How do I make a spreadsheet?

Sorry if this sounds like a dumb question…
How do I make a spreadsheet?
Like Google sheets?

Air Table: I read it was like a spreadsheet but much better.
All I need for the moment though is just the basic spreadsheet.
I’m sure I’ll get round to using the more advanced items later.


Welcome to the Airtable community!

Although Airtable can look like a spreadsheet and has some spreadsheet like features, it is not a spreadsheet. It is a database. There are some things that are easy with a spreadsheet (calculations down columns) that do not work in Airtable. On the other hand Airtable also has many features that don’t exist in spreadsheets.

One difference is that in a spreadsheet, the grid already has lots of blank columns and rows where you can start typing. In Airtable you must setup your columns before they appear. When you want a new row, you must create the new row by clicking the bar at the bottom of the grid.

I suggest you look at some of the templates to get a feel for how Airtable works. Then if you have specific questions, come back and ask away.

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I’ll look around as you suggest.

Can’t perform calculations down columns?
I can’t do this at all? :confused:

How about rows?

To start off… I just wanted to start with an empty ‘spreadsheet’ - doesn’t really matter to me what’s on the backend - if it’s a DB or anything else… doesn’t matter - it’s just the interface and usability of a spreadsheet I needed most.

Reason for needing:
I’m working with someone who works for me in China. We need to work on a spreadsheet so that we can workout costs of buying something. + Keep records of todo list.
Problem: other alternatives like Google and Microsoft and Zoho simply don’t work in China.
Airtable: works! (well, for the moment anyway).

I will educate myself… but if you or someone could respond to the above… that would save me time just incase Airtable isn’t quite right.

You cannot start with an “empty” sheet in Airtable. You must define each column/field as you create it. You must create each row. In a well designed Airtable base, there are no completely empty columns or rows.

Airtable cannot do calculations down columns the way a spreadsheet can. You can see a limited number of calculations down columns using the summary bar, but those values cannot be used as inputs to other calculations.

Airtable can do calculations across rows using formula fields. Note that the calculations can only take inputs from the same row, they cannot reference the row above or below.

There are workarounds to more complex calculations using linked tables and rollup fields, but if you are new to Airtable and databases, that might be a bit much to take in at first.

Best of luck in learning about Airtable!

Thanks for the reply.
Before I came to Airtable, I saw headlines like ‘Airtable Review: Smart Spreadsheets For Pretty Much Anything’ - good for everything apart from using as a spreadsheet. :stuck_out_tongue:
Or ‘Airtable vs Google spreadsheet’

I haven’t given up hope yet. But maybe not useful as a spreadsheet.

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