The answer is always a spreadsheet! You get more comfortable with spreadsheets by using them more often. However, how do you create a spreadsheet in Google? Here are some quick tips to get you started with spreadsheets.
What is a Spreadsheet
A spreadsheet is a document that essentially is a giant table. You can have pages of tables. This is great for organizing all kinds of information. While many think that spreadsheets are for math this is not the case at all! Challenge me on this, you can use a spreadsheet for “ANYTHING.” Why use a Google Doc? You can use a spreadsheet (for reals!)
Microsoft spreadsheets are branded “Excel.” Spreadsheets in Google are branded as “Google Sheets.” They have many similar qualities.
Create a Spreadsheet in Google
As with ALL Google documents, Google Sheets spreadsheets live in Google Drive. Google Sheets is a cloud based tool. It ONLY exists in Google Drive. You can download the Sheets file as a PDF or as Microsoft Excel if you need to. However, Sheets is intended to be used in the cloud.
Start with Google Drive
The first way to create a spreadsheet in Google is to go to Google Drive. Click on the NEW button in the upper left and select “Google Sheets.” This will launch a new Google Sheets spreadsheet in a different tab.
There is no save button with Google Sheets. Your information will automatically be saved. Versioning is automatic as well. There is NO reason to make backup copies of your Google Sheets spreadsheets. Use the File menu in your Google Sheets spreadsheet to view the version history. You can restore an older version or you can copy an older version to a new spreadsheet. This helps you to be confident using Google Sheets spreadsheets that you are not going to mess things up.
Why Google Sheets?
Why create spreadsheets in Google? COLLABORATION! Sharing in Google Sheets is the same as any other Google Document. You can with CONFIDENCE know that you are always looking at the same information/data as the rest of the people you are working with. You never need to worry about where the spreadsheet is saved. You’re at home and the spreadsheet is on your work computer? No worries, if you can access the internet you can access your spreadsheets on ANY device. Simply log into your Google account
Google Sheets works with Microsoft Excel. Not perfectly, but it’s pretty good. If someone sends you a Microsoft Excel file you can open it in Google Sheets. You can choose to convert it to Google Sheets or you can use it as an Excel file from Google Drive.
Google Sheets in Google Drive
Sheets are saved to Google Drive. You can find, and search for, your files in Drive. If you go to sheets.google.com you can find a filtered view of your Google Drive. This makes it easier to create and locate your Google Sheets spreadsheets.
Sheets Dot New
My favorite quick way to create a spreadsheet in Google is to use sheets.new. I open a new tab and type sheets.new. It’s amazing! The spreadsheet is automatically created in Google Drive so I do not have to worry about saving it or where to find it later.
The default for your new Google Sheets spreadsheet is a name of “Untitled Spreadsheet.” Simply click on the title in the upper left and rename the spreadsheet. Rest assured, your spreadsheet will be saved EVEN IF you do not rename the spreadsheet.
Spreadsheets are a grid of cells. Maybe you want to call them boxes. Type in any cell. You can type a number or simply type text.
How to Love a Spreadsheet
Do not feel boxed in with your Google Sheets spreadsheet. You can make the columns wider and the rows taller to give yourself lots of room. Make sure you take advantage of WORD WRAP. Look in the toolbar for the centering icon. The icon 2 to the right of that is word wrap. Click on the tiny triangle on the icon to select the middle option “wrap.”
Highlight cells and select Wrap in the toolbar.
- Make columns wider
- Make rows taller
- Set Wrap
- Merge Cells
- Add multiple sheets
They key to loving spreadsheets is knowing how to do a few key things. Once you’ve mastered not being trapped in the default cell size you’re going to love using Google Sheets!