Combine Multiple Google Sheets with ImportRange


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Do you have multiple Google Sheets that you would like to be able to combine into one Google Sheet? Do you work in a team setting where multiple people are creating separate Sheets and you would like to combine the data? If so, Google Sheets offers an efficient way of bringing together multiple points of data into one. The command it is importrange:

IMPORTRANGE

Imports a range of cells from a specified spreadsheet.

Sample Usage

IMPORTRANGE("https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/abcd123abcd123", "sheet1!A1:C10")

IMPORTRANGE(A2,"B2")

Syntax

IMPORTRANGE(spreadsheet_key, range_string)

  • spreadsheet_key – The URL of the spreadsheet from where data will be imported.
    • The value for spreadsheet_key must either be enclosed in quotation marks or be a reference to a cell containing the URL of a spreadsheet.
  • range_string – A string, of the format "[sheet_name!]range" (e.g. "Sheet1!A2:B6" or "A2:B6") specifying the range to import.
    • The sheet_name component of range_string is optional; by default IMPORTRANGE will import from the given range of the first sheet.
    • The value for range_string must either be enclosed in quotation marks or be a reference to a cell containing the appropriate text.

Notes

  • Spreadsheets must be explicitly granted permission to pull data from other spreadsheets using IMPORTRANGE. The first time the destination sheet pulls data from a new source sheet, the user will be prompted to grant permission. Once access is granted, any editor on the destination spreadsheet can use IMPORTRANGE to pull from any part of the source spreadsheet. The access remains in effect until the user who granted access is removed from the source.

Let’s look at an example to break down the process:

In the example Teacher #1 recorded some numerical data for their class:

Down the hall Teacher #2 recorded students answers in a separate sheet:

Teacher #1 would like to have all of the data from Teacher #2 Sheet and would like it to update in real time as Teacher #2 updates it. This would be a good time to use the IMPORTRANGE Function. Every Google Sheet has a unique web address that defines it. Part of the address is the key to the process. Here is the web address for Teacher #2’s Google Sheet:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1OQgI8g6ATih30cgmXAto79cKJEYpEhAgjeHo8ARkk4M

The key is the unique identifier at the end of the URL:

Teacher #1 creates a new worksheet in their exiting Google Sheet by clicking the + sign at the bottom left hand side of the screen:

On the second sheet in Cell A1 (Or any cell for that matter) Teacher #1 can add the IMPORTRANGE formula as outlined above using the URL “key” from Teacher #2 and specifying the Worksheet Name and Cells :

As noted it the Google Help docs:

Spreadsheets must be explicitly granted permission to pull data from other spreadsheets using IMPORTRANGE. The first time the destination sheet pulls data from a new source sheet, the user will be prompted to grant permission. Once access is granted, any editor on the destination spreadsheet can use IMPORTRANGE to pull from any part of the source spreadsheet. The access remains in effect until the user who granted access is removed from the source.

This can be an extremely effective way to have multiple data sources feed to a master sheet.

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