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PC World

Top 10 spreadsheet tools

March 9, 1999
Web posted at: 6:19 p.m. EST (2319 GMT)

by Max Green

(IDG) -- The human mind does not think naturally in spreadsheet fashion -- not without a lot of training, anyway -- and a blank worksheet can be downright daunting. Shareware add-ins help get you over the learning curve with minimal pain, offering special tools for common tasks. Take a look at these popular add-ins from the FileWorld library, or at some of the inexpensive alternatives to the Microsoft numbers king.

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  1. Spreadsheet Assistant: Don't settle for what comes in the shrink-wrap. Add more than 180 actions and functions to Excel spreadsheets; most integrate with the standard menus and dialog boxes. (Shareware)

  2. Excel File Conversion Wizard: The Wizard helps you convert Lotus 1-2-3 and Quattro Pro files (as well as many other types) to Excel files in batch operations rather than one at a time. (Freeware)

  3. Web Queries Import Tool: Get information from a Web site and put it directly into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The information can come straight from a page, or you can easily customize the tool to bring you just the data you need. (Shareware)

  4. SuperSub: This spreadsheet add-in displays a dialog box that makes it very easy to indicate superscript, subscript, bold, italic, and font size for individual characters in a cell. (Freeware)

  5. Cleaver: If you have too much fat in your business, chop it out with this aptly named software--a series of Excel files designed to run what-if scenarios. Tailored to help business owners streamline operations to increase profitability. (Shareware)

  6. As-Easy-As for Windows 95: A powerful spreadsheet, originally designed as a Lotus 1-2-3 clone for DOS (see number ten below). It features math, financial, statistical, date and time, and scientific functions, as well as graphics capabilities. (Shareware)

  7. DataLoader: This menu-driven add-in for Excel moves data from sheet to sheet based on a unique key that identifies the data to be loaded and the target row. The key can be either alphabetic, numeric, or a combination. (Trial)

  8. Risk Analyzer for Excel: Navigate among complex choices with this set of decision-support and risk-analysis tools for Excel. (Shareware)

  9. VistaCalc: This easy-to-use spreadsheet can calculate columns and totals like all the rest. It can also handle loan repayment calculations, depreciation, and other statistical and financial functions. (Shareware)

  10. As-Easy-As Spreadsheet: Like Lotus 1-2-3, this DOS program packs some sophisticated functions. Check out the linear programming, multivariate regression, 3D graphics, and hundreds of math, financial, and statistical functions. (Trial)

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