Is there any way to do simple offline spreadsheets (rows, columns, plus, minus, multiply, divide, sum of range) like below without using monsters like Excel, Numbers, Google, Open Office, etc.?

I have to be able to use the arrow keys to navigate around like you do in a spreadsheet, type to add values and (simple!) formulas, and have the tables update instantly as necessary.

I noticed Linux has a text-based fossil called "SC" which would be perfect for my purposes, but it's not on Homebrew. Emacs packages would be OK as long as they don't require learning LISP.

CATEGORY 1   Item A   Item B   Item C
Feature A    YES      NO       YES
Has B        Blah     Blah     Sure
Value C      84       36       N/A

X            1        77   
Y            2        99
Z            3        ..
SUM          6        ...
  • 1
    Curious question, what is it about standard spreadsheet apps that you don't like? Apps like Numbers allow you to customise the toolbar and hide the inspector to hide away complexity that you don't need if that's the problem? (example screenshot)
    – grg
    Commented Jul 15, 2017 at 19:06
  • There could be many reasons: Old hardware, terminal access, lack of funds, a wish for simplicity. Like why some people think it's fun to use vi even if we've got text editors that resemble spaceships.
    – forthrin
    Commented Jul 15, 2017 at 21:04
  • So, you’re really looking for a command line tool like python or such?
    – bmike
    Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 0:15
  • Check these apps: Calligra Sheets, Pyspread and maybe Oleo Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 6:14
  • @bmike: If by command line you mean terminal based, then yes. Or possibly GUI if it's really small and simple, and the GUI doesn't look outdated and clunky.
    – forthrin
    Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 7:05

1 Answer 1


Numbers provides customisation to its UI which allows you to strip most of the features from the main window, leaving you the most basic of functionality.

  • The toolbar is customisable (right-click on toolbar and choose Customise Toolbar). You can use this to remove features you don't wish to use so that they do not show on the toolbar. You can also go further by hiding the toolbar completely.

  • The inspector on the right can be hidden from the View menu (View → Inspector → Hide Inspector). All that's left is the main window with the spreadsheet.

Hiding the toolbar and inspector gives you a window that looks like the following. UI can't really look more basic than that!

  • Well, yes, but the question is about how you can do it without using the traditional spreadsheet apps. Something very lightweight or simply other approaches / solutions.
    – forthrin
    Commented Jul 15, 2017 at 21:45
  • 1
    @forthrin docker and sc might be the quickest way if no one has ported a command line based spreadsheet yet. Nothing is popping up on a quick search of brew.sh
    – bmike
    Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 0:16

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