Google Sheets is a popular Excel alternative for a variety of reasons. Whether you’re a student who was advised to take advantage of Google Sheet’s auto-save over Excel before Excel followed suit with the same feature or a member of the workforce who finds Sheets more intuitive than Microsoft’s option, there are always new Google Sheets tips and tricks that could improve your workflow.
It seems worth a focus on Google Sheets since we’ve previously covered a lot of Excel tips:
- 5 Excel Tips From the Guy Who Built It
- Simplify Complicated Data in Excel Spreadsheets
- Use an Excel Pivot Table to Count and Sum Values
- The Complete Guide to Conditional Formatting in Excel
Many of those can be adjusted to function with Google Sheets, but in this post, we’ll look at three tips for Google Sheets exclusively. And if you use it as often as we do, you might find yourself employing them every day.
This first tip is for Google Sheets users who don’t have time to spare (which, let’s face it, is everybody). Instead of painstakingly copying and pasting data from a webpage, you can easily make Google Sheets grab your desired information all at once and display it in the spreadsheet.
We’ll do this via
=IMPORTHTML. With this formula, we can enter the site URL with a table we wish to manipulate, in addition to specifying the table and whether it’s the first or second table. For example:
These are the results. But for those who prefer to steer clear of formulas, an alternative option is an extension like TableCapture for Chrome. Once you’ve captured your data, let’s jump into how to work with it offline.
Whether you’re an international jet setter who finds airport Wifi painfully slow or you’re a homebody who just wants to be prepared, the tools you use for work and personal projects should be able to go anywhere. But because Google Sheets is known as a web-based spreadsheet application, you may think you’re out of luck if you don’t turn your iPhone into a hotspot.
Thankfully that’s not the case when you enable the Google Drive Offline Extension for always accessible data. Sheets offline allows you to easily create, view, and edit files while disconnected from Wifi or data. And while the focus is using Google Sheets offline mode, the same extension also enables you to work offline in Google Slides and use Google Docs offline. Note you must set this up while you still have access to the internet. Then, follow the steps below.
- Add the Google Docs Offline extension to Chrome
- Navigate to Google Drive, click on the Settings gear in the top right, and select Settings
- Remain in the General section to check Offline, and you’re done!
Now that you’ve taken your work offline, it may be time to level up your data in perhaps the most visual way.
This last tip is for all the visual learners out there, whether you’re using Sheets offline or not. More than capturing and accessing your data in Google Sheets, visualizing your data is also within reach. Via a chart subtype, you can make a Map of your country, continent, or regional data—all within Google Sheets. Here’s how.
- Under Insert, opt for Chart
- Click the dropdown for Chart type and scroll down until you see the two Map options
- Select either Geo chart or Geo chart with markers
- Note: for latitude and longitude data, the marker option works best.
You can pick and choose the Chart style of your map (Background color, Font, Chart border color) and narrow down your region of focus (the World, Europe, the U.S., etc.), but that’s about as specific as a Google Sheets map can get. So, for an alternative that’s more customizable, just copy and post your data from Google Sheets into a free online mapping tool.
The Google Sheets Chart-Map hybrid is useful when you need to remain in the same platform as your data. However, it doesn’t always offer the insights you could get with a tool that’s dedicated to map-making, which can be as easy as copy and paste. Only with such a tool can you get clickable markers that show info window boxes, like those on our map of Santa Monica Mechanics below.
View Santa Monica Mechanics (With Images) in a full screen map
Click on a map marker to reveal each customized info window box. These can even include your chosen images. Get started with a quick copy-paste of your Google Sheets data into BatchGeo for clickable markers with info window boxes now.