Apple Numbers vs Excel

Difference Between Apple Numbers and Excel

Similar to Excel, Apple Inc. has developed a spreadsheet program known as ‘Apple Numbers,’ which has the same functionality as Microsoft Excel. The data from Apple Numbers can also be used in Microsoft Excel by importing and exporting data. The major difference between both is the compatibility; excel is compatible on both Windows and Mac. In contrast, Apple Numbers are not compatible with Windows.

Spreadsheets are one of the most important tools nowadays in the corporate world. The theme on which such spreadsheets are developed provide tools such as data manipulation and analytical skills to the user. In the 21st century, Microsoft developed spreadsheets, known as Excel; Apple as Numbers and Google as Sheets, etc. These spreadsheets have unique features and functionalities that help users store the data, manipulate them, and bring a wise picture.

What are the Apple Numbers?

Apple Numbers is a spreadsheet developed by Apple Inc. based in California. Apple Numbers launched in 2007 and got famous due to its graphical superiority over other spreadsheet. However, Apple Numbers is much more beneficial for personal purposes.

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What is Excel?

Excel is a spreadsheet developed by Microsoft 32 years ago in 1987. It is the most versatile spreadsheet presently available. The best part is that it is an open-source application that even a layman can use and has a comparatively much easier and user-friendly interface.

Apple Numbers vs Excel Infographics

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Key Differences Between Apple Numbers and Excel

The key differences are as follows –

  • Apple Inc developed Numbers, and Microsoft developed Excel.
  • Numbers are operated on the iOS platform, while Excel is used on Microsoft Windows.
  • Numbers support around 31 languages, while Excel supports around 91 languages across the globe.
  • Excel works based on various sheets in the workbook, visible as different tabs. However, Numbers work independently based on the data maintained under the multiple tables. Numbers will manipulate data by fetching the data from such other independent tables.
  • Once the data is fed in excel, it will lose its semantic value, while Numbers will retain the semantic value of the data. For example, suppose we are plotting the data of the car manufacturers in “Column A” and their annual revenue figures in “column B” and the total revenue figures in the last row of ‘Column B,’ to check the share of an individual manufacturer in the market. In that case, the user will have to reference the cells from which data is to be considered, while in Numbers, users will have to provide the name of the manufacturer and their respective annual revenue figures. This feature helps the user reference the manufacturer, and Numbers will automatically plot the data. However, it becomes too difficult to copy the same in all data sets, which is easy in Excel.
  • Numbers have 262 inbuilt functions, while Excel has 400 inbuilt functions divided into broad 11 categories.
  • Numbers can be run only in Mac OS, while Excel can run both in Mac OS and Microsoft Windows.
  • Numbers are not very user-friendly for large data sets, whereas Excel is highly versatile for large data sets and allows easy plotting of all the formulas throughout the data.
  • Apple has released the latest version of Numbers as 5.3, while Microsoft has released the newest version of Excel 2019.

Comparative Table

BasisApple NumbersExcel
Developed byApple Inc.Microsoft Corp.
Application Available foriOS( iPhone Operating System)Microsoft Windows
Launching YearIn 2007In 1987
Languages supported in the applicationOfficially 31 LanguagesOfficially 91 Languages
Separate Tab conceptNumbers do not have a concept of tab in the spreadsheet; it uses various tables that feed data into it.Excel has a concept of different tabs in a single spreadsheet.
Semantic values of dataIn Numbers, data does not lose its semantic values and, based on its nature, and functions can be automatically performed.In Excel, data loses its semantic values. Hence, all the functions are needed to be manually performed.
Total functionsIn Numbers, officially, 262 inbuilt functions are available.In MS Excel, officially, 400 functions are available, which can be broadly divided into 11 categories.


For the businessperson, spreadsheet usage is highly necessary for day-to-day operations. Major corporations like Microsoft, Apple, and Google keep maintaining the application based on the industry’s use and preferences to prove their product is more versatile and better than others. Even though Excel has more popularity in the market, Numbers also has its own set of people who like to use the same and utilize its functionalities efficiently.

Users will have to verify their needs, perception, and accordingly, they will have to determine the usage of the specific application.

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This blog has been a guide to Numbers vs. Excel. Here we discuss the top differences between Apple Numbers and Microsoft Excel and infographics and a comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles –

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