Microsoft Excel Vs Numbers: Get to Know Which is Right for You

The debate between Microsoft Excel and Numbers is one that has been raging for years. From the sheer number of features and tools available to the ease of use, these two programs are often compared to each other. But which one should you choose and why? In this article, we’ll compare Microsoft Excel and Numbers side-by-side to help you decide which one is right for your needs. We’ll discuss the features, usability, and performance of each program, so you can make an informed decision.

Microsoft Excel Numbers
Powerful spreadsheet program with many features Intuitive spreadsheet program from Apple
Supports formulas, formatting, data sorting, filtering, and pivot tables Supports formulas, data sorting, and filtering
Can be used on Windows, Mac, and mobile devices Available on Mac and iOS but not Windows
Offers a wide range of features and tools Simplified user interface and streamlined design experience

Microsoft Excel Vs Numbers

Microsoft Excel Vs Numbers: In-Depth Comparison Chart

Features Microsoft Excel Numbers
Price $99.99 (one-time purchase) Free (comes pre-installed with Mac)
Compatibility Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Web MacOS, iOS
User Interface Ribbon-based interface, customizable Simple, easy-to-navigate menus
Formulas & Functions Hundreds of built-in formulas and functions Some formulas and functions, but not as extensive as Excel’s
Data Visualization Wide range of charts and graphs Basic charts and graphs
Collaboration Can share and collaborate with other Excel users Can share and collaborate with other Numbers users
Macros Can create macros to automate repetitive tasks No macro support

Microsoft Excel vs Numbers: An Overview

Microsoft Excel and Numbers are both popular spreadsheet programs that are used for data analysis and manipulation. Excel is the older of the two programs, having been around since 1985, while Numbers was introduced in 2007. Although the two programs have many similarities, Excel and Numbers also have their own unique features and capabilities. This article will compare and contrast Excel and Numbers to help you decide which one is the better option for your data analysis needs.

User Interface and Design

Both Excel and Numbers have user-friendly interfaces and are designed to be easy to use. Excel has a classic feel, with menus and toolbars that are familiar to many users. On the other hand, Numbers has a modern, visually appealing design. It features a tabbed interface that makes it easier for users to navigate, and also includes a range of templates and themes to choose from.

In terms of features, Excel is more powerful than Numbers. It has a vast array of formulas and functions, allowing users to perform complex calculations and analyses. Numbers, on the other hand, is more limited in terms of features and functions.

Data Analysis and Manipulation

When it comes to data analysis, Excel is the clear winner. It offers a wide range of advanced features and functions that can be used to analyze data in a variety of ways. Numbers, however, is more limited in this respect. It has fewer features and functions than Excel, making it more suitable for basic data analysis tasks.

In terms of data manipulation, both Excel and Numbers offer a range of tools and features. Excel has a wider range of features, such as sorting and filtering, while Numbers has fewer options. Both programs offer a range of chart and graph types to choose from.

Cost and Availability

Excel is part of the Microsoft Office suite, which is available as a one-time purchase or as a subscription plan. Numbers is available only as part of the Apple iWork suite, which is available as a free download for Mac users.

Compatibility and Integration

Excel is compatible with a wide range of file formats, including CSV, TXT, and XLSX. It can also be used with a variety of other programs, such as Microsoft Access and Microsoft Outlook. Numbers is compatible with only a few file formats, such as Numbers and CSV. It can be used with Apple’s other iWork programs, such as Pages and Keynote.


When it comes to choosing between Microsoft Excel and Numbers, it really depends on your individual needs. Excel is the more powerful of the two programs and offers a wide range of features and functions for data analysis and manipulation. Numbers is more limited in terms of features and functions, but is a good option for basic data analysis tasks. Ultimately, the choice between the two programs is a matter of personal preference.

Microsoft Excel Vs Numbers

Pros of Microsoft Excel

  • Powerful data analysis and visualization tools
  • Provides access to a wide variety of online resources
  • Comprehensive support for macros and VBA
  • Strong financial tracking capabilities

Cons of Microsoft Excel

  • Can be complicated to use
  • The user interface can be overwhelming
  • Can be slow to work with large datasets
  • High cost of licensing

Pros of Numbers

  • Easy to use
  • User friendly interface
  • Compatible with other Apple products
  • Large selection of templates

Cons of Numbers

  • Limited functionality compared to Excel
  • No support for macros or VBA
  • Fewer options for data analysis and visualization
  • No access to online resources

Microsoft Excel Vs Numbers: Which Is Better?


In conclusion, both Microsoft Excel and Numbers offer a variety of features that make them both excellent programs for managing data. Microsoft Excel provides a more robust set of features, making it the preferred choice for those who need to work with complex data sets and calculations. Numbers, on the other hand, is easier to use and more user-friendly, making it a great choice for those who need a quick and simple way to handle basic data. Ultimately, it comes down to the user’s needs and preferences.

For those who need the power and complexity of Microsoft Excel, then it is the clear choice. However, for those who want a simpler, more intuitive solution, then Numbers is the way to go. Both programs offer a great set of features that can help you manage and analyze your data. The choice between the two really comes down to what best fits your individual needs and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions: Microsoft Excel Vs Numbers

What is Microsoft Excel?

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program developed by Microsoft for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications. It has been a very widely applied spreadsheet for these platforms, especially since version 5 in 1993, and it has replaced Lotus 1-2-3 as the industry standard for spreadsheets.

What is Numbers?

Numbers is a spreadsheet application developed by Apple Inc. for macOS, iOS, and watchOS. It is part of the iWork productivity suite and runs on the same document format as the other iWork applications: Pages and Keynote. It was first released in 2007 as part of the iWork ’08 suite, and is comparable to Microsoft Excel.

What are the differences between Microsoft Excel and Numbers?

The biggest difference between Microsoft Excel and Numbers is their user interface. Microsoft Excel has a more traditional interface, with a ribbon-based menu system that is familiar to many users. Numbers, on the other hand, has an interface that is more touch-friendly, with larger buttons and visuals that make it easier to use on a touch device. Additionally, Excel has been around longer, so it has more features and functions than Numbers. Numbers also has fewer charting options and lacks some of the more advanced features of Excel, such as macros and pivot tables.

Which one is easier to use?

It depends on the user and what they are trying to accomplish. For those who are familiar with Microsoft Office, Excel may be easier to use since it has a more traditional interface. For those who are looking for something more touch-friendly, Numbers may be a better choice. Additionally, Numbers has simpler charting options and fewer advanced features, so it can be easier for beginners to use.

What are the advantages of using Microsoft Excel?

Microsoft Excel has many advantages, including a wide variety of features and functions, a more traditional and familiar user interface, and compatibility with other Microsoft Office applications. It also has advanced features such as macros and pivot tables, which are not available in Numbers. Additionally, Excel has been around for a long time, and is the industry standard for spreadsheets, so it is widely used and supported.

What are the advantages of using Numbers?

Numbers has many advantages, including a touch-friendly interface, compatibility with other iWork applications, and a simpler charting system. Additionally, it is easier to use for beginners or those who don’t need the more advanced features of Excel. It also has a wide variety of templates to choose from, which can make creating a spreadsheet easier.

Numbers vs Microsoft Excel: Why I switched from Microsoft Excel to Numbers

In conclusion, both Microsoft Excel and Numbers offer powerful and versatile spreadsheet applications that make it easy to organize, analyze, and present data. Microsoft Excel has a more robust feature set and is the go-to choice for businesses, while Numbers is more user-friendly and provides easier to understand visuals. Ultimately, the decision between the two will come down to personal preference and the complexity of the data you are working with.

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