Difference Between MS Word and MS Excel - Word vs Excel

By Aarna Tiwari|Updated : January 12th, 2023

The major difference between MS Word and MS Excel is their functioning and usage. MS Word and MS Excel, developed by Microsoft, are essential software programs from the Microsoft Office Suite. They are extensively used in the Windows operating system and on internet browsers like Google Chrome or Microsoft Explorer. A candidate needs to understand the Difference Between Word and Excel not just for general knowledge but also from the UPSC Exam perspective. 

Difference Between MS Word and MS Excel PDF

The major difference between word and excel in terms of their usage is that MS Word allows the creation of both easy and complex documents, while Microsoft Excel allows users to format, organize and calculate data in a spreadsheet. Questions about MS Word Excel topics can be asked in the UPSC Prelims. The article here will discuss the Difference Between MS Word and MS Excel, along with a descriptive explanation of MS Word and MS Excel.

Table of Content

Difference Between MS Word and MS Excel

Below is a detailed tabular Difference Between Word and Excel. MS Word comprises simple tools everyone can use, such as students, teachers, and professionals, while MS Excel allows for handling complicated and other data.

MS Word vs MS Excel

MS Word

MS Excel

Microsoft Word is a word processor designed in a way that helps people document their journals, write-ups, resumes, stories, etc.

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet software tool used to record data in tables.

It is a word-processing tool that enables users to form and edit various documents and drafts.

It is frequently used to construct tables, database figures, and various measurement formulas.

This tool has also made text editing easy and allows for printouts to be taken.

It helps to create lists and timetables for various purposes. It helps in maintaining and creating invoices, attendance registers, etc.

Tables from MS Excel can be pasted into MS Word.

MS Word or doc files cannot be pasted in MS Excel.

The fundamental difference between MS Word and MS Excel is that analysis and the division of statistical data are complex in MS Word.

In MS Excel, analysis, division, and data filtration are essential features.

The Microsoft Word file extension is “.docx.”

Its extension is “ .xls.”

MS Word documents can be printed easily with a properly formatted structure.

Printouts of spreadsheets can also be taken, but the formatting and line spacing cannot be modified while printing the sheet.

MS Word and MS Excel

MS Word and MS Excel are the most commonly used Microsoft Office Suite applications. Widely used for the Windows operating systems, these applications have become extremely popular today.

What is MS Word?

MS Word is a helpful software widely used among beginners and professionals alike. The most crucial benefit of MS Word is that there is no limit on the number of words a document can possess.

  • In addition, many custom designs can be added to it too.
  • Many formatting options are available in MS Word, making the document more attractive.

Major uses of MS word are:

  • A user can easily create and edit cards, letters, detailed charts, daily reports, etc.
  • It is used for writing a thesis or creating documents.
  • It contains many features like word count, spell-checks, document translation, voice-typing, etc.

What is MS Excel?

MS Excel is a perfect tool for maintaining a record or a database in a tabular format. Its extension is “ .xls.” MS Excel allows us to make various sheets, rows, and columns and separate and highlight the data.

  • MS Excel also provides us with a sheet in the form of tables that can highlight various information in the form of rows and columns.
  • Many other features make documentation easy; this includes content sorting, filtering, row count, column counting, the addition of digits, etc. 

Major uses of MS excel are:

  • It helps maintain costs and earnings and prepares expenditures and model statements quickly.
  • It also helps manage complex data and other information in official lists of students, colleges, hospitals, and other medical histories.


Key difference between MS Word and MS Excel

The key difference between MS Word and MS Excel is that MS Word is used for writing letters, notes, essays, etc. In contrast, MS Excel saves data as numbers or alphabets, on which mathematical calculations can be performed.

  • MS Word can let users add images, text, and graphical files.
  • MS Excel contains numerous rows and columns that integrate to create various cells.


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FAQs on Difference Between MS Word and MS Excel

  • The difference between MS Word and MS Excel in terms of their extension is that MS Word is ".docx,” and the extension of MS Excel is “.xls". Microsoft Word is a word processor, whereas Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet software tool.

  • The simplest way to describe the Difference Between MS Word and MS Excel is that MS Word is designed for people who require documents in their daily profession. On the other hand, MS Excel is a commonly used record maintenance and spreadsheet software tool.

  • The Difference Between MS Word and MS Excel in terms of performing database activities is that MS Word does not allow the user to perform database activities. On the other hand, you can perform data filtration in MS Excel.

  • There is a difference between MS Word and MS Excel programming support. In MS word, there are no programming support options. Whereas in MS Excel, VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) editor is provided to perform advanced and complex tasks.

  • Microsoft Word and Excel are employed in schools, colleges, and offices, and both have distinct functions. Microsoft Word is used for letter writing, making documents and reports, etc. While MS Excel is used to save data, create tables and graphs and perform complex calculations.

  • Based on the features, the difference between MS Word and MS Excel are as follows.

    • MS Word features include changing font style, size and colour, adding pictures, tables and bulleted lists, setting a page layout, adding word art, etc.
    • MS Excel features building formulas using numeric values, calculating a large amount of data, creating multiple sheets in a spreadsheet, adding pie charts, removing duplicate values, doing conditional formatting, etc.
  • The basic difference between Word Processor and Spreadsheet is that a word processor is devised for framing documents, whereas a spreadsheet program is devised to manage numerical data.

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