Excel Online vs. Offline Desktop App

Excel Online vs. Offline Desktop App – Pros & Cons

Microsoft Excel is a great choice for maintaining and editing spreadsheets. However, it has two versions which can confuse some people. There is an online version as well as the offline version. So which one should you choose to do your work?

Excel Online vs. Offline Desktop App

Excel is a powerful program that can do so many things. It has many features that can help you do simple and complex tasks. So, where does the difference lies between the online and offline version of Excel? Let’s explore in-depth these two versions in this article.

Excel Online

You can say that the online version of Excel is the lite version of the offline version. It has all the basic features of an Excel desktop. However, there are some disadvantages to using the online version. We will talk more about what’s good and bad about this program in a separate section. 

This software has functions for financial analysis and analyzing data. Moreover, you can easily view spreadsheets and edit them. However, the online version does not support all formats supported by the desktop version. After that, some features on the online version may also behave differently. Above all, there are some menus missing in the online version, which are present in excel offline.

With all that said, you can still benefit from it if you are working remotely. It is easy to access, and the only thing you need is an internet connection. You can handle basic tasks like accounting and check on tasks with the lighter version of Excel online.

At OffiDocs, you can access this online version and add spreadsheets. Moreover, you can edit and open any excel file with a supported format. The online version of excel supports commonly used formats like .xls and .xlsx. 


  • The interface is familiar, and you won’t have to go through any learning curve. Especially if you have already used the desktop version, you can easily use this program.
  • The online version also supports all the major formats that are widely used. Moreover, you can continue using your work from the online version to Excel offline.
  • The collaborative tools are much more intuitive as the program itself is based on the cloud. 
  • If you don’t have the funds to use the full version, then Excel online is for you. It is free to use, while the standard version costs $129.


  • There are some menus missing in the online version, which can be a deal breaker for some people. The missing menus are page layout, timeline, draw, and many more. 
  • There is no option to add extensions or add-ins in the online version. In fact, the menu for adding add-ons is completely absent.
  • You cannot use the online version without an internet connection.
Excel Online vs. Offline Desktop App

Excel Offline

Excel offline is like the industry standard program when it comes to handling spreadsheets. While there are lots of similar programs, excel is one of the few that can handle large data sets. As a result, it is one of the most popular programs in office suites. 

It is versatile with feature-rich tools that improve your productivity. On top of that, the program serves a variety of work purposes. Excel is basically used for complex data analysis. However, people also use it for simple tasks like data entry and item tracking. 

Excel has tons of features built into the program. As a result, you can utilize these features for personal and professional use. 

There are dozens of productivity tasks that you can do with Excel. Moreover, you can download templates and use them according to your taste. On the other hand,  


  • Excel offline comes with versatile software that can do complex tasks like financial modeling. After that, it can also do simple tasks of data entry.
  • It comes with a complete starting guide which you can read to get familiar with the program. You can also simply start using it for your specific purpose and will eventually learn how to use it.
  • All the tasks and functions save you a lot of time.
  • You can use Excel offline even when you are not connected to the internet. Moreover, you can save your projects on your local disk. After that, you can open it again whenever you want to continue.


  • Creating formulas and making templates from scratch can take a lot of time.
  • Large excel spreadsheets can slow down your computer if you have a weak system.
  • It is not as intuitive to share spreadsheets with other people as compared to Excel online. 


The versatile nature of excel can be seen in both offline and online versions. However, the online version falls short of some features, including menu options. If you are using excel for personal use, then probably any version of excel will work for you. However, for more professional purposes, use the online version only when you don’t have access to your main computer. 

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