How to convert MS Excel sheets to Google sheets

The two most popular spreadsheet services in the world, the topic always starts a never ending debate on which one reigns at the top. However, we will keep that topic for another time, this time let us focus on making some peace between the communities, try to co-exist by using our preferred service without worrying about the format of the source file to edit a spreadsheet.

Edit Excel files in Sheets

You can open an Excel file from google drive in Sheets and edit it, any changes made are saved in the original Excel format in the same file.

Note that this only works if you are using Google Chrome.

Make sure that the office editing for docs, sheets and slides extension is uninstalled.

From the drive, double click and open your Excel file. A preview of the file opens. At the of the screen click “open with google sheets”.

You can now view and edit the file in google sheets and changes you make are saved to the original Excel file.

Import Excel data into Google Sheets

You can also import Excel file data to a new or existing google sheets file. The Excel file remains unchanged as you edit the sheets file, it will be saved as another file.

In the sheets window, click File > Import. Choose the desired import option (opening a new spreadsheet, replacing the current sheet etc.) and select import data.

Convert Excel files to google sheets

You can convert the Excel file itself to google sheets instead of importing just the file data. Your existing Excel file will not be changed.

Open google drive and open an Excel file to open a preview of the file. Click open with google sheets at the top of the screen.

Click File > Save as google sheets.

You can also choose to automatically convert all future uploads of MS Office files to Google docs format:

At the top, click settings. In the general section, next to convert uploads, turn on convert uploaded files to google docs editor format.

Note that any previously uploaded files will not be converted.

Convert/Export Google sheets file to Excel

It would not be fair if conversions only worked one way, so let’s see how to export sheets files to Excel format.

Click on File > Download and select the Microsoft Excel(.xls) option.

Notice that you can also save the file in other forms such as HTML, CSV or PDF. That is one of the many features that makes google sheets so versatile in my opinion.

One more thing to keep in mind is that if your Excel file is password protected it will not be possible to import it to or work with Google sheets.

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