Google Sheets introduction

Sheets is Google’s spreadsheet application that can be accessed through a Web browser on any operating system. There are also versions of it for Android devices, Chromebooks, iPhone, and iPad. This section of the OS-College Website focuses on the Web browser version.

Google’s application can perform most of the same tasks and data as Microsoft Excel for Windows, and users can directly edit XLSX spreadsheets they have uploaded to their Drive accounts. Sheets, however, has a simpler interface, and it doesn’t have as many features.

The user interface consists of nine menus and a toolbar. Many functions in these can be found in context menus that appear when a user right clicks on text or an office. They also can be performed with different keystrokes.

Page contents:

  • Menus
  • Toolbar


Many of the menu items are identical to those in Sheets and Slides, but even some of the identical menus have different items in them.


The File menu is the same across Sheets, Docs, and Slides. It has items for creating a new document, opening another one, or accessing it offline. It also includes an item to examine past versions of a document.


The menu in Sheets contains cut, copy, paste, undo, and redo like the Docs and Slides versions of the menu have. It also contains the link to the Find and Replace dialog. It also has items to delete cells, columns, and rows.


Through the menu, users can make the formula bar visible or invisible. It also allows users to freeze rows and columns. Users also can see cell ranges that had been protected.


The menu is where the user can insert columns and rows adjacent to the ones they have selected. They also can add images, charts, and artwork to spreadsheets. Users also can add links to cells, as well as check boxes and functions.


Through this menu, users can stylize text in selected cells. Styles include boldface, numbering styles, and font size. They can add themes to spreadsheets, and they can clear formatting.


This menu has items to sort data in columns and entire sheets. It’s where users can create pivot tables and apply filters.


Through the Tools menu, users can create forms, record and manage macros, check spelling in the spreadsheet, and protect sheets. There are a few other items.


Google Sheets’ capabilities can be extended through add-ons. Add-ons can only be applied to Google-formatted documents. They cannot be used in Microsoft Word and other document types that Docs can open.


This menu has links to access help guides and training for Sheets. It also has links to launch a dialog that lists keyboard shortcuts and a Web page that lists functions. There are a few other items in the menu as well.


Many items in Sheets’ toolbar has many of the same items as Docs’ toolbar. After the Text color item, is where there are differences. These icons include Border settings, text alignment, and text wrapping and rotation.