what is a google sheets

Create a Google account if you do not have one

Once you have a Gmail account, you can use Google Sheets to create, store, and share spreadsheets.
It also allows for collaboration, by allowing multiple users to view, comment, and edit the same document. This makes it a great tool for teams and groups. Additionally, Google Sheets is free, so you don’t have to worry about spending money on a spreadsheet program.
In order to benefit from Google Sheets, you will need a Gmail account. If you already have an account, you can log into Google Sheets with those credentials. If you don’t have an account, you can create a new one for free through Gmail.

what is a google sheets

How to open a Google Spreadsheet

Go to your browser and type in the URL: sheet.new
The page below will load on your browser.

Google Spreadsheet & Google Sheet

  • A Google Spreadsheet is used to store, organize and manipulate data in the form of tables. It consists of rows, columns, and cells and each cell can contain text, numbers, or formulas, we can find its name as shown in the photo below (Number 1).
  • A Google Sheet is a single page of a Google Spreadsheet. We can find its name as shown in the photo below (Number 2).

If you would like to add or rename a sheet in Google Spreadsheets, it is easy to do.

1. By default, the name of the first sheet will be “Sheet1”. Click on it and rename it to whatever you like.

2. To add a new sheet, click the big plus button located on the bottom left of the spreadsheet.

3. You can add up to 5 million sheets to your spreadsheet.

4. To switch between sheets, click on the tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet.

what is a google sheets

Spreadsheet Navigation

  • Google Sheets allows users to rename, star, move, and see the status of their documents.
  • Renaming a Google Spreadsheet is easy, click on the “Untitled spreadsheet” in the top left corner of the page. A text box will appear, allowing you to enter a new name for the spreadsheet. Type the desired name in the text box. Press Enter or click outside of the text box to save the new name. Your spreadsheet will now have its new name. (Number 1 in the photo below).
  • Starring a Google Spreadsheet by clicking the Star icon on the left side of the Google Sheets interface. (Number 2 in the photo below) will show also in Google Drive. Starring is a method to access your files quickly. They will appear on the left side of the screen in Google Drive.
  • Moving a google spreadsheet by clicking the Move icon (Number 3 in the photo below) will take you to google drive.
  • Finally, seeing the status of a google spreadsheet by clicking the cloud icon. (Number 4 in the photo below), it indicates that your file has been uploaded to the cloud. Therefore, there is no need to use the Save option as in Excel, Google Sheets will save your work automatically.
what is a google sheets

Rows Columns and Cells

  • Rows: In Google Sheets, rows are identified by numbers on the left side of the spreadsheet. These rows are horizontal groups of cells that are numbered sequentially so that each row has its own unique number. (Photo below number 1).
  • Columns: Columns are a group of cells that are aligned vertically and are identified by letters. (Photo below number 2).
  • Cells: A cell in Google Sheets is a single box within a spreadsheet where you can store data. To enter data into a cell, simply click on the cell and start typing (Check below photo number 3). Cells are identified by their column letter and row number. For example, the cell located in column C and row 5 is referred to as C5. To quickly move between cells, you can use the arrow keys or use the mouse to click on another cell.
  • Formula Bar: You can use the formula bar to enter data, functions, and formulas for a specific cell. However, for now, keep in mind that anything you type inside any cell will appear in the formula bar.
what is a google sheets

Menu Bar & Tool Bar

  • Number 1 in the photo below represents the menu bar in Google Sheets. It contains access to all tools and settings in a spreadsheet.
  • You can find the Tool Bar which contains most of the basic tools below the Menu Bar (Number 2 in the photo below).
what is a google sheets

More About Tool Bar

  • The Basic Google Sheets toolbar includes several features that allow users to quickly and easily make changes to their spreadsheets. The most notable feature is the Undo and Redo buttons, which allow users to reverse any changes they have made. This is particularly useful for correcting mistakes or restoring a previous version of the document. Additionally, the Paint Format button can be very useful to quickly copy formatting from one part of the document to another. (Number 1 in the photo below).
  • The Number Formatting group in Google Sheets (Number 2 in the photo below) is a helpful set of tools. It allows users to quickly and easily format numerical data. This includes setting the number of decimal places, using commas to separate thousands, setting the currency symbol, and more. Additionally, users can apply different formats to different parts of their spreadsheets. As an example setting the date format in one column and the currency format in another. The Number Formatting group also includes the Custom number formats option. It allows users to create their own custom formatting options.
  • The Font Formatting group in Google Sheets is a set of tools used to modify the appearance of text. This includes things like changing the font size, font type, and font color. Additionally, users can apply bold, italic, and underline styles to any text they choose. The Font Formatting group includes the Wrap Text option. It allows users to wrap text around a selected cell or cell range. Additionally, the Vertical Align and Horizontal Align options allow users to quickly and easily align text within a cell. Finally, the Text Rotation option allows users to rotate text within a cell at any angle. (Number 3 in the photo below).

Sharing A Spreadsheet

To share a spreadsheet with others in Google Sheets, open the spreadsheet and click the Share button in the top-right corner.
Google sheets will ask you to rename the file, I did it and changed its name to “Test”
From there, you can add the email addresses of the people you’d like to share the file with.
You can also choose whether he or they can view, comment, or edit the file.

Where is my Google Spreadsheet located?

Every Google Spreadsheet will automatically save to your Google Drive account. To access your Google Spreadsheet, simply open your Google Drive, then locate and open the desired Spreadsheet.

Type in your browser: drive.google.com

Google Docs vs Google Sheets

  • What is a google Docs?
    Google Docs is a web-based productivity office suite offered by Google within its Google Drive service. The suite includes Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Drawings, Google Forms, Google Sites, and Google Keep.
  • What is a Google Sheets?
    It is part of Google Drive Service and it is a web-based spreadsheet application.
  • Finally, do you have to pay for Google Sheets?
    No, It is 100% free.


In short, now we know how to:

  • Open a Google Spreadsheet
  • Differentiate between spreadsheet and sheet and rename them.
  • Navigate the toolbar
  • Share a spreadsheet

As a beginner, I do recommend reading How to select a row using a shortcut or How to select column using a shortcut in order be familiar with shortcuts in google sheets.

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7 thoughts on “What is a Google Sheets? Tips for Beginners

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