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Best Practices for Using Excel and Sheets

In this article, we have shared the best practices of using both Excel and Sheets in your organization. You can easily address your concern for using these file formats under different processes.

Best Practices for Using Excel and Sheets

Work with Excel Files in Drive

There are different ways to work with Microsoft Excel files.

  • Import Excel data into Sheets.

  • Convert Excel files to Sheets.

  • Edit Excel files in Drive without converting them.

  • Convert Sheets files to Excel or other formats.

Use Excel and Sheets together

If you use Microsoft Excel and Sheets, here are some best practices for when to use each product.

Convert existing Excel spreadsheet to Sheet if:

  • You need to collaborate with your team.

  • Your dataset is 5 million cells or fewer.

Continue working in your existing Excel spreadsheets if:

  • Your dataset is greater than 5 million cells.

  • You’re using the Hyperion add-on with Excel.

  • If you use rare chart types, such as 3D pyramid charts or pie-of-pie charts.

Edit Excel Files in Sheets

From Drive, open Excel file and edit it in Sheet. Any changes you make are saved in the original Excel format. 

  1. To ensure the Office Editing for Docs, Sheets, & Slides extension is not installed  :

    • Go to Chrome Browser and in the top-right corner: click More > More Tools > Extensions.

    • Remove, If you see the Office Editing for Docs, Sheets, & Slides extension.

  2. In Drive, double-click an Excel file.
    A preview of your file opens.

  3. At the top, click Open with Google Sheets.

You can now edit, share, view version history, collaborate with others in real-time. The changes you make are saved to the original Microsoft Office file. 

Import Excel data into Sheets

You can import data from an Excel file to a new or existing Sheet file. Your Excel file won’t be changed, even as you change the Sheets file.

  1. In Sheets, create a new spreadsheet.

  2. Click File > Import.

  3. Choose the Excel file and click Select.

  4. Choose an import option:

    • Create a new spreadsheet

    • Insert new sheet

    • Replace spreadsheet

  5. Click Import data.

  6. If prompted, click Open now.


Convert Excel files to Sheets

Instead of importing data, you can convert an Excel file to Sheet and keep working on it. Your Excel file won’t be changed.

  1. Open Drive and double-click an Excel file.
    A preview of your file opens.

  2. At the top, click Open with Google Sheets.

  3. Click File > Save as Google Sheets.

To automatically convert all new uploads of Office files to Google Sheets: 

  1. In Drive, click Settings > Settings.

  2.  Then turn on Convert uploaded files to Google Docs editor format.
    Note: Previously uploaded files will not be converted.

In Drive, you can now see the Excel file and the new Sheets file. It's your choice to keep the Excel file or delete it. To avoid confusion, you can rename the Excel file you want to keep.


How to share a copy of a Sheets file in Excel format

You can work on a spreadsheet in Sheets and then send a copy by email as an Excel file (or a PDF).

  1. In Sheets, open the file.

  2. Click File > Email as an attachment.

  3. Under Attach as choose Microsoft Excel.

  4. Enter the email address, subject, and message.

  5. Click Send.

If you want, you can download a copy of the Sheets file in Excel, PDF, CSV, ODS, or other formats. 

  1. In Sheets, click File > Download as.

  2. Select the file format you want to download.

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