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What is Apple Numbers For Mac: Everything You Need to Know

Jun 03, 2022

Apple Numbers was first launched back in 2007 for Mac and was created to be a direct competitor for Microsoft Excel. Apple Numbers sits within the iWork suite, alongside Pages and Keynote.

Similar to other Apple apps, Numbers is only usable on Apple devices, and there is no web-based solution on offer.

Apple Numbers offers a clean look and is easy to use. It is a blank canvas for apple users with an iCloud account, and allows them to quickly fill cells, open spreadsheets, and create new pivot tables.

But is it any good? This article will compare Apple Numbers to its competitors, and see whether it is worth using.

Let's dive straight in.

Plans and pricing

When Apple first launched Apple Numbers and other iWork suite apps, they were a paid feature. However, the apps are now completely free. You will find Apple Numbers in the usual location on your app store, or it will already be preinstalled on iPad and Mac.


The chances are you will have used Microsoft Excel before. It is almost impossible to avoid! So you will know that tables such as a pivot table are a huge aspect of the software, with other aspects thrown in alongside.

On the other hand, Apple Numbers focuses on offering users a blank canvas to work with, and tables are just one of the types of media you can add to your document. As with Apple Page and Apple Books, it does this to offer users something different than its Microsoft counterpart, rather than competing directly.

There is also a tool within Apple Numbers called Smart Categories, which is perfect for when you want to quickly organize tables to offer additional insights to work seamlessly and fast.

You can use Smart Categories to group data with different date ranges and values. All you need to summarize tables with Smart Categories is an internet connection, and you can perform complex calculations, then display them clearly.

Interface and in use

Like other iWork apps, Apple Numbers is not stuck with the Ribbon like Microsoft Excel. Instead, Apple Numbers off your a range of choices via a clean crisp toolbar, and optional sidebars.

The reason this setup works is due to how intuitive Apple Numbers is. For example, even new users can see the options available from the toolbar and easily navigate to Tables, Charts, and Insert.


Apple offers excellent support services for Numbers via the website. On top of that, there is an active Apple Numbers community you can use to search for answers to any queries.

The Competition

As you are likely already aware, almost everyone uses Microsoft excel for their spreadsheets and formulas. Apple is aware of this, so it does not focus on getting businesses to use Numbers.

Instead of focusing on settings and formulas that would suit businesses, it focuses more on pretty charts, easy-to-use rows and columns, and bright images and text options.

Final verdict

Ultimately, the final verdict for Apple Numbers depends on where you see it fitting within the spreadsheet universe.

If you are someone that only uses Apple products, and you work exclusively with other Apple users, then Numbers is a fantastic choice. As Apple Numbers is free, you don't have anything to lose!

If you do not fall into this category, almost everyone will be using Microsoft Excel, even if it is with reluctance. Microsoft Excel is accessible across numerous platforms, which is why it is most people's favorite choice. However, it isn't free, whereas Apple Numbers is.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Apple Numbers as good as Excel?

If you are in need of pretty graphics, it is easier to do that in Numbers compared to Excel from Microsoft office.

However, if you need more advanced features like multiple sheets, hidden values, and other technical functions, Microsoft Excel is a better choice.

Is Apple Numbers free?

Yes, the Numbers App is easy to use and offers an excellent alternative to Microsoft Excel. You can download it from the Mac App Store, and it works best with the apple pencil when designing aspects like pivot tables.

Is Apple Numbers any good?

In summary, Numbers are an excellent product that you can use to build spreadsheets. It is a handy way to create basic spreadsheets on Apple devices.

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