Functions that are easier in Google spreadsheets vs Excel

There are quite a few functions I find much easier to use in Google docs, which I plan on detailing in this ongoing post. If you know of any cool / easier to use functions in Google docs vs Excel, please leave them in the commments and I’ll add them to the list.

Let’s get going shall we?

1) CONCATENATE – Combining several cells into one cell

Concatenate in Excel for several cells is painful, you have to manually select each cell while holding CTRL to grab a set. It’s okay for a few cells, but unless you plan on developing Carpal Tunnel syndome, I’d recommend using Google docs for this.

Have a play around in the sheet to see what’s going on. Easy right? You can even modify the contents of each cell before concatenate, like I did in the example above using spaces. Cool!

2) De-Duplicating using UNIQUE()

In Excel, the easiest way to de-duplicate is using the “remove duplicates” button in the Data ribbon, but I find it far easier to control this in Google docs using the Unique() function.

Have a play around in the sheet to see what’s going on.

3) Translation – No equivalent in Excel

Yes, you saw that right. Google spreadsheets come with the handy Googletranslate() function which allows you to bulk translate text from one language to another using the Google Translation service. The function itself needs three arguments : (input text, language from, language to). But but I don’t know what language I’m translating from!? No problem, Google docs has a cool function that can do that for you too, it’s called Detectlanguage().

Have a play around in the sheet to see what’s going on.

Still to come….

  • More fun with arrayformula()
  • Splitting, concatenation, transposing
  • SORT

If you know of any other functions / methods you find easier to use in Google docs, please share them in the comments or contact me directly so I can add it to the post.  I’ll happily link to you, so please contribute 🙂

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