Sections to Sheets – Free Google Add-on That Separates Column Sections Into Individual Sheets for Page-by-Page Export or Printing

Sections to Sheets Google Sheet Add-On

What is Sections to Sheets?

Sections to Sheets is a free Google Sheets Add-on that separates rows by column sections and puts them in individual pages or sheets in a spreadsheet in preparation export and printing.

You can find Sections to Sheets at the Google Chrome Webstore.

Chrome Web Store Badge

Example 1

Let’s say you want to print out a list of expenditures by department and you want each department to start on a new page. You’ll also want to keep the same header for each page.

Example 2

You might want to export a list of grades by class number. You sort the grades by class and then export the list with each class starting on a new page with a header and footer.

Sections to Sheets can help you achieve this quickly by creating a new Google Spreadsheet and separating each selection and putting it into a new Sheet(tab) with or without headers and footer. This will enable you to quickly export or print your sheets.

Spreadsheet programs generally don’t do a good job of automatically separating data by a column and printing or exporting it out. Usually, you are left with setting a header and footer and then dragging your cursor over each set data you want to have on a separate page.

This is fine if you don’t have much data, but what happens if say, you want separate your sales data for each city in your state and put that data on separate pages with a neat header and footer. Then it becomes a massive chore prone to error.

But not with Sections to Sheet.

What can Sections to Sheets do?

Sections to Sheets Can:

  • Sets a column for you to separate your data by.
  • Separates your data by column sections.
  • Prepares your data in separate sheets(tabs) for printing or export.
  • Automatically detect the width of your columns.
  • Allow you to reset the width of your columns.
  • Set a headed and/or footer or none at all.
  • Retains the original formatting of the original data.
  • Retains the column width dimensions of your original data.

What can’t Sections to Sheets do?

Google does not allow it’s add-on programs to access printing on your computer. This is to ensure security on your computer. What Sections to Sheets will do it set up a spreadsheet ready for you to export or print.

Sections to Sheets also does not directly sort the column you want to separate by. This is a simple step that you, the user, will already have done before running the add-on.

How to use Sections to Sheets

Step 1

Sort your sheet by the column you want to separate by.

Google Sheet Sort Range

Step 2

To open, go to Add-ons> Sections to Sheets and click Sections to Sheets.

Open Sections to Sheets Add-on for Google Sheets

Step 3

A sidebar will appear for you to make your selections.

Sections to Sheets Sidebar for Google Sheets

Step 4

Select the column you have sorted. The one you wish to use to separate your data by.

Select Column to Separate By

Step 5

Select your headers and or footers if you have them.

Selecting Header and Footer

Note: You will need to put your header at the top of your data and your footer at the bottom. 

Step 6

Select the width of the columns you want to be displayed. Sections to Sheets automatically calculates the width of your data range in columns and will set it to standard. Sometimes you may wish to only include a selection of columns. You can do this by changing the width, or the starting column and the ending column.

Change the width in columns of the selection
We didn’t make a change in this example, but you can see that it is easy to do.

Step 7

When you are happy with your selection, click “Submit”.

After you have clicked submit, Sections to Sheets will:

  • create a new file in the same directory as your current spreadsheet. The new file will be named the same as your current file with “by selection” at the end of it.
  • create sheet tabs in that file titled by the column identifier.
  • add the data for each column identifier in and add a header and footer if necessary.

Creating a new Google sheet and putting the data in tabs by selection.

Exporting or printing your data

By now all your data will be prepared so that each section sheet will start printing or will be displayed on a separate page.

EXPORT AS PDF:

Step 8

To export as a PDF got to File> Download as > PFD document (.pdf)

 

Exporting Sections to Sheets as a PDF document.

Step 9

Ensure you have set up the layout you want. Then under the “Export” label, click, “Workbook” to select all sheet tabs. and then click “EXPORT”.

Done. You have a neatly separated PDF document by sections.

Exporting the Sheets

PRINT

Step 8

To print click the print icon on your quick access bar or (ctrl+p).

Click Print

Step 9

After you have set up the layout you want. Select “Workbook” from the “Print” drop-down to select all the sheet tabs. Then select “NEXT”.  The Print screen will appear and you can then go ahead and select “Print”.

Print Sections to Sheets

The Legal

Here you can find the Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

Online privacy is incredibly important to me. So much so that I have a donate button to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on the bottom of my sidebar.

Sections to Sheets does not record your personal information or data.

 

11 thoughts on “Sections to Sheets – Free Google Add-on That Separates Column Sections Into Individual Sheets for Page-by-Page Export or Printing”

    1. Hi Clint,

      Could you provide me with a little detail on your issue? I have checked my logs and don’t see any errors. What column reference are you using? Do you have a header?

      Cheers,

    1. Hi Benton,

      Sorry to hear you are having issues with Sections to Sheets.
      The add-on certainly has some limitations. One of the biggest things that slows down the creation process is maintaining row height. Unfortunately, the current version of Google Apps Script only allows me to iterate over every row to fix the row height which significantly slows down the process.
      Have you tried unchecking include row height to see if your process runs?
      Another issue might be that if you have a lot of data (E.g. 20,000+ rows) then the add-on may exceed the 6 minute processing time limit that Google provides.
      Finally, if you have more than 200 sections to go into separate sheet tabs in the one workbook this may also cause the code to run and run without complete. The max number of sheet tabs is 200.
      Please let me know if you think the cause is one of the issues mentioned above or a separate issue and I will do what I can to fix the add-on.

      ~Yagi

    1. Hi Benton,

      Thanks for letting me know. I don’t think my approach to warning the user about possible unsorted data was particularly effective. I will rework this and send it to Google for approval. Apologies for the inconvenience.

      Respectfully,
      Yagi

      1. Were you able to fix this issue? It’s still not letting me proceed. The column is sorted and the alert still appears that a column may not be sorted and tells me to try again.

          1. Hi Benton,

            It looks like Sections to Sheets has been updated. Now there is a warning just in case the sheet hasn’t been sorted, but you can click ‘Yes’ to continue regardless.

            Thanks for your patience and feedback.

            ~Yagi

    1. Hi Dav,

      I’m not 100% on what you are looking for, sorry. But…

      Probably the easiest approach would be to run two separate Sections to Sheets one with an even group and one separating them before running the add-on. You could do this with a filter function. Say you have a section column like 101-001, 101-002 etc in col 2. You do something like this =FILTER(A2:D,ISODD(VALUE(RIGHT(C2:C))) = TRUE). Where A2:D is the range you want to copy into separate tabs.

      If you really must get just the alternating tabs from your completed Section to Sheet Google Sheet, you would have to do this with Google Apps Script by getting a list of the sheets with something like: SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet().getSheets() (One example of using getSheets can be found here) and then iterate through each one finding either the odd or even groups and hiding the alternate tabs. You could then print workbook and only those tabs not hidden would print.

      Let me know if this is what you are after or you were looking for something else.

      Cheers,
      ~Yagi

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