I'm about to start writing up a spreadsheet to describe some manual test steps and expected results. This will be sent to people to test the website get them to fill it in and then send it back.

It occurs to me that this is something which could be done much better than excel with a fairly simple web app, but I haven't seen one.

Does such a thing exist, or is there a known way to manage tests with spreadsheets etc which is very simple negating the need for it?


3 Answers 3


if your looking for a bit more than a spreadsheet and don't mind the cost of open source software, give TestLink a try - http://www.teamst.org/

We use it quite successfully however the UI could do with some work so you often to hunt around for what you are looking to do.

It handles test with multiple steps and expected results for each, multiple versions of each test so you can evolve them over time and multiple project stages so tests can be written in advance of development but testers don't get distracted by tests that arn't in the current release.

  • Thats just the sort of thing I am looking for, thanks. May 13, 2011 at 10:31
  • cool! glad I nailed it :)
    – LucasS
    May 13, 2011 at 10:36

This kind of thing should be easy to do with a wiki. Build a page with links to your manual tests, and build your manual tests. On the links page, you can categorize and sequence the tests as desired.

One problem I frequently see in manual tests is specifying fixed dates. Generally you need a processs to specify appropriate dates to use when the test is run. You can used the wiki to document your process for writing and running manual test plans.

If you want people to be able to easily send in results, you may want to use a wiki with forms capability. These can be used to capture the results in the wiki, or forward them to an appropriate application. You may also want to provide a link to your bug tracking software.


If a shared spreadsheet is good enough for your needs, then I would simply use Google Docs or any other online collaborative tool allowing to share a spreadsheet between multiple editors.

You can break down your test cases to test steps in the spreadsheet's rows, have a column for the expected results and then additional columns for the actual results in various executions of the test plan.

Using Google Docs' Spreadsheet you can have a team edit the same document without the need to merge the changes on each and every edit. It also provides real time collaboration and chat over the edit session, which is a cool way of collaborating on a document. :-)

  • +1 - The real time features are really cool. I can collaborate with colleagues on the other side of the world and the document is always 100% real-time.
    – jmort253
    May 15, 2011 at 5:34

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