Excel is one of the best solutions for spreadsheets, but OpenOffice Calc can be downloaded for free and has similar features. More and more free office programs enter the market and many of them fully support Windows 7.

Free Excel Download

Not everyone has the money to spend on an expensive Microsoft Office suite, but many people still have a need for a free Excel download for Windows 7. With a little time and effort, anyone can find a free Excel program that has the same functionality as Microsoft Excel, but without the high price tag.

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Microsoft Free Trials

The most accessible free Excel download for Windows 7 is the Excel trial. This trial allows the user full access to all of Excel’s features for a limited time. The trial will expire after thirty days, but for the college student needing Excel for a one time project, or a novice just getting their toes wet with a spreadsheet program, this free Excel download is often the way to go. In addition, users can get a feel for the program, and see if it is worth paying that extra amount of money to get the full program. With the Office 2010 Trial Extender program, users can stretch their trial up to 180 days by renewing through their license.

Open Office Calc

OpenOffice can be downloaded here

Some users may need to run the program for longer than the trial period, and simply cannot or will not spend the extra money. For these people, programs that have comparable features may be the free download they need. Open Office Calc is an open source program that allows users to save spreadsheets in a format compatible with Excel, permitting Excel users to view the completed spreadsheet. The program has many of the same features as Excel and is easy to use. Overall, Open Office Calc is a great program for people looking for a free Excel download for Windows 7.

Benefits of Open Office Calc

With Open Office Calc, users can create the same spreadsheet that they would make in Excel. The program is macro friendly, and can even execute many of the same formulas as Excel. Anyone who can use Excel can use Open Office Calc because Open Office Calc operates very similarly to Excel, so no additional training or classes are required. The code for Open Office Calc is more secure, and very few viruses are written to target Open Office macros, unlike Excel. Because it is an open source program, Open Office Calc can be recalibrated to suit the user, as long as he or she has the technical skills to do so. Open Office Calc can be downloaded easily, sets up in minutes, and is completely free.


Though Open Office Calc is compatible with Excel, transferring files between the two programs is not always easy. The most common differences users will see between the two programs are formatting errors. Not all formulas or macros will easily translate from Open Office Calc to Excel, requiring the user to tweak their data depending on which program is in use. This drawback makes it difficult in an office setting where Excel is the standard, prompting many users to seek alternative free Excel downloads. Open Office Calc also lacks some of the features of Excel, has a much longer startup time, and has a few issues with the clipboard that can make it difficult to cut-and-paste data.

Whether users are low on funds, or just thrifty with their spending, it is possible to find a free excel download for Windows 7. Users can explore Excel through an extended trial, or use free software such as Open Office, and still create and view spreadsheets with ease.