What's the best free spreadsheet program?
May 5, 2006 1:03 PM   Subscribe

What's the best free spreadsheet program? (OS X or Windows)

I need a basic spreadsheet program to keep track of our money. We've got a somewhat complicated financial situation (three housemates who split groceries and utility bills, a fourth person who camps with us and splits camp expenses, and cell phone and insurance bills split two ways), so I doubt an out of the box "manage your money"-type program will work; I'd really rather just put a spreadsheet together myself.

On the other hand, I don't need any fancy charts or graphics or foofaraw like that. All else equal, I'd like the least bloated program I can get, with the fewest bells and whistles.

Mac or Windows is okay — we're a two-OS household. (Hell, if there's a free spreadsheet that exists in Mac and Windows versions, that would be awesome, but it's not essential.)
posted by nebulawindphone to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I like Gnumeric (Linux/Unix and Windows). It's got almost all the features of Excel, but in a nice, well-designed interface. The Windows port is new and might not be as stable or mature as the Linux version.

Of course there's also OpenOffice, which is very full-featured and clones most of MS Office (and then some). It works great on Windows and Linux, and there are OS X versions available too.
posted by mbrubeck at 1:07 PM on May 5, 2006


(For what it's worth, OpenOffice is the sort of thing I'd like to avoid. I don't need an Office clone, I just need a spreadsheet, and I'd like something light and simple. I'll take a look at Gnumeric, though.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:09 PM on May 5, 2006


Gnumeric. There's also kspread, but I prefer gnumeric.

On preview: yes, there's also Openoffice Calc, part of the Openoffice suite. If you don't have an office suite, go download Openoffice right now.
posted by jellicle at 1:10 PM on May 5, 2006


This isn't a spreadsheet, but your question made me immediately think of the project BillMonk, which is designed to keep track of money owed room-mates, etc. You may find it useful. I haven't tried it, but it's free.
posted by fishfucker at 1:50 PM on May 5, 2006


I've been pretty happy with NeoOffice for the Mac so far. Its not as purty as Excel but its also free and not MS. And it does generate MS compatible docs if you need to.
posted by fenriq at 3:41 PM on May 5, 2006


For disclosure, NeoOffice is a port of OpenOffice. But made to be nicer to macs. Still, it *is* nice to have some kind of office suite, and you don't *have* to use the other programs when you don't need them. The opportunity cost is only, what, 80 or so megs?
posted by SemiSophos at 6:49 PM on May 5, 2006


I'm a fan of the web-based ThinkFree Office. You get a gig of storage space for free. You just need a computer that supports Java. And an Internet connection.
posted by exhilaration at 7:18 PM on May 5, 2006


Way late to the party but Spread32 is an excellent and tiny (one 400k executable) spreadsheet. Direct d/l for windows.
posted by blag at 7:37 AM on May 8, 2006


Looks like Google is developing an online spreadsheet. You'll need to have a gmail account.

http://labs.google.com/
posted by pdf74 at 11:57 AM on July 7, 2006


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