Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel: Moving Data Between The Two

Google Excel Spreadsheet Exchange DataLet’s begin with a distinction between Google Sheets & Microsoft Excel:

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet application that is a part of Microsoft Office 365.

Google Sheets a spreadsheet app that is available with free consumer Gmail and also with Google Workspace (formerly G Suite).

Some people use only one or the other. Other people use both.

If a Google user who does not have Excel installed receives an Excel spreadsheet via email, the user can preview the spreadsheet within Gmail and then convert the spreadsheet to Google Sheets.

There are several ways to move spreadsheets and spreadsheet data between Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel. Here are examples of Google Excel information exchange.

Convert a Microsoft Excel File to Google Sheets

An Excel file can be converted to Google Sheets through the following steps:

1. Drag and drop an Excel spreadsheet from a local drive into a Google Drive folder.

Drag Excel Spreadsheet Onto Google Drive

2. Double click the Excel spreadsheet in Google Drive to open it. This will show the spreadsheet in a view only mode.

View Excel in Google Drive

3. Click on Open With Google Sheets in the top center. The spreadsheet can now be edited with Google Sheets controls. The alternating colors seen below were added with a simple menu selection.

Google Sheets in Google Drive

Steps 2 & 3 can be combined by right clicking on the file in Google Drive and then selecting Open with > Google Sheets.

Open Excel With Google Sheets

The converted Excel spreadsheet will include the .xlsx file extension in its name. However, that text is not needed in Google Drive and can be deleted.

Convert a Google Sheets Spreadsheet to Microsoft Excel

If a spreadsheet is created in Google Sheets and it needs to be shared with an Excel-only user, the spreadsheet can be downloaded to a local drive as a .xlsx file. From the Google Sheets menu, select File > Download as > Microsoft Excel (.xlsx).

Convert a Google Sheet to Excel

A Google Sheet can also be directly emailed as an attachment. In the Google Sheets menu, select File > Email as attachment…

In the send email lightbox, change the attachment type from PDF to Microsoft Excel (.xlsx)

Email Google Sheet as Excel Attachment

Copy/Paste a Range of Cells from Excel to Google Sheets

For a quick and dirty solution, a range of cells can be copied in Excel and then pasted into a Google Sheet. This works in the other direction as well.

This will be a text-only copy/paste. Formulas and formatting will not move from one to the other.

Google Workspace is like a "business version" of consumer Gmail

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