This might just be my midlife crisis! The start of my bumbling adventure on #Instagram
This might just be my midlife crisis!
A little over a month ago I turned 40. I could tell I was going to hit the big four-oh because of all the aches and pains that take longer and longer to deal with than they used to.
On top of that, the new workload got hard. I mean real hard. I’m used to pulling 10+ hour days once or twice a week, but this year, it’s been every single day.
I know I needed a side project that was fresh and light. I needed a break from the coding and spreadsheets. Like any bloke in his midlife crisis, I needed to go out here and hit the latest young thing in a sad and desperate effort to rekindle my youth.
That young thing, I thought, would be Instagram. Now, I know Instagram is no baby, but we need to to talk comparatively here. I’m on that slow rise to the “Old Fart” zone and five years older than 90% of the demographic.
So to prove my youth one last time (maybe), I set out to learn what I could about Instagram. What I didn’t expect was the utter amount of information, and a lot of it data driven too! I was really starting to warm to the idea.
Well, it’s a rainy day here travelling in Romania, so time for a post.
When creating a Google Apps Script’s I often find I am creating new folders and files in specific locations on Google Drive after, say, generating a report or something.
A Note on Folders in Google Drive
All files and folders in Google Drive are allocated a unique key that identifies them.
The file location and all the data about the file is mapped to this ID. This means you can have as many folders or files with the same name even in the same directory without a duplicate error being thrown because they all have their own unique ID for their URL.
More often than not, I know the parent folder that I want to put my sub folders in. This means I can get the parent folder’s ID and use that as my starting point to add sub folders. To do this we use the DriveApp class.
Below are three useful functions for creating folders.
Simple – Create a folder under the Parent folder ID – Duplicates are not checked and there can be multiple sub folders with the same name but all have their own unique id.
Medium – Create a folder only if that folder name does not exists in the Parent folder – No folder is created if the folder already exists.
Hard-ish – Create a folder. If the name exists, add a counter to the name – If the file already exists then add a counter to the end of the file name.
All the functions will take two arguments: folderID – the unique id of the parent folder and folderName – the name you want to call your new folder.
The start() function will simply grab the two variables for the folderID and folderName and run the folder creation function. This is to simulate using the functions in your code.
Feel free to read what you need. I try and write these for a wide range of coding skill in mind.
One of the weekly tasks in my day job as an academic administrator is to look at a number of ‘modules’ or courses that our college is running and complete some analysis and crosschecking. Each week the students complete a ‘unit’. However, during some quarters, not all modulesare doing the same unit. Before I can run my code I need to determine what modules are running and what units we are up to for me to run my automated code.
To do this I created a dialog box when the code is run from the add-on bar. In a few clicks, I can then choose the relevant modules and units and then run the selected code.
Let’s take a look at what the dialog box looks like:
Upon “Submit”, the dialog box returns an array of objects of checked values from the radio buttons that can be uses in the server-side Google Apps Script.
Sometimes, when you are working on a shared Google Sheet you might want to hide a row based on a cell value.
For example, perhaps we don’t want to see row information of orders that have been paid for. Take a look at my D&D miniatures wholesale orders sheet (image below). I know I don’t need to follow up the orders that have been paid, marked with a ‘Yes’ in column F, so I don’t want to see them on my sheet.
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.
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.
Have you ever copied and pasted something in Google Sheets only to be frustrated with the fact that it stubbornly refuses to paste the column widths? I mean, everything else is perfect, the formatting, the formulas the comments, they all were pasted across just fine. However, that dastardly column width just does not budge.
I was working on a Google Apps Script project lately in Google Sheets that set up parameters in a sidebar and then ran the process once the user clicked the “Submit” button. The problem was that the process was taking a while and that “Submit” Button was ripe to be clicked multiple times by the impatient user, before the server-side code could even finish it’s operation.
To fix this I needed to disable the submit button once it had been clicked and then enable it again once the server-side process was complete. Here, I need to:
Do something awesome with it server-side.
Upon the completion of the server-side awesome, call back to the html file and enable the button again.
I have a very simple Google Sheets Side Bar with a “Submit” and “Cancel” button. When the “Submit” button is clicked it calls the function submittington (can he get any more creative? No. No he can’t).
This function then disables the “Submit” button sends a variable to the client side code.gs and displays it stylishly in the sheet multiple times for the users viewing pleasure. After the code.gs function is executed, it calls back to the client-side submittington function and enables the button.