Monday, 12 June 2006

Google Spreadsheets beta: sign up for your free invite fast!

For anyone who's not yet heard about it, Google Spreadsheets was released on limited test a few days ago. Free, of course.

Sign up quick for an invite if you're interested - the last I could tell, Google were sending out invites only a couple of days after signup, so if you sign up now you may be able to get to try it out.

Remember, spreadsheets aren't just for finance or maths types, a lot of people (me included!) use them just to help organise lists and tables. And the beauty of Google Spreadsheets is that not only can you access them from anywhere over the Web via a browser (IE 6 or Firefox 1.07+, Javascript must be enabled), you can also share them with selected others (though at the moment only if they have a Google Account, which it's free to sign up for) - let them view your spreadsheet, even edit it (and chat with them you as they do so). Very much Web 2.0 social software.

You can import Microsoft Excel .xls files and also .csv files from your computer, and export to those formats too. Plus, you can export or save your spreadsheet as a Webpage, i.e. HTML file, which is handy. I'd like to be able to import Excel files attached to my Gmail direct, without having to save them to my computer first, but no doubt that will come.

Google have rustled up an overview and some help pages about Google Spreadsheets, plus there's also a Google Spreadsheets Google Group.

I've not had the chance to try it out in detail yet but if there's more to report back on, I will. It looks very very good though, and one of the most potentially useful things to come out of Google Labs in a while.


Terry said...

Google Spreadsheets is a pretty cool service but it can't generate charts from the online data. An AJAX service, Jacuba Charts will do this. Now if only the two services could work together

Improbulus said...

Yes Terry wouldn't that be great? Hmmm maybe Google will buy Jacuba Charts and integrate them, y'never know...