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Excel and Google Docs both have different things to offer end users. For most Google products, the ability to share and collaborate in real-time is a huge benefit. There’s just one issue: Google Docs and Excel both serve very different purposes, and aren’t exactly one-to-one compatible. If you’re not sure how to make an Excel spreadsheet a Google Doc, don’t worry. It’s easier than you’d think.

This simple step-by-step guide can walk you through the entire process from start to finish. Just navigate to the Excel file you want to work with, and follow the instructions below.

How to convert Excel to Google Docs

You’ve been working in Excel, but now you need to figure out how to move all of that data to Google Docs. This process will teach you how to share Excel files on Google Docs.

1. Upload the Excel file you want to convert

The first step is to go into your Google Drive. There will be a sidebar on the left, with a colorful plus sign that says “New.” Click on this, and it will give you a menu with the option to upload a file. Click on “File Upload,” and choose the Excel file you want.

2. Double click the file

Once the Excel spreadsheet is uploaded, find it in your list of Google Drive files. Double click on it.

A window will appear with a document preview

This part is fairly self-explanatory, but it’s a good idea to double-check the document preview to make sure that you’re working with the right file.

3. At the top of the window, click on the option to open with Google Docs

The top of the window will give you the chance to choose which Google program you want to use to open the file. Select Google Docs.

4. Open the converted document

The above process will convert Excel to Google Doc. Open the converted document, and make sure everything looks correct. Now you know how to make an Excel spreadsheet a Google Doc!

How to share Excel files through Google

What if you don’t need to know how to make an Excel spreadsheet a Google Doc, you just want to be able to use Google to share your Excel files? You can do that too, and it’s just as easy as converting the file.

1. Upload the Excel file to your Google Drive

Just like before, you’ll want to start by uploading your Excel file to your Google Drive. The process is exactly the same as above — go to your Google Drive, click “New” in the lefthand sidebar, select “File Upload,” and choose the Excel spreadsheet you want to share.

It will convert into a Google Sheet

This process will automatically change the Excel spreadsheet into a Google Sheet. Don’t worry about having to do any converting yourself.

2. Click on Recent

Next, click on “Recent” in the left sidebar. (It’s marked by a clock icon.) This will lead you to the files you’ve most recently uploaded or worked on.

3. Click on Share

Once you’ve found the Excel (now Google Sheets) file you uploaded, right-click it. You’ll get a small menu with several options. Click on the third one from the top, “Share.” It’s marked with an icon of a person and a plus sign.

4. Add the people or groups you want to share with

From there, you can add the people or groups that you want to share your Google Sheet with. You’ll also have the option to copy the direct link to the file, so you can send it to your collaborators.

Changing sharing settings

Of course, not all collaborations are the same. Even if you want to know how to share Excel file on Google Docs, that doesn’t mean you necessarily want to let your collaborators share your file with strangers. That’s where the settings come in.

Click on the gear icon in the right corner of the Share window

You’ll be presented with two checked boxes: “Editors can change permissions and share,” and “Viewers and commenters can see the option to download, print, and copy.” If you want to restrict these permissions, simply uncheck the relevant boxes and click the back arrow in the top left corner to return to the Share window.

How to convert Google Sheets to Excel

Someone has shared a Google Sheet with you, but you prefer to work in Excel. What can you do? Fortunately, you can also convert a Google spreadsheet to Excel format with the steps below.

1. Open the Google sheets file you want to convert

This process works a little differently than the process for how to make an Excel spreadsheet a Google Doc. Start by going into the Google Sheets file that you wish to convert.

2. In the top left corner, click File

You’ll see a regular Google Sheets window, with the name of the file and a menu bar right below that. The leftmost option should be “File.” Click on it, and it’ll produce a dropdown menu.

3. Hover over the download from the drop-down menu

The seventh option down will be “Download,” designated by a down arrow icon. Place your mouse cursor over it, but don’t click it. You’ll see a smaller dropdown menu appear to the right.

4. Click on Microsoft Excel

This dropdown menu will give you a list of programs. These are all of the file formats to which you can convert your Google Sheet. Excel will be at the top of the list. Click on it, and it will automatically begin downloading.

5. Once the converted file is downloaded, open it in Excel

Once the file is done downloading, you can find it and open it in Excel. Double-check to make sure everything is where it belongs and the file isn’t corrupted, and you’re good to go. Now you can convert Excel to Google Docs, or convert a Google Sheet to Excel any time you need to.

How to convert multiple Google files to Office format

Say you have a ton of different spreadsheets, documents, and other files within your Google Drive. What can you do if you need to open them in Microsoft Office? You know how to make an Excel spreadsheet a Google Doc, but it isn’t always feasible to convert a large batch of files one at a time. Here’s how you can use Google Take out to export all of your Drive files in Microsoft format.

1. Visit Google Takeout

Google Takeout is a website that’s designed to help you export backup copies of your Google files, or use them in other programs.

Note that all of Google’s services will be checked by default, meaning that it’ll try to export everything. Since you just want to work with the files on your Google Drive, click the option to “Deselect all.” Next, scroll down until you see Google Drive, and make sure its box is checked.

2. Choose your formats

Click on the button marked “Multiple Formats.” This will give you the option to choose which file formats you want your files converted to. Make sure each file type has the relevant Microsoft Office equivalent selected, and click “OK.”

3. Click Next Step

Scroll to the bottom of the screen, and click on the button marked “Next Step.” You’ll be able to choose how you’d like your files exported, and whether you want to automatically repeat this at set intervals.

4. Click "Create export."

Click on the button marked “Create export. Google Takeout will begin converting and exporting all of your files for you, all at the same time.

How to convert a Google Doc to Google Sheets

Maybe you don’t need to share your documents or figure out how to make an Excel spreadsheet a Google Doc. You’ve just been working hard in a Google Doc, and have realized that Google Sheets would make your life easier. Luckily for you, you can convert between the two.

Copying and Pasting

The easiest way to convert between Google Docs and Google Sheets is by simply copying and pasting. This will only work if the data is organized into a table first. If it’s set up as a table in the Google Doc, then the arrangement of the data will be preserved when you paste it into Google Sheets. If it isn’t a table, then everything will be posted into the same cell.

If your data isn’t organized into a table, you’ll want to do that in Google Docs before attempting to copy and paste it into a spreadsheet. It’s an extra step but will make this process much easier.

1. Open your Google Doc

Open your document and navigate to the content that you want to convert to a Google Sheet.

2. Select your data

Click above the table, and drag it down to highlight all of the data you need to convert.

3. Copy the table

You can either use CTRL + C to copy everything you’ve selected or right-click and choose “Copy.” Either way will work.

4. Open Google Sheets

Next, open a new or existing spreadsheet in Google Sheets.

5. Click on an empty cell, and paste

Choose an empty cell. If your sheet is blank, just click on cell A1 or A2. If you’re working in an existing spreadsheet, click on the top leftmost cell of the area in which you want the data to appear. This will be the top-left cell of the table you copied from Google Docs.

With that cell clicked, use CTRL + V or right-click and choose “Paste.” Your Google Docs table will appear in the Google Sheet.

6. Check your formatting

While this method will copy the data, some of your formatting might be lost in translation. Now’s the time to go and change colors, bold text, and do whatever else you need to do to make your data stylish and easy to read.

To Conclude

Some people prefer Google programs, others prefer Office and Excel. Sometimes, you have to upload a document to a service that only accepts one file format. These services make it pretty easy to convert between the two, and you can learn how to make an Excel spreadsheet a Google Doc in no time flat. Whether you need to go from Google to Excel, Excel to Google, or even switch between formats within the same services, you can do so with just a few clicks.

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