Don’t forget to share this post

If your work involves the use of spreadsheets, it’s likely that you frequently need to update them and share the data with others. Both Google Sheets and Excel continue to be extremely popular, so there’s a good chance you’ll eventually need to convert spreadsheets to the format used by a client, collaborator, or supplier. Read How to Convert Excel Files to Google Sheets and How to Import CSV to Google Sheets Automatically to convert different formats to Sheets.

In this article, you will learn how to convert Google Sheets to Excel format manually and what to look out for when converting from Sheets to Excel. Additionally, you’ll learn ways to automatically export Google Sheets to Excel. One of these ways includes Layer, which can synchronize your files, so you don’t even have to worry about converting them.

Why Convert Google Sheets to Excel?

When you work collaboratively on spreadsheets, sooner or later, you have to convert your files to the preferred format of clients or collaborators. Both Excel and Google Sheets are widely used, so you’ll need to convert between these formats regularly. If you use Google Sheets, but your collaborators use Excel, you can export your file as an ‘.xlsx’.

For example, say you’re working on a survey project with another company that uses Excel. You’re collecting data via Google Forms, which is loaded directly into your Google Sheet. This data then needs to be analyzed further by the other company, but they work with Excel, so you’ll have to convert your spreadsheet.

Keep in mind that there are some known issues when converting between these formats:

Formulas: some formulas only exist in one of the formats, so they will have to be modified. OpenAsApp keep a list of Sheets formulas that don’t work in Excel, so you can check whether you’re using any of these in the file you want to convert.

References: if there are references to external data in your spreadsheet, remember to check whether they have been modified or corrupted during the transfer.

Now, let’s see how you can manually export Google Sheets to Excel, and then how to automate this process.

How to Convert Excel Files to Google Sheets?

If you want to work on an Excel file in Google Sheets, you may want to import and convert it. Here's how to convert Excel to Google Sheets.

READ MORE
How to Convert Excel Files to Google Sheets

How to Convert Google Sheets to Excel (Manually)

Follow the steps below to download your Google Sheets as Excel files. You can do so from the Sheets site or from Google Drive. Let’s see the first method.

Convert Google Sheets to Excel from the Sheets site

  1. 1. Open your Google Sheets and go to File > Download > Microsoft Excel (.xlsx).
Convert Google Sheets To Excel Manually Automatically Download from Sheets
Convert Google Sheets To Excel (Manually & Automatically) - Download from Sheets
  1. 2. In the standard “Save” window, click on the folder where you'd like to save the Excel file.
Convert Google Sheets To Excel Manually Automatically Save File
Convert Google Sheets To Excel (Manually & Automatically) - Save File
  1. 3. Go to the file location and double-click to open. You should now be able to open it directly in Excel.
Convert Google Sheets To Excel Manually Automatically Open Excel
Convert Google Sheets To Excel (Manually & Automatically) - Open Excel

Convert Google Sheets to Excel from Google Drive

  1. 1. In your Google Drive, right-click on the Google Sheets file and choose “Download”.
Convert Google Sheets To Excel Manually Automatically Download from Drive
Convert Google Sheets To Excel (Manually & Automatically) - Download from Drive
  1. 2. The file is automatically converted to Excel format. You will be able to choose where to save the file from the standard “Save” window for your OS.
Convert Google Sheets To Excel Manually Automatically Save File 2
Convert Google Sheets To Excel (Manually & Automatically) - Save File
  1. 3. That’s it. The file can now be opened directly in Excel.
Convert Google Sheets To Excel Manually Automatically Open Excel
Convert Google Sheets To Excel (Manually & Automatically) - Open Excel

You can also automate this conversion. One way is to write a script that automates the process of downloading the file as a ‘.xlsx file’, or you can use a tool like Layer, a no-code solution that automatically synchronizes your Google Sheets and Excel files.

How To Merge Google Sheets Manually Automatically
How To Merge Google Sheets (Manually & Automatically)

Oftentimes we need to combine data from multiple sheets into one master sheet. Here’s how to merge Google Sheets manually and automatically.

READ MORE

How to Convert Google Sheets to Excel (Automatically)

While the manual method works well for ad-hoc conversions, if you need to update your file regularly, this method becomes unsustainable very quickly. Not only is it tedious and time-consuming, but it can also lead to data loss and multiple versions of the ‘.xlsx’ file. Here are different ways to convert Google Sheets to Excel automatically.

How to Convert Google Sheets to Excel Automatically with Google Apps Script?

If you’re familiar with Google’s Apps Script, or JavaScript in general, you can write a script that checks for updates and exports your data to the Excel file. In fact, a quick search online will reveal scripts that users have created for their own files, which they have posted online and can be adapted for personal use.

Scripts tend to replicate a manual process, so you’ll face similar problems. You would still be overwriting a previous version with every update, albeit automatically. If someone is working on the file as the script runs, the file may be saved with a slightly different name, and you’ll end up with two different versions. If you’re really unlucky, you could lose data and have to redo some work.

Fortunately, a solution is available that allows you to automatically synchronize your files, without the need for uploads, downloads, or copy/pasting.

How to manage Google Sheets data with Layer?

Layer adds productivity features to your Google Sheets. Share parts of your spreadsheet, request input, and accept or reject changes to make collaboration seamless and more efficient while keeping full control over your data.

Using Layer, you can:

  • Manage Access: Give spreadsheet access to relevant stakeholders on a tab or cell level.
  • Review & Track: Consolidate input, and easily track changes.
  • Collaborate: Define, assign, and automate tasks and set deadlines.

Sign up for early access and start automating your Google Sheets workflows with Layer!

Conclusion

Both Sheets and Excel are still widely used by individuals and companies in all industries. If you use Sheets, you’ll be working with people that use Excel at some point. You now know how to manually convert your Sheets to the Excel format, both from the Sheets site and your Google Drive, and what you need to look out for when transferring data between formats.

You have also learned that you can automate this process using scripts that will replicate the manual method. While this can be useful in some situations, it doesn’t really allow you to work collaboratively in real-time.

With a tool like Layer, you can avoid problems and save time by automatically synchronizing your Sheets and Excel files. You will also have full control over the flow of data, assigning permissions to specific users in specific parts of your spreadsheets. When you make changes to your Sheets file, they will be updated automatically in Excel.

To learn how to convert other formats to Sheets, check out these related articles:

Hady ElHady
Hady is Content Lead at Layer.

Hady has a passion for tech, marketing, and spreadsheets. Besides his Computer Science degree, he has vast experience in developing, launching, and scaling content marketing processes at SaaS startups.

Originally published Jul 13 2022, Updated Jul 6 2022