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Sunday, 8 June 2008

Google Spreadsheets

Google Spreadsheets is part of the Google Docs software that is free and done online. It has standard spreadsheet features such as a ton of functions (equations), freeze rows/columns, and insert images/charts, although this is a bit limited. Hopefully in the near future they will add a quick button for producing a line of best fit (aka trendline). What I love about Google Spreadsheets and the whole line of documents is that it is done online which equals to  zero file transfers. I can work in my office on a spreadsheet, and save it (it autosaves very frequently, kind of like blogger) and then view and edit the same spreadsheet at home without transferring any files. I can easily invite friends to view or edit the spreadsheet, and it can be published to allow people to see it. When editing the spreadsheet, it is done in real time, such that me and a colleague can be edition the same spreadsheet but on different computers. 
Those geniuses at Google have also solved the problem of loosing your internet connection. They refer to this as "offline access", all you need to do is install Google Gears, and it is done by "cloud computing." Microsoft feared this feature so much that they came up with their own version, but it is extremely slow and you need the expensive Office software in order for it to work. Googles version is fast, with minimal delays. 
Compared to other popular spreadsheets like Excel and Calc, it is somewhat basic, but I think it is good for the average persons needs. Features are constantly being added that are based mostly on user demand and it has advanced quite alot since its release. If you need help, you can search Google Groups which has all of the answers to most problems plus Google Docs has a good help page. Google has yet another hit software product. 

 
    Google Docs Offline Access