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10  min read

How to use Google Sheets

Abhishek Agrawal
By Abhishek A Agrawal
March 31, 2022
Table of Contents

    People have been using Microsoft Excel for their work for years now. It’s a tried and tested software that we find comfortable to use.

    However, did you know that there are other options out there? Google Sheets is a great alternative to Excel and has many features that the latter doesn’t.

    In this blog post, we will explore some of the ways you can use Google Sheets to make your life easier. We will also discuss some of the features that make Google Sheets unique and valuable.

    If you are new to Google Sheets or looking for ways to improve your skills in it, Read on!

    You may be surprised at all the things Google Sheets can do.

    What are Google Sheets

    Google Sheets is a spreadsheet application that allows you to create and edit spreadsheets online. 

    It is part of the Google Docs suite of productivity applications that also includes :

    • Google Docs (word processing), 
    • Google Slides (presentations), and 
    • Google Forms (surveys)

    Like Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets has many features that allow you to:

    • Create and edit data, 
    • Format text and cells, 
    • Sort and filter data, and more

    Google Sheets is also a part of the Google Drive ecosystem. It means that you can access your spreadsheets from any device with a web browser and an internet connection. 

    You can also share your spreadsheets with other people and work on them together in real-time.

    Common Spreadsheet Terms and their meanings

    If you are new to spreadsheets, or if you need a refresher on some of the terminology, here are some common terms and their definitions:

    • Cell: A single box in a spreadsheet where you can enter data. Each cell has a unique address, or cell reference, that is used to identify it.

    • Column:

      They are the vertical columns in a spreadsheet. Letters (A, B, C, etc) identify columns.

    • Row: The horizontal rows in a spreadsheet. Rows are identified by numbers (1,2,3 etc.).

    • Sheet: A single document that contains one or more spreadsheets. Sheets are identified by tabs at the bottom of the document.

    • Range: A group of cells next to each other in a spreadsheet. Ranges can be identified by their cell references (e.g., A1: B5).

    • Formula:

      A set of instructions that tell a spreadsheet how to calculate a value. Formulas always start with an equal sign (=). You have a formula bar in Google Sheets where you can enter and edit formulas.

    • Function: A built-in calculation that you can use in a spreadsheet. Functions are identified by their name (e.g., SUM, COUNT, MAX, etc.)

    • Quick Toolbar: A toolbar present at the top of the Google Sheets interface holding some of the most commonly used commands like adding or deleting rows and columns, changing font size and color, text alignment options, etc.

    How is it different from Excel

    There are a few key differences between Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel:

     Google Sheets

     Microsoft Excel

    It is free to use

    It has cost associated with it

    Web-based, so it can be accessed from anywhere

    Desktop application, so limited to use on the system

    You can easily collaborate with others in real-time

    No such feature for collaboration

    Less number of built-in functions and visualizations 

    It excels in built-in functions and visualizations 

    Integrates with other applications and services

    No provision for integration

    Why use Google Sheets

    If you are looking for a spreadsheet application, there can be no better option than Google Sheets.

    Right from being free to use to the range of features provided (like data filters, conditional formatting, and charts that help in presenting data more effectively), Google Sheets is a powerful tool.

    In addition to the features mentioned above, here are some other reasons why you might want to use Google Sheets:

    • Easy to learn and use
    • Works well with other Google applications
    • Available on a variety of devices
    • Can be shared with others and worked on together
    • Has a wide range of built-in functions
    • Can be customized with add-ons

    Now that you know a bit about Google Sheets, let’s walk through how to use it.

    How to use Google Sheets

    Follow these steps to use start using Google Sheets

    Step 1: Create a spreadsheet

    To create a new spreadsheet:

    Step 2: Edit and format a spreadsheet

    You can add, edit, or format text, numbers, or formulas in a spreadsheet.

    Step 3: Share & work with others

    You can share files and folders with people and choose whether they can view, edit, or comment on them.

    How to create a spreadsheet and add data

    To create a new spreadsheet:

    • Open the Sheets home screen at
    • Click New Plus. This will create and open your new spreadsheet
    • You can also create new spreadsheets from the URL

    To add data to a spreadsheet: 

    • Select the cell where you want to enter the data
    • Type or paste the data into the cell
    • Repeat this process for all of the data that you want to enter

    How to edit and format a spreadsheet

    To edit a spreadsheet, simply click or double click on the cell that you wish to edit.

    You can now change the text inside the cell. Also, if you want to insert a new line within the cell, press Ctrl + Enter.

    When you are done, press Enter.

    While formatting  a sheet, you have 2 options: 

    • Format a single cell, or

    • Format multiple cells

    You can access the various formatting options from theFormat menu in the toolbar. 

    They are categorized as below:

    • Theme: Set your default fonts and settings by changing the theme

    • Number:

      Set the number and date formats in this section

    • Text: Format your text for effects like Bold, Italic, Underline, etc

    • Alignment: Align your text (left,right etc)

    • Wrapping: Wrap your text

    • Rotation: Set the text style alignment

    • Change the Font-Size

    • Merge cells

    • Conditional Formatting: Apply specific formatting to cells that meet certain criteria

    • Alternating Colors: Set header footer colors or categorize  your data with these settings.

    How to Sort and Filter Data

    One of the most useful features of google sheets is its ability to sort and filter data. This allows you to quickly find the information that you need.

    You can sort your data in the following ways:

    • Sort Sheet: It sorts your sheet on a particular column keeping the row data intact

    • Sort range: It sorts only the values in the range of cells selected

    You also have an Advanced Range Sorting option to sort your data by multiple columns.

    To filter data:

    • Click on any of the cells

    • Click Data > Filter

    • Choose the column that you want to filter by and the type of filter that you want to use. It may be any of the following:

      • Filter by color

      • Filter by condition

      • Filter by values

    If you have collaborated your sheet with others, then you can also create Filter Views. They let you isolate your data view from others without affecting their views. You can also assign names to the views and save them. You can create a filter view by selecting it from the Data menu.

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    Collaboration and information sharing

    Google Sheets is a great tool for collaboration and information sharing. You can share your spreadsheet with others in just a few simple steps:

    • Open your Google sheet
    • Click on the Share button

    • You can select any of the 2 choices:

      • Using email-id / group-id

      • Using Link: Copy the link and share it with others. You can restrict the link access either to :

        • Restricted

        • Organization

        • Anyone

    While collaborating your sheet with others, you can restrict the access to:

    • Viewer (can only view the sheets but not edit),
    • Commenter (can view the sheet and add comments but can’t edit), or
    • Editor (can view and edit the sheet)

    Now that you have understood how to create, use, and share your Google Sheet, let us go through some popular templates that you can use.

    Useful Google sheets templates

    You can access the built-in templates provided by Google sheets in the Template Gallery. And the good part is that they are absolutely free to use.

    Some of the useful templates include:


    1. Invoices: An ideal template for all the businesses to generate invoices for your customers

    2. CRM (Customer Relationship Management): CRM is an integral part of any business to have an effective sales and marketing process along with contact management.   But if you are a small business you might not feel ready to implement a CRM with all the features. This template can be a helping hand in such scenarios. You can collaborate with the sales and marketing teams and optimize your process.

    3. Project Tracking template: If you are a project manager struggling to manage multiple projects simultaneously then you must opt for this template. It helps you  manage and track all your projects in one place.

    4. Purchase Order: If order tracking is on your task list, then you must try your hands on this template. It helps save a lot of time and effort.

    5. Website Traffic Analysis: The most widely used template by website analysts, it helps organize your Google Analytics data. You can also go for the SuperMetrics add-on to increase its effectiveness further. Supermetrics is the easiest way to move your marketing data into Google Sheets. In fact, over half a million marketers use Supermetrics and it’s the #1 marketing add-on for Google Sheets.


    It becomes handy when you can integrate an app with the tools you’re using every day.

    This is where Integrately comes into the picture!

    Integrately is an automation tool that lets you automate your Google Sheets in just 1 click. That too with more than 700+ apps.

    Spend only a few minutes initially and be carefree afterward. No technical skills are required!

    Save yourself lots of time & money. 

    Wondering how? Just follow these steps:

    1. Sign up for Integratelyand login to your account

    2. To start with your automation, select Google Sheets as shown below

    3. In the next step, you will find hundreds of ready automation to choose from. You can select the required one or create a new one from scratch

    4. For example, you can  connect Google Sheets with Google Calendar and create automation like -Add a new event to your calendar when a row is added to Google Sheets with the date, time, and location. You can also add filters and conditions as per your requirements.

      Some of the popular integrations of Google Sheets include:

      • Communicate with your Collaborators: When you are working in teams, you can automate the tasks of sending messages on communication channels like Slack, Discord etc to notify the collaborators about the updates or creation of new rows in the sheet.

      • Individual Updates: In case you wish to update others regarding the changes in particular rows or columns and want to notify only these specific changes, you can do so by automating Google Sheets with apps like Mail, Trello cards, etc

      • Collect responses: May your form be designed in any of the apps like TypeForm, Google Lead Form, Elementor Form, etc, you can automate to collect the responses of all such forms in your Sheet

      • Sorting out your Emails: To manage that uncluttered mess in your Inbox, you can organize your emails based on labels or criteria, filter them out and summarize them into your Google Sheets. Hurray!! You can now easily manage those important mails and never miss them.

      • Collecting Leads: Connect your Facebook lead ads to your Google Sheets and never miss out on those important convertible customers.

    Well, these are just a few scenarios to start with. There are hundreds of other integrations that Integrately offers you. That too at an unimaginable price! Give it a try today!

    In Conclusion, Google Sheets is a powerful, versatile tool that can be used for many purposes. It’s different from Excel in a few ways, but it’s just as easy to use and has much more benefits.

    With its integration into other tools and its collaborative features, it’s perfect for businesses and individuals who want an efficient way to manage data.

    Switch to Google Sheets if you haven’t and enjoy all of its benefits for FREE!!

    FAQs about Google Sheets

    What are Google Sheets used for?

    Google Sheets can be used for many different tasks as it is a versatile application. It is most commonly used for data analysis, but can also be used for budgeting, project management, and more.

    Is Google Sheets the same as Excel?

    No, Google Sheets is not the same as Excel. Both are spreadsheet applications but Google Sheets is a cloud-based application (that can be accessed from anywhere), while Excel is a desktop application (accessible on a single system with Microsoft Office installed).

    How to set a default font in Google Sheets?

    To set the default font in Google Sheets, click on the 'Format' Menu (at the top of the sheet) and click on 'Theme'. You can select a theme from the ones listed and the default font will be changed according to that theme.

    How to wrap text in Google Sheets?

    To wrap text in Google Sheets, highlight the cells you want to change and click on 'Format' from the top menu. Then, select 'Wrapping' and choose 'Wrap'. The text in the selected cells will now be wrapped.

    How to remove underlines in Google Sheets?

    To remove the underline from the text in Google Sheets, select the underlined text. Then click on the 'Format' Menu and select Text -> Underline. The text in the selected cells will now be without an underline. You can also use the shortcut Ctrl + U for the same.

    How to underline in Google Sheets?

    To underline your text in Google Sheets, select the required text. Then click on the 'Format' Menu and select Text -> Underline. The text in the selected cells will now be underlined. You can also use the shortcut Ctrl + U for the same.

    How to search in Google Sheets?

    To search in Google Sheets, click on the 'Edit' menu and select 'Find and Replace'. Then enter the text you want to search in the Find box. Alternatively, you can use Ctrl + F (for only find) and Ctrl + H (for find and replace)

    How to merge cells in Google Sheets?

    To merge cells in Google Sheets, highlight the cells you want to merge. Then click on 'Format' from the top menu and select 'Merge Cells'. The selected cells will now be merged into a single cell. Alternatively, you can also access it in the quick access toolbar at the top.

    How to freeze a row in Google Sheets?

    To freeze a row in Google Sheets, select the row you want to freeze. Then click on the 'View' menu and select 'Freeze'. The selected row will now be frozen and will not scroll with the data.

    How to lock cells in Google Sheets?

    To lock cells in Google Sheets, select the cells to be locked, then click on 'Data' -> 'Protect sheets and ranges'. After this, you can set the permissions and allow access accordingly.

    How to highlight duplicates in Google Sheets?

    To highlight duplicates in Google Sheets, select the column cells you want to check for duplicates. Then click on 'Format' from the top menu and select 'Conditional Formatting'. Under 'Format Rules', select 'Custom Formula is' and enter the formula as =COUNTIF($B$1:$B$10, B1)>1 (Here replace the cell address according to your required range)

    How to unmerge cells in Google Sheets?

    To unmerge cells in google sheets, select the merged cell and click on 'Format' -> 'Merge Cells'->'Unmerge'. The selected cells will now be unmerged. Alternatively, you can also access it from the quick toolbar.

    Abhishek Agrawal
    Author - Abhishek A Agrawal
    Abhishek is the founder of Integrately, CompanyHub, and Dreamwares. He is passionate about technology and entrepreneurship. He is always looking to leverage technology for the growth of the business. He has a deep understanding of how businesses work and uses this knowledge to build products that help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
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