Dedicated desktop home pages for Google Docs, Sheets & Slides". G Suite Updates. Google. June 25, 2014. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  13. ^ Levee, Brian (April 30, 2014). "New mobile apps for Docs, Sheets and Slides—work offline and on the go". Official Google Blog. Google. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  14. ^ Tabone, Ryan (June 25, 2014). "Work with any file, on any device, any time with new Docs, Sheets, and Slides". Google Drive Blog. Google. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  15. ^ "New Google Slides, Docs, and Sheets apps for iOS". G Suite Updates. Google. August 25, 2014. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  16. ^ "A new look for the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides viewers on the mobile web". G Suite Updates. Google. July 27, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  17. ^ Meyer, David (August 20, 2009). "Google Apps Script gets green light". CNet. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  18. ^ "See the history of changes made to a file". Docs editors Help. Google. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  19. ^ Ranjan, Ritcha (September 29, 2016). "Explore in Docs, Sheets and Slides makes work a breeze — and makes you look good, too". Google Docs Blog. Google. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  20. ^ Novet, Jordan (September 29, 2016). "Google updates Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides with machine intelligence features". VentureBeat. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  21. ^ Allan, Darren (September 30, 2016). "Google wants to better challenge Microsoft Office with these new features". TechRadar. Future plc. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  22. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (June 1, 2017). "Google Sheets now uses machine learning to help you visualize your data". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  23. ^ Carman, Ashley (June 1, 2017). "Google Sheets is making it easier to create charts through natural language commands". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  24. ^ Miller, Ron (December 6, 2017). "Latest Google Sheets release helps automate pivot table creation". TechCrunch. Oath Inc. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  25. ^ Gagliordi, Natalie (December 6, 2017). "Google brings new AI, machine learning features to Sheets". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  26. ^ Weber, Ryan (October 19, 2016). "Five new ways to reach your goals faster with G Suite". The Keyword Google Blog. Google. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  27. ^ Gupta, Saurabh (March 11, 2014). "Bring a little something extra to Docs and Sheets with add-ons". Google Drive Blog. Google. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  28. ^ "Work on Google files offline". Drive Help. Google. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  29. ^ "Work on Google files offline". Drive Help. Google. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  30. ^ "Work on Google files offline". Drive Help. Google. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  31. ^ "Work with Office files". Docs editors Help. Google. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  32. ^ "Files you can store in Google Drive". Drive Help. Google. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  33. ^ "Insert or delete images or videos". Docs editors Help. Google. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  34. ^ "G Suite - Choose a Plan". Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  35. ^ "Copy and paste text and images". Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  36. ^ "Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides". Chrome Web Store. Google. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  37. ^ Sinha, Shan (February 24, 2011). "Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office available to all". Google Drive Blog. Google. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  38. ^ White, Charlie (February 24, 2011). "Now Anyone Can Sync Google Docs & Microsoft Office". Mashable. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  39. ^ "Migrate from Google Cloud Connect to Google Drive". Apps Documentation and Support. Google. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013. Retrieved October 30, 2016.