Import Excel into Google Sheets – Sheets and Excel Best Practices

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Do you know Google Sheets is a web-based twinning app with Excel?

Google Sheets app is highly capable to manage data in a similar way as Excel does. In fact, you can avail many other benefits in Google Sheets app because of its web-based analytics. Most of the time, you may need to import Excel into Google Sheets because of certain demands.

Let’s get into details about how you can import Excel data into Google Sheets.

Excel to Google Sheets – Compatible File Types

By default, Excel files are saved in .xlsx file format. Before 2007, the files in Excel get saved in the .xls file format automatically. Collectively, Google Sheets is competent enough to handle both .xls and .xlsx files in Google Spreadsheets. Do you know the main difference between .xls and .xlsx file formats?

Basically, the .xls file format lets you store spreadsheet data in a single binary file. On the other hand, the .xlsx file format is used for XML format to store data as separate files and folders in compressed ZIP format. With Google Sheets, you can convert other sheet files made in Excel including:








How to Import Excel into Google Sheets

If you know, Google Sheets provide a chance to avail of many built-in hacks that help in converting Excel files to Google Sheets. Once the Excel sheet is uploaded to Google Drive, you can add new sheets containing new data, automate the conversion procedure, and much more.

Below are some of the main things, you may have to consider in order to import Excel into Google Sheets.

Convert Excel File from Google Drive

Using a few simple steps, you can easily convert an Excel file into Google Sheets once it is uploaded to Google Drive. First of all, open the Google Drive home page and choose New from the File Upload menu.

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  • Now, choose the Excel file that needed to be uploaded from the device.

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  • Click Open and the file will start uploading to Google Drive.

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  • Open the file in Google Sheets by clicking on it.

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  • Once the above steps are done, you will be able to make modifications in the .xlsx file with Google Sheets interface. On the other hand, if you need to convert the .xlsx file into a Google Sheet, your file must be saved as such.
  • Click File and open Save as Google Sheets.

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Hurray! The Excel file is imported successfully into Google Sheets.

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How You Can Convert an Excel File into Google Sheets Format

There comes a time when you don’t need Excel anymore because Google Sheets offer more features than Excel that’s why you decide to edit as well as save the file in the Google sheets format. In that case, your file must be opened once in Google Sheets and for this, choose Save as Google Sheets from the given File menu.


Now, your file has two copies, one of you can open in Excel format, and the other one is compatible with Google Sheets format. For this reason, when you make changes in the Google Sheets file, the .xls file will not be changed at all.

Things to Consider that can Break After Converting

Even though you are familiar with the procedure to import Excel into Google Sheets, you may come up with certain issues. Some changes occur without notice such as while moving from Excel to Google Sheets, there might be possibilities that some functions and formatting get changed. Below are some changes you may encounter:

  • Macros
  • Conditional formatting
  • Split worksheets
  • Certain charts
  • Interactive controls

Being involved in issues isn’t the case you always face. However, you must check while converting to ensure your safety.

Import Excel into Google Sheets – What are the Limitations?

Importing Excel files into Google Sheets would be seamless most of the time. In rare cases, importing an Excel file into Google Sheets is not ideal, viable, or the finest option. Below are some limitations you may experience in this instance:


Just like the Google Sheets app have multiple features that Excel does not support, similarly, some features are not supported in Google Sheets. VBA macros are a feature of Excel that you cannot perform in Google Sheets.

Spreadsheet Size

Excel can handle billions of cells, whereas Google Sheets can just accommodate 10 million cells per sheet. If an Excel sheet has data consisting of more than 10 million cells, you cannot upload it on Google Sheets.

Links to Workbooks

When an Excel file contains links to other workbooks, Google Sheets will not be able to get those links or even you cannot edit them.

Advanced-Data Modeling

Some of the advanced data modeling features are not available in Google Sheets such as PowerQuery and Power Pivot.

Let’s have a look at some features used in Google Sheets that Excel does not support, such as:



















To avoid breakages, you have to rewrite the formula in Excel if the converted Google Sheet file has any of these functions.

Practice can make your skills enhance and to better understand Excel, you have to learn the basics as well as advanced knowledge.

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