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Excel Archives - Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes

Google Sheets: How to embed a live spreadsheet

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Recently, I published Sample spreadsheet: AutoFill on the official Excel Basics In 30 Minutes website. In addition to including a sample Excel .xlsx file, I also embedded a live version of the same spreadsheet that people can edit and play with, right on the blog post. This post explains how to embed a live spreadsheet using Google Sheets, the free online spreadsheet program offered by Google. It involves a small hack, which I will describe below.

While Google Sheet’s Share button makes it easy to share a link to a spreadsheet, and allows the owner of the spreadsheet to enable anyone to edit it, editing is not possible if the embed option is chosen for the File>Publish to the Web feature.

That is, when you embed the spreadsheet on a blog post or Web page, you won’t be able to edit or format the cells, or create formulas. For example, here is an embedded spreadsheet. Notice you can highlight cells, but can’t input or change information, or use any other features of Sheets:

Google Sheets how to embed a live spreadsheet that can be edited

But there’s a workaround. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the spreadsheet, and select _File>Publish to the Web
  2. In the Publish to the Web popup, press the Start publishing button
  3. Under Get a link to the published data, change Web page to HTML to embed in a page
  4. Copy the embed code, which will look something like this:

After copying the text (Edit>Copy) and pressing the Close button, paste the embed code into a text editor or the blog editor (make sure the raw code or HTML view is showing). At this point if you publish the page, the sheet will be viewable but not editable. Follow these steps to enable live editing of the spreadsheet on the page:

  1. Go back to the spreadsheet in Google Sheets, and press the Share button
  2. In the Share with others popup, click Advanced
  3. Under Who has access, click the Change link and select On: Anyone with link
  4. At the bottom of the Who has access popup, change the Can view drop-down to Can edit and click Save
  5. The Sharing settings popup will appear. Copy the Link to share and close the popup

Now what needs to happen is most of the URL in the iframe embed code needs to be deleted, and replaced with the link you’ve just copied from the Sharing settings popup. Basically, delete everything in the quotation marks after src= starting with https:// but leave &widget=true. Then, paste in the other URL before the ampersand. I’ve highlighted the part of the iframe code that needs to be replaced:

iFrame Google Sheets URL

At that point, once you’ve published the page, the live spreadsheet will not only be visible, but it will also be editable. To see an example, visit this page on the official Excel Basics In 30 Minutes website.

If this tutorial has been helpful, please consider tweeting or sharing it elsewhere.

How to export a PDF using Google Drive's free spreadsheet program, Google Sheets

By | Blog, Video | No Comments

This three-minute video explains how to export a PDF using Google Sheets, the spreadsheet program in Google Drive. It’s a very common scenario if you need to create a printable version of a spreadsheet, or want to create a spreadsheet that cannot be edited. It’s also a good tool to use for creating PDF versions of a spreadsheet that have been created on older versions of Microsoft Excel — you simply convert the Excel file to Google Drive’s format, and then export the PDF using the steps explained in the video below.

Finally, two examples of PDF exports are used in the video. One involves a spreadsheet with just text, numbers, and currencies, while the other is a spreadsheet that contains a chart.

After watching, if you’re interested in learning more about creating, sharing, and collaborating on documents using Google Drive & Docs, check out my guide. It’s called Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes and is available for the Kindle, iPad, Nook, Android tablets, and as a PDF and paperback.

Without further ado, the video:

How to convert a Google Sheets spreadsheet file to Excel .xlsx

By | Blog, Video | One Comment

How do you convert a Google Sheets spreadsheet into an .xlsx file which can be opened in Microsoft Excel? This 5-minute video demonstrates how to export from Google Sheets, Google Drive’s excellent spreadsheet program. The resulting .xlsx file can be opened in Excel 2010, Excel 2013, Excel for Mac, and other recent versions of Excel.

The video also demonstrates some of the formatting problems that can occur with conversion between Google Drive and Microsoft Excel. Charts and number formats sometimes don’t make the transition, and this video shows examples of what can go wrong. The video is by Ian Lamont, author of Excel Basics In 30 Minutes and Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes.

To see the full-screen version of the video, click the icon at the bottom of the video player:

How to convert Excel files to Google Drive

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Convert Excel files to Google Drive! This short video (updated in 2015) explains how to convert Microsoft Excel spreadsheets (.xlsx or .xls files) to Google Drive’s spreadsheet program — Google Sheets. There are three examples of Excel spreadsheets being converted, including situations in which formatting does not translate.

Why would someone want to convert Excel files to Google Drive? One scenario: You’re emailed an .xls or .xlsx file, but don’t have Microsoft Excel installed. Or, you want to collaborate on a spreadsheet, and the collaboration features on Google Drive (including live collaboration, as described in Google Drive In 30 Minutes) is superior.

Press the icon on the bottom of the video to make it viewable full-screen.