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I was looking if any of the on-line spreadsheet services support similar capabilities to Excel (essentials are bold):

  • formulas
  • multi sheet
  • named ranges
  • live collaboration
  • in-cell drop downs for selecting from named range values (related to cell data validation, so you don't have to enter cell values by hand as seen on the image below) - this one seems to be unsupported by majority of online-spreadsheet systems
    alt text

Not satisfactory

  • Google Spreadsheets - doesn't support in-cell dropdowns - anyone knows when are they going to support this capability because it doesn't seem like a big deal or can there be a GreaseMonkey script that helps with this issue?
  • Zoho Sheet - also missing in-cell dropdowns

Please suggest other services that do support in-line dropdowns.


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The "in-cell dropdowns" are called AutoFilter in Excel. – Zanchey Aug 20 '09 at 12:23
@Zanchey: No. I'm talking about "data validation" drop-downs and not auto-filter ones. Data-validation can be setup to display a list of values in a simple drop down, so you don't have to enter values in a cell by hand. – Robert Koritnik Sep 11 '09 at 8:46
@Zanchey: I've edited my question so it also includes an image to show you exactly what I mean. – Robert Koritnik Sep 11 '09 at 12:52
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Office 10 will have a web version of excel but it would be worth looking at once its available.

Oh great! I think this should be something worth observing when comes out. – Robert Koritnik Sep 11 '09 at 16:27

One of the most interesting, clever and powerful developments in the spreadsheet arena recently has been Resolver One by Resolver Systems, which blends a familiar spreadsheet-like interface with the powerful Python programming language.

Being build upon the robust web programming foundation of Python resp. IronPython the product is consequently offering a Resolver One Web Server too, which allows you to turn your spreadsheets into web applications with just a few clicks.

Of course the product features Drop-down in cells too: I've been able convert their related Drop-down cells sample into a web application within ~5 Minutes. Be sure to read the short Resolver One Web Server Documentation and don't forget to make the drop-down cell web editable before publishing the sample as a web application, as demonstrated in the Web Application in One Minute screencast.

The only downside of this is that you might need to host the service yourself: while I could easily imagine there will be hosting offerings around this amazing product in the future I'm not aware of any as of today.

One minor caveat: despite them demonstrating their web applications within Firefox the drop-down sample worked flawlessly in IE only for me right now; I haven't investigated this any further though and would suspect it to be easily fixable by yourself and/or via the official support.

Update: I've been contacted by official support regarding this: meanwhile they confirmed the issue as being session/cookie timeout related (i.e. it works initially in a fresh Firefox window, but after some time ceases to do so) and are working on a fix.

In case this product has sparked interest you might want to have a look at Resolver Hacks too, a site which explores various ways to get the best out of Resolver One.

But. You have to host your web apps yourself... I'm looking for a service that online and hosted so the whole team can access it from anywhere without the need of any server being on all the time to host something. – Robert Koritnik Sep 14 '09 at 11:27
Yup, as I said already (edited to stress this a little more); I've been aware of your specification, still in the absence of a dedicated solution I tried to suggest an alternative to achieve your goal at least. Whether the lack of drop-down cells otherwise would justify the additional burden of hosting this yourself depends on your particular requirements and options of course, hence might be a show stopper, and apparently is, unfortunately - hopefully a real solution will show up still, good luck! – Steffen Opel Sep 14 '09 at 12:58
thanks anyway. I'm a developer myself and I guess making these drop downs work wouldn't be such a huge problem, so I guess it's just a matter of time, when apps will support them. – Robert Koritnik Sep 16 '09 at 10:23
Indeed, I'm actually quite surprised that Google Spreadsheets doesn't support this very useful feature yet; after all they do provide a widget along these lines for filtering their List View for selected mobile devices already (see inline image from – Steffen Opel Sep 16 '09 at 10:42

Your specifications are fulfilled by the following open source packages:

The only loose end is your requirement for in-cell drop downs. Both spreadsheets implement macros or javascript plugins which may be implemented for this solution. You might even submit a feature request.

A more proprietary offering is editgrid which currently fills your specifications and offers limited drop down capabilities in the form of autofilter dropdown lists.

Well. None of these are online services. They are just applications. And they offer at most as much as Google Spreadsheets do, that also support auto filtering. But thanks for your input. – Robert Koritnik Sep 11 '09 at 16:32

The one thing stopping me from fully recommending EditGrid ( is the current lack of in-cell validation. That said, it appears to be forthcoming via the extendable API and officially at some point in time:

As you can see from some of the examples below, I believe all your other requirements are met: (Formulas) (Multiple Sheets) (Named Ranges) (Live Collaboration)

in-cell validation via drop downs is one of the important requirements. In this regards EditGrid is similar to Google Spreadsheets – Robert Koritnik Sep 16 '09 at 10:17

I don't know if it supports all the features you're looking for but have you tried:


Yes I have. Essential part missing = dropdowns... – Robert Koritnik Aug 21 '09 at 11:43

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