Google Apps Script: SpreadsheetApp, getRange, getLastRow, getDataRange
I was trying to rush out some Google Apps Script code to deal with a task on Google Sheets recently. Basically, I had to search through a heap of data and find certain values and do something too them.
My column was reaching across the page to something like Column BK and my rows were over 1000 deep. Running this code was taking forever!!!
My immediate instinct was:
What have I done wrong?
…and my instinct was right.
The Good and Bad Way to Search Through Code
So after looking at my code again, I discovered that for some reason I go it into my head that I should be searching each cell for the value I needed and then doing something with it.
Sounds logical right? It’s sorta what you are meant to do.
The problem is that I was calling the sever and asking for the range in each cell as I was looping through the entire document. This is super costly and inefficient in terms of time.
OpenPyXl is a Python open library that allows you to read and write Microsoft Excel files. Specifically, the ‘*.xlsx’ file extension. It helps you to create programs to create and modify files and automate your processes in excel.
NOTE: This post requires that you have some knowledge of Python and the OpenPyXl library. The library also needs to be installed for you to use.
Quite often, I find that I have to work with ranges of data that I need to either copy and paste into a new file or files, or copy > modify > paste into files.
The OpenPyXl library allows you to look at every cell of a file and either copy it or modify it by using the openpyxl.worksheet.Worksheet.cell() method. This method allows you to access each cell by the row and column as a numerical value.
Note! Unlike everything else in coding, rows and columns start with one(1) and not zero(0).
To select whole ranges of our data we need to iterate through it by both row and column and then store that data in a list to be pasted to the new file, spreadsheet or location that we desire.
The following example will take you through the process. For your own data you will need to modify the file, sheet and range locations. Everything else should be good to go.
You can find the whole code at the end of the post.
Why does your MS Excel look weird?
To be honest my screenshots of the ‘.xlsx files will be in Libreoffice. But this simple example will be able to load without issue in MS Excel.
You sure can. Google has a fully supported script editor that you integrate with your Sheets, Docs, Forms, Slide, Gmail, Calendar and pretty much every aspect of the Google Suite. Its name: Google Apps Script.
Google Apps Script allows you to do all sorts of things like building short code to modify sheets and docs, create macros, develop add-ons mess around with Gmail and so much more.