I'm looking for a free spreadsheet editor that is simple and lightweight. I don't want to install OpenOffice just to use a some spreadsheets every once in a while.

  • Do you need to be able to edit the spreadsheets or just read them?
    – segiddins
    Oct 3, 2012 at 23:34
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    More difficult than one might think. From time to time I am also searching for a good spreadsheet program on OS X, but I haven't really found anything I could recommend. Here is a (very short) list of free spreadsheet apps for OSX. But going for Google Docs may be the best choice right now.
    – iolsmit
    Oct 3, 2012 at 23:36
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    If you don't mind compiling it yourself, you could try Gnumeric via e.g. Homebrew - but compilation/installation is for sure not lightweight, as you need to compile gtk+ and numerous other dependencies. But OS X integration is not much better than running the Windows binary in Wine...
    – iolsmit
    Oct 4, 2012 at 0:27

8 Answers 8


If Chrome isn't too heavy for you Google Docs has very capable spreadsheet facilities that improve all the time. You can even run it offline if you're going to be away from an internet connection.

  • 1
    Note that according to the linked page about offline access, editing spreadsheets offline isn't available on any platform.
    – outis
    Oct 4, 2013 at 18:52

If you just need to view an Excel spreadsheet (.xls or .xlsx extension), you may be surprised to learn that Preview in Mountain Lion (and Lion, possibly?) can open and display them quite competently. You won't be able to edit anything, and I'm sure there may be problems with more advanced functions and macros and such, but if you just want to quickly view or print a spreadsheet, it may do the job.

Numbers, part of Apple's iWork suite, is neither free nor lightweight. But at US$20, it's quite affordable, particularly in proportion to the functionality it provides, and it certainly feels more lightweight than Open/LibreOffice.

Update 7 Feb 2018 (since this post seems to have got some attention recently for some reason): Numbers is now free in the Mac App Store and has been for some time. If Preview isn't doing the job or you do need to edit the spreadsheet, give it a try.

  • QuickLook on Snow Leopard (at least, on my install) also works with common spreadsheets. While I have LibreOffice installed, the Office.qlgenerator looks to be from Apple (it has bundle ID "com.apple.qlgenerator.office" and is in /System/Library/QuickLook), so I expect it should work on any install of an appropriate version. There are reports online of being able to preview .doc and .docx in Leopard as well, so it's reasonable to expect it to work for spreadsheets.
    – outis
    Oct 4, 2013 at 18:58

I haven't used it, but pyspread looks promising:

Pyspread is a non-traditional spreadsheet application that is based on and written in the programming language Python.

The goal of pyspread is to be the most pythonic spreadsheet.

Pyspread expects Python expressions in its grid cells, which makes a spreadsheet specific language obsolete. Each cell returns a Python object that can be accessed from other cells. These objects can represent anything including lists or matrices.

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    For what it's worth this is from the site: "Pyspread works on Linux and other GTK platforms as well as on Windows. While there have been reports that pyspread can be used on OS X as well, OS X is currently unsupported." May 18, 2017 at 9:29

There is gnumeric which is Gnomes's spreadsheet. It seems quick and lite. However it is designed for GNOME, one of the Unix desktops and does not look OSX like (note this is even using Cocoa GTK not X11)

Also you need to install on OSX from source. I used macports sudo port install gnumeric which for Snow Leopard and Lion will install binaries. I suspect fink or homebrew will provide gnumeric as well.


I have used Tables, which I can recommend. The problem I found, however, is that successive versions of your sheet is not saved by Dropbox, because Tables saves its data in a proprietary format, as several files in a folder, and Dropbox will not save versions of folders, only files. Thus, I couldn't restore previous saved sheets from Dropbox. (I didn't check the behavior on Time Machine.) If this doesn't bother you, however, it's a speedy and useful program for small jobs.



tablecruncher.com = just a .csv editor.

Combine that with something commandline for calculations, like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sc_(spreadsheet_calculator)


The lack of a true mac native and lightweight spreadsheet has also bugged us for years, therefore we are developing a solution:


Note that later-on advanced features like graphs will probably be unlock-able cheap in-app purchases. We aim to have standard functionality free.


Neither the link above nor the domain for the link does not seem to work any more. However, the TableEdit program at the link below might be the one this answer might be originally referring to:


The program, which appears to be free, is described as follows:

TableEdit is a simple, clean, elegant & free spreadsheet app designed specifically for macOS. TableEdit features a minimalistic yet intuitive interface and has convenient features like cell formatting, seamless CSV / Excel file import & export as well as exhaustive cell styling options. We've also implemented a comprehensive formulae system and support for visualizing using charts & graphs.

There appears to be both a full and a lightweight version.

  • Neither the link nor the domain itself does not open.
    – Alper
    Feb 11, 2023 at 15:53

Try OpenOffice or LibreOffice; both have Mac versions as well as PC versions.

  • 1
    read the question, the OP doesn't want to use Open Office
    – Dirty-flow
    Jun 10, 2013 at 6:48

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