Google Sheets is a free, online based spreadsheet application program that is part of the Google Docs and G Suite software provided by Google. It is fully featured, rivalling Microsoft's Excel Spreadsheet and OpenOffice Calc and can provide a viable alternative to the desktop based software. Being online and free, only requiring a user account with Google, it can be used to collaborate on spreadsheets by many users in dispersed locations around the world, or to share the spreadsheet data easily to anyone with internet access.
Can Google Sheets be Used with MS Excel?
Google Sheets Spreadsheet can both import XLSX files, MS Excel's format, and export to Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets, as well as importing and exporting OpenOffice Spreadsheets, PDF, HTML, comma-separated (CSV) and tab-separated (TSV) files.
To convert an Excel Spreadsheet to a Google Sheet spreadsheet if the the .XLSX file is already in Google Drive then right click the file and select Open with... then Google Sheets. The Excel file will then be opened as a Google Sheets spreadsheet that can be edited and saved. If the Excel Spreadsheet isn't in Google Drive and is on the users hard drive (or other local storage) then it can be uploaded and automatically converted within Google Sheets.
From the Google Sheets home select the small "Open file picker" button to open the "Open a file" window. Here there is an Upload tab that allows the file to be drag and dropped or opened by browsing on the local drive.
Google Sheets will automatically convert the Excel Spreadsheet to a Google Sheets Spreadsheet and open it in a new window.
If a Google Sheets Spreadsheet is already open then an Excel Spreadsheet can be uploaded and converted to Google Sheets by selecting the File menu option and then Import. This will open the same window with an Upload option as above.
The same process can be used to convert an OpenOffice Cal Spreadsheet to Google Sheets, or CSV and TSV files.
Google Sheets Templates
Google Drive has a Template Gallery available that has templates for Google Sheets, but it must be installed first to Google Docs.
From a Google Sheet select Google Sheets Home, then select the left hand pop out menu and click the Google Drive icon. Once in Google Drive select the New button, then "More... Connect more apps". In the "Connect apps to Drive" window search for "template gallery" and it will appear at the top. Select the "Connect" button and it will be installed.
Once installed templates can be browsed from the Google Sheets Home by selecting the Template Gallery button, or from an open Google Sheet by selecting the File... New... From template... menu option.