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Google Sheets Import Range Function | The Copy & Paste Killer

In business, spreadsheets are a necessity to operate.  And one of the most popular spreadsheet software is google sheets.  Why? Because it is free and on the cloud. Being on the cloud allows you to have access to it at any time.  You can even share the file with others and give access or not.

One of the coolest features with Google Sheets that you might not be using is the ImportRange function.  The best thing about this function is to help you stop copy-pasting from one sheet to another. This function even provides live updates.

The best way to use this function is when you need to get data from one sheet to another.  Especially if you need it synchronized. Synchronization will keep your spreadsheet up to date and help prevent copy past over and over and over.

How it works

The import range function takes the URL of your google sheet and the range of data.  On the new google sheet, we will see the same data as what the range is calling from the original google sheet.  

If the original sheet is updated, the other google sheet is automatically updated.  The automated update removes the constant copy & paste any time the data is updated.

This is a direct link to the function help page from Google support. 

https://support.google.com/docs/answer/3093340

The Import Range Function Break Down

Using the import range is easy.  All you need it the URL of the google sheet, the google sheet name, and the range of the data.

The function has three arguments or three parts. 

=ImportRange(“ the URL of the Google sheet”,”sheet name!cell range”)

The Google Sheets Import Range Function How-To Slideshow

Just click the right or left arrows to scroll through each step below.

Step 1

Open a new Google Sheets.

Step 2

Copy the URL of the Google Sheets in the address bar.

 

Step 3

Open a new Google Sheets.

*This is the one where you sending your data

Step 4

Pick a cell for the starting point of the import range data.

Step 5

Type in =importrange(

Step 6

In the first part of the function paste the URL inside quotation ” “ marks.

Step 7

Go back to the original Google Sheets spreadsheet and copy the Name of the sheet where the data to Import is located.

Step 8

Switch back to the other Google Sheet where the import range function is located.

Step 9

Paste the sheet Name inside quotation marks ” “ and add an ! directly after the sheet name.

Step 10

Type in the range of cells you want to import from the original Google Sheet inside the same quotation marks ” “.

Hit ENTER.

*Note, for larger datasets, it could take a few minutes for the data to loud.

If N/A Appears

If the N/A is displayed click on Allow as you may need to allow access.  Wait a few seconds for the data to Generate.

*Note, for larger datasets, it could take a few minutes for the data to loud.

The Tips and Hack for Google Sheets Import Range Function

The Google Sheets Import Range Function Step-By-Step Tutorial

Just scroll down and complete each step below.

Step 2

Copy the URL of the Google Sheets in the address bar.

Step 3

Open a new Google Sheets.

*This is the one where you sending your data

Step 4

Pick a cell for the starting point of the import range data.

Step 5

Type in =importrange(

Step 6

In the first part of the function paste the URL inside quotation ” “ marks.

Step 7

Go back to the original Google Sheets spreadsheet and copy the Name of the sheet where the data to Import is located.

Step 8

Switch back to the other Google Sheet where the import range function is located.

Step 9

Paste the sheet Name inside quotation marks ” “ and add an ! directly after the sheet name.

 

Step 10

Type in the range of cells you want to import from the original Google Sheet inside the same quotation marks ” “.

Hit ENTER.

*Note, for larger datasets, it could take a few minutes for the data to loud.

 

If N/A Appears

If the N/A is displayed click on Allow as you may need to allow access.  Wait a few seconds for the data to Generate.

*Note, for larger datasets, it could take a few minutes for the data to loud.

Here is how it might look in practice

=ImportRange(“https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1N_jkLYk3NU2ps-zdzu1KRHlvl3SFVZVBts3Gm5ySUZU/”;”OWLlytics!A:Z)

Video Tutorial for the Import Range Function In Google Sheets

 

Conclusion

Copy-pasting sheets and data over and overtake hours.  It has caused 8 hours’ worth of work in with one team I worked with on a project.  Once we implemented the use of the Important Range function, it reduced to 20 minutes, and help give control to a master sheet of data.  Learning or even playing with this function can make you look like an all-star.

FAQ

  • Does the import range function automatically update?

    Yes. Anytime the selected range is updated on the original, the importing sheet updates. Please note that it will only update what is in the range. If you add data outside the range, it will not show up.

  • What problem does the import range function slove for me?

    The import range function helps reduce all the copy and paste into different sheets. It allows the data to stay synchronized to the original—a great way to create a master sheet that others can use without editing the master.

  • Can I change the original data from the import range receiving sheet?

    No. The only way this data can be updated is if the original sheet is updated, allowing a great way to create master sheets and more reliable data control.

  • It is not working; what am I doing wrong?

    Check your formula first. Did you put the URL inside quotation marks? Did you put the range inside quotation marks? Did you put and ! right after the sheet name without space? Did you allow access to the google sheet? Did the owner allow for access?

  • Does the formating import as well?

    No. The formating from the original is not transferred to the new google sheet. But you can format the new one any way you need.

  • Does the import range sheet display formulas?

    No. Formulas do not show up on the importing sheet. Only the value will display. If an error is displaying on the original, the importing sheet will have the same display.

Hey, thanks for reading! 

Got a question? Comment below! I’d love to help! 🙂

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