Comparison between Spreadsheet & AirTable

I use Airtable and I am wondering if someone could compare features and benefits between Spreadsheet and AirTable. Thanks

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Welcome @Selwyn_Gishen.

We don’t have a formal comparison between Airtable and yet though this is a common enough question that we will likely have one down the road.

A short answer is that is an actual spreadsheet with additional capabilities, whereas products like Airtable are relational databases with some characteristics of a spreadsheet.

A longer answer is that a spreadsheet allows you a greater degree of flexibility than a database. In a spreadsheet you can put any kind of data in any cell that you want, whereas in a database you can only define data types at the column level. Similarly, spreadsheets allow you to write formulas that reference specific cells and ranges using A1-style references, for example =SUM(B10:B20)/$A$12. However, with a database you can only write formulas that reference fields in the same record (i.e. row).

There are many more capabilities that are only available in spreadsheets and not in databases, such as cell level styling, merge cells, cross-sheet formulas, and support for 400+ formula functions with identical syntax to Excel and Google Sheets. For these reasons, you will rarely find a financial statement, model or budget in a database, they’re just not flexible enough to use for a large percentage of spreadsheet use cases.

We designed from the ground up as a traditional spreadsheet with the capabilities of a database and project management system. One that maintains fidelity and backward compatibility with traditional spreadsheets so you don’t have to sacrifice the flexibility, familiarity, and calculation power of the spreadsheet you know in order to gain new capabilities found in modern collaborative work management systems.

Our template gallery has many examples that illustrate the differences, such as:

Hope this helps you and others with this question.


That ability to reference cells in other rows, is a very huge advantage over relational databases like AirTable.