If you’re like me, you find yourself using spreadsheets for a multitude of tasks beyond the common ones such as budgeting or inventory management. Spreadsheets empower us to handle data in ways that enhance our efficiency and productivity. When we begin to incorporate formulas into our spreadsheets, they gain new powers and can become even more insightful. However, as you may have noticed, crafting the right formula for a complex task in a spreadsheet — especially if it’s a task that’s new to you or one you haven’t tackled in a while — can be quite challenging. Fortunately, a variety of artificial intelligence (AI) tools have recently been introduced to the market specifically designed to assist spreadsheet enthusiasts in finding the right formulas. Let’s take a look at some AI tools for spreadsheet formulas.
Consider Sheet+ this handy AI assistant your new best nerdy friend. The freemium tool gives you five credits each month. But you can jump to the pro account to get unlimited credits and a soon-to-be-released add-on for Google Sheets and/or Excel. While I have been able to stay within the five requests per month, this is one tool that I’d be willing to pay for since I use spreadsheets for so many things.
I have mainly used the formula generator which is where you tell it what you want to accomplish and it generates the formula to make it happen. If you already have a formula and aren’t sure how to tweak it, then check out the formula explainer which will analyze your formula and make it understandable, so you can approach it with confidence. And if you have a formula that doesn’t seem to be working correctly, use the Debugger tool to have it detect and correct any errors in your formula.
Ajelix is a robust tool for folks who may be working on formulas but may also want to write scripts (Excel VBA Script and Google Apps Script) to extend the functionality of the spreadsheet. An Excel add-on is available for you to download and use. The template generator will generate an Excel spreadsheet template based on your explanation of what you want the sheet to do. You can download the file and open it in Microsoft Excel.
Because it doesn’t have all the data for your spreadsheet, you can expect to tweak the spreadsheet more to get exactly what you want. You are able to preview the template before you download it. If you are hoping to have conditional formulas and dropdowns to choose from data that is in a particular range, then you are exceeding the limits of the template. But you can have Ajelix help with such sub-tasks of developing your spreadsheet by using the Google or Microsoft formula generator.
Yes, ChatGPT can even help with crafting formulas for Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel. When using ChatGPT, be sure to declare the role you want your AI assistant to take on. For these purposes, ask it to take on the role of a “Formula Expert” or a “Spreadsheet Consultant.” This will help ChatGPT know how to better guide you. And, as previously mentioned for Sheet+, be sure to specify cell references and/or ranges when you can so that ChatGPT can create accurate formulas tailored to your spreadsheet.
One example of a prompt request might be: “Take on the role of a formula expert for Google Sheets. I will explain what I want the formula to do, and I need you to craft an accurate but efficient formula. I want a formula that concatenates cells A2, B2, and C2. A space should be added between cells A2 and B2. Parenthesis should be added before and after B3. Add a line return after B2. After sharing the formula with me, explain it as if I’m five years old. Do you understand?”
Similar to Ajelix, ChatGPT can also write scripts to add to Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel to automate some tasks. For this type of task, it’s best to use the highest version of ChatGPT available. After having it generate the script, ask it to analyze the output it gave for any errors.
Let us know which of these tools you’ve used to enhance your spreadsheet superpowers. And, if you found a different AI tool you like to help with spreadsheets, let us know of it along with a brief description of why you like it.